The Chautauqua Women’s Club was organized in 1899 for literary, education and religious purposes and continues to provide a variety of programming, including the Contemporary Issues Forum, Contemporary Issues Dialogues and the Professional Women’s Network.

The club’s philanthropic endeavors include scholarships for students in the fine and performing arts programs at Chautauqua Institution. In 2013 the CWC provided 62 scholarships in the amount of $70,000.



The state-of-the-art Cohen Multimedia Studio is located on the lower level of Smith Memorial Library.

The following is a list of community services and amenities available at Chautauqua Institution:

Babysitter List

The Youth Services Office coordinates a babysitting list that provides information to help families with young children connect with available babysitters in Chautauqua and the local area during the Chautauqua summer season. The list is intended as a public service and does not rate or recommend any individual. During the season the list is updated weekly and is available in many locations on the grounds. Anyone interested in placing their name on the list should fill out the form at the link below. Any questions, please contact Karen Schiavone at

Babysitting Application

Banking Services

Check-cashing and safekeeping deposit accounts are available in the Financial Services office on the second floor of the Colonnade building. The office is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays during the season. During the off season, the office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. (716) 357-6224. ATMs are located in the Main Gate Welcome Center, in the Colonnade building lobby and at the Athenaeum Hotel. Money orders are available at the Post Office on Bestor Plaza. The nearest full-service banks, an M&T branch and a Jamestown Savings Bank, are located in Mayville, approximately four miles north of the Institution.


Chautauqua Bookstore is located in the lower level of the Chautauqua Post Office building on Bestor Plaza and is open daily 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the season and 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the off-season. (716) 357-2151

Business Center

Dr. Robert R. Hesse Welcome and Business Center (located at Main Gate). The business center transforms a substantial portion of the Institution’s existing Main Gate Welcome Center into a modern, adaptable workspace that will allow those on vacation at Chautauqua to stay remotely connected to their offices.


The Plaza Market, located in the Colonnade building, offers limited convenience store-type items. Food for Thought, in the St. Elmo, offers gourmet and delicatessan fare. Full-service supermarkets include Lighthouse Point Grocery in Mayville, Tops in Mayville and Jamestown, and Wegmans in Lakewood.

Fitness Center

Chautauqua Health and Fitness is a full-service exercise and strength training facility with two sites: Turner Community Center (year-round) and Heinz Beach (summer only). (716) 357-6430

Medical Services

The Westfield Hospital Chautauqua Health Care Clinic offers basic medical care for children and adults, similar to that provided in a doctor’s office. The clinic is located at 21 Roberts Ave., near the Amphitheater. (716) 357-3209


Chautauqua Police Department, now located at 7 Massey Avenue adjacent to Chautauqua Fire Department, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the season. (716) 357-6225. After 5 p.m., Main Gate security may be contacted at (716) 357-6279. In case of emergency, phone 911.

Post Office

A full-service post office is located on Bestor Plaza. During the season, the lobby is open weekdays 7 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.; the window, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, the lobby is open 7 a.m. to noon; the window, 10 a.m. to noon. Closed Sundays. (716) 357-3275


Wireless Internet is now offered on the Institution grounds with “hot spots” on Bestor Plaza and at the Main Gate, Hall of Missions, Athenaeum Hotel, Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, Bratton Theater, the Arts Quad, Bellinger Hall, Youth Activities Center and Smith Memorial Library. A map is available in the Colonnade Lobby.

WiFi Map (PDF)


Bike Rental

Dining & Shopping

Scooter Rental at the Main Gate: 716-357-6200

Smith Memorial Library


The BTG House and Garden biennial Event offers docent lead tours inside 14 quintessential Chautauqua properties. Additionally this year, a wide range of interesting private and public gardens will be on display offering both self guided tours as well as master gardener talks scheduled throughout the day. Touring house interiors begins at Noon through 5pm, but, a house tour ticket allows access to the grounds all day from 8am–8pm. So arrive early and plan to spend the day on the grounds. Check for all the details.

Enjoy refreshments and music by the Dixie LakeSiders at Smith Wilkes Hall. Quite a few more surprises are in store for visitors.

Tickets on sale now 


House Tour Ticket Order Form

House Tour Flyer

Questions? Please contact


The Chautauqua Bird Tree and Garden Club provides 90 free events related to these grounds, the natural world and topics effecting our planet. Occurring at venues across the grounds, we invite you to join one of the many nature talks, walks and chats. Our nature guides and master gardeners conduct tours of the gardens, lead guided discovery thru the grounds and are experts on topics related to birds, trees, gardens, and monarchs. Explore Nature ~ Be Amazed!

Our lecture series occur at Smith Wilkes Hall Mondays and Tuesdays 12:15. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lunch and settle in to hear an expert in the field. 'Monday 12:15 Monarch and More' speakers present information related to these incredible butterflies struggling for survival and in many cases are symbolic of the challenges occurring throughout the natural world. Our Butterflies and Blooms initiative encourages home owners to create 'eco-systems' in their gardens using native plants. The 'Tuesday 12:15 Brown Bag' lecturers range from a Seneca Indian, a nationally recognized floral designer, photographers, bird experts, authors, researchers and bee keepers to name a few. With a focus on eco/lake and monarch friendly practices, take notes on a topic and apply the learning back home.

The 2018 Program Brochure for events that occur throughout the season will be available June 1. Access our website and take a look at the 2017 line up for a sample of last year's program. Many events are suitable for children and multi generational. If you have any questions, please email us at

Support the Bird Tree and Garden Club with membership - for you or as a gift. Annual and Life memberships are available by completing an application.

BTG Membership Application (PDF)


2018 BTG Brochure


Learn more at


Weekly Events

Weekly Events


Monarch and More  12:15pm at Smith Wilkes Hall 
Lake Walks  6:30pm Heinz Beach at the Youth Activities Center back porch


Bird Talk and Walks 7:30am at Smith Wilkes Hall
Brown Bag Programs 12:15pm at Smith Wilkes Hall
Garden Walks 4:15pm at Smith Wilkes Hall back patio


Garden Walks 9:15am at Fletcher Music Hall, tour concludes near the Amphitheater
Garden Workshops 4:15pm at Smith Wilkes Hall on select Wednesdays
Bat Chats 4:15pm at Smith Wilkes Hall


Nature/Tree Talks 4:15pm, See program guide for location


Nature Walks 9:15am at Smith Wilkes
Purple Martin Chats 4:15pm lakefront between the Bell Tower and Sports Club

The Chautauqua Property Owners Association serves as a communication link between individuals who own residences on the grounds and the administrative officers and trustees of Chautauqua Institution. As such, it has primary responsibility to represent to the Institution the interests and needs of the owners.

A corollary of this purpose is a responsibility to convey to owners the concerns and needs of the Institution's officers and trustees.

CPOA holds meetings open to dues paying owners at which its business is transacted. A Board of Directors includes officers and area representatives residing in designated sections on the Institution grounds that represent their sections and provide a personal contact for owners to convey their concerns to the Board of Directors and to the Institution.