While the days ahead are rife with uncertainty, Chautauqua will convene in 2021 to wrestle with the critical issues of our time, considering ways in which we as individuals, families and communities have been tested and have responded, and how we move forward.

Our theme weeks for the 2021 Season will evolve in response to the world around us; as our lives change, so too will we adapt our work in order to present the explorations that are most needed at whatever moment in time we find ourselves during the summer of 2021.

See 2021 events

Week One :: June 26–July 3, 2021

China and the World: Collaboration, Competition, Confrontation?

  • Under President Xi Jinping’s rule, the world’s most populous country has been working toward fulfilling the “China Dream” of global leadership, positioning itself inside a “superpower marathon” with the United States. Now, amid a trade war, the arrival of COVID-19 has been met with harsh rhetoric from both sides, further straining U.S.-China relations.
  • In this week of geopolitics, economics and cultural exploration, we consider China’s role in the world after COVID-19 and whether it emerges stronger or weaker politically and economically. How is it leveraging the pandemic in its recovery and in its efforts to overtake the U.S. as the global leader in technology, and how is the U.S. responding? Is China an unstoppable force or has it already peaked?

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: 21st Century Religion in China: Collaboration, Competition, Confrontation?

China through the ages has given birth to religious expressions uniquely its own, while also absorbing and embracing multiple religious traditions and variations that have migrated from the Asian subcontinent and the West. In this week focusing on China, we look for its contemporary expressions of the religious impulse, or the suppression thereof.

Week Two :: July 3–10, 2021

New Frontiers: Exploring Today’s Unknowns

  • There is so much left to explore and discover — and the more humans explore, the more we learn how much remains undiscovered. We consider these new frontiers in science, health, technology, the environment, and look to where new insights are being gained every day.
  • In this week, we welcome the new explorers, the next generation of innovators, to learn what work they’re doing on the cutting edge of these fields, exploring the extraordinary and making the unknown, known.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: New Frontiers: Exploring the Future of Religion in America

Long regarded as one of the most religious countries in the world, America is showing signs of losing that distinction, as successive generations begin to claim more spirituality and less religiosity, and with greater frequency self-identifying as neither, indeed as “none of the above.” In this week we look toward what a changing religious landscape in America would look and act like.

Week Three :: July 10–17, 2021

Trust, Society and Democracy

  • While recent work from the Pew Research Center had previously indicated our growing distrust in social institutions and of each other in making democratic decisions, the past year has brought this crisis of trust to a critical inflection point.
  • How can trust be restored, and how do we maintain a healthy level of skepticism that doesn’t devolve into something worse? The internet and social media have clearly accelerated and inflamed this troubling trend — what role can they play in reversing it?
  • What do we do with institutions that society has declared broken, and what must institutions do to rebuild trust with those they serve? Perhaps most importantly, how can we work to regain trust with one another?

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Ethical Foundations of a Fully Functioning Society

Socrates and his student Plato entered the discourse on ethics by way of a question that became central in Greek thought and is still relevant today: What is the relation between virtue, excellence of character, and personal and societal happiness? For the flourishing of a society, the Greek philosophers believed in reverence and justice, as well as the objectivity of goodness, as the links for knowing what is good and doing it. In this week we will discern the ethical foundations of a fully functioning society.

Week Four :: July 17–24, 2021

Many Americas: Navigating Our Divides

  • We are many Americas. We are many geographies, many economies, many cultures, many beliefs. We are a nation of differences and divides, and in a summer following a presidential election and a devastating pandemic that has thrown those divides into stark relief, we look to better understand those many Americas, the barriers—real or perceived—that keep us apart, and together consider how we navigate our differences in charting a future for our nation.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Evolving Religious Narrative of America

The national narrative that we extoll is that America was founded on ethical principles born out of religious freedom and fervor, with the moral imperative of justice for all – but how accurate is this narrative? How has this self-image been lived out historically? Does it accommodate our multifaith evolution, and the myriad expressions of world faith traditions that we now comprise? What does this narrative not reveal? In this week we explore the evolving American religious narrative and identity.

Week Five :: July 24–31, 2021

The Authentic Comedic Voice: A Week in Partnership with the National Comedy Center

  • The art of comedy is deeply personal, requiring artists and creators to tap into their own experience to hone a unique, resonant and authentic voice.
  • In this week, we examine how comedians working in an array of genres, media and styles have found their voices, developed their voices and mobilized their voices to communicate with audiences in impactful — and entertaining — ways.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Authentic Comedic Voice: Truth Born of Struggle

What we expect from the Art of Comedy is something silly, foolish, witty, or an unexpected twist or deviation from expected reality. It has been posited, however, that authentic comedic articulation, while producing laughter and hilarity, frequently arises out of struggle, out of pathos and the need to speak truth. “We laugh because it’s funny; we laugh – or cry – because it’s true.” In this week we invite the voices of the healers who make us laugh.

Week Six :: July 31–August 7, 2021

Building a Culture of Empathy

  • Creating understanding and compassion, empathy is critical in navigating our world and building community. Empathy might have a reputation associated with emotionality or sentimentality, but science indicates that it's wired into our very being, with practical applications in lives. What does empathy look like in action, from healing systemic divides creating by inequity to implementing effective public policy and leading through times of crisis?
  • Instilling and normalizing empathy has the potential to help us connect across our most polarizing differences and survive our most tragic times, so how can we work together to build a lasting culture of empathy?

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Building a Culture of Empathy

In recent years, a trait frequently cited as essential to the flourishing of humankind is empathy, an impulse manifested in all the world’s religions. Connected with compassion and altruism, it arises out of a willingness to care, to endeavor to understand, and to place oneself within the human experiences of others. In this week we seek voices who are inspiring and motivating this capacity in others.

Week Seven ::August 7–14, 2021

The State of the Economy: Where Do We Go From Here?

  • What drives the rebuilding of the economy in the wake of COVID-19? In the summer of 2021 — a year and a half after the pandemic plunged the U.S. into recession — we examine the state of “recovery” from Main Street to Wall Street; what has been lost and what has thrived; and what the crisis has laid bare in terms of necessary investments and structural reforms. How do we make our economy more resilient?
  • During this week we consider what building a new economy can and should look like, beyond high employment and growing businesses. Do we want an economy that looks like the one we had on January 1, 2020, or one that is more just in the distribution of wealth? What will we have learned during the months following the re-opening of the economy, and what are we learning from the approaches of other nations? What — and who — have we deemed essential in this new and evolving economy?

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Creating an Economy that Works for All

A society failing to uphold justice for all is not a just society. A just society supports health care, work opportunity and wage justice, and bridges the divides that create life-diminishing inequalities in education and access to essential services. It bridges wealth gaps and promotes the opportunity to thrive for all. How do religion and ethical humanism make demands upon economic policy, and what difference does this make?

Week Eight :: August 14–21, 2021

The Human Brain: Our Greatest Mystery

  • Neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate David Hubel once asked, “Can the brain understand the brain? Can it understand the mind? Is it a giant computer … or something more?”
  • In this week, we explore the folds and recesses of this distinctly human mystery, bringing together neuroscientists and psychologists to chart a path through the enigma of our consciousness, through the impacts of trauma and stress on our health, through the gray matter and the white matter, neurons and synapses, the wiring that embodies our cognition, that sparks our selves.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: The Human Soul: Our Ineffable Mystery

Most people sense and recognize another dimension beyond the physical plane of our existence and call the personal inner reality that this dimension connotes the human “soul,” known also as the “Spirit” or “Life Force.” Recognition of this inner reality is the basis of most religions but remains difficult to define or explain. In this week we will hear various interpretations of this ineffable human experience.

Week Nine :: August 21–29, 2021

Resilience

  • What drives people to keep going when forces outside their control work against them? And what does that tell us about our humanity and hope for the future? We close our 2021 season looking at the resilience that emerged during a tumultuous 2020. From a global pandemic to the quest for racial equality, we reflect on a revealing, historic period by lifting up the stories and the lessons of those who refused to give up, give in or go away.

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Resilience

What drives people to keep going over time when forces outside their control work against them, and what does that tell us about our humanity and hope for the future? We close our 2021 season looking at the resilience that emerged during a tumultuous 2020. From a global pandemic to the quest for racial equality, we reflect on a revealing, historic period by lifting up the religious people and stories who refused to give up, give in, or go away.

Chautauqua provides a wide variety of services of worship and programs that express the Institution's Christian heritage as well as its interfaith commitment. The Institution, originally the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, was founded as an educational experiment in out-of-school, vacation learning for Sunday School teachers.

While founders Lewis Miller and John Heyl Vincent were Methodists, other Protestant denominations participated from the first year onward, and today Chautauqua continues to be ecumenical — as well as interfaith — in spirit and practice.

 

Morning Worship

072819 Susan Sparks MorningWorship MS 03The chaplains represent intended theological, denominational, gender, racial and ethnic diversity, as well as ministerial context. As always, the Department of Religion’s commitment to diversity in gender, race and theological perspective is clear. The philosophy of the Department of Religion, from the beginning, has embraced and manifested the belief that an expression of these diversities is key to Chautauqua’s future.

View Events

 

Interfaith Lectures

072919 InterfaithAmigosAfternoon AW 03This series is designed to present issues that impact the lived experience of everyday life from theological, ethical, moral, humanitarian, philosophical and religious perspectives.

View Events

Symphony Orchestra

081719 CS0 MS 05The CSO is a professional orchestra that draws its membership from around the nation and around the world.

View Events

 

Theater

072519 OneManTwoGuvnors MS 17Internationally known actors, directors, designers and writers join 19 emerging artists drawn from top training programs to produce a vibrant body of work in the historic Bratton Theater.

View Events

 

Opera

062619 Figaro90210 MS 04Chautauqua Opera is the oldest continuously producing summer opera company in the U.S. as well as the fourth-oldest American opera company overall.

View Events

 

Chamber Music

081919 JLCOChamberMusic SY 05Instrumental and vocal music from medieval chant to Brahms to jazz to the contemporary music of our time.

View Events

 

Visual Arts

081519 FloraFauna Review DM 01The Chautauqua Visual Arts (CVA) includes the School of Art, the galleries of the Strohl Art Center, the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, the Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden and the visual arts lecture series.

View Events

 

Dance

072919 AlumniDanceGala SY 11Chautauqua showcases visiting dance companies each season, with wide-ranging styles from masterpieces in classical ballet to modern dance and contemporary ballet.

View Events

 

Chautauqua Lecture Series (Morning Lectures)

08082019 LectureSereneJones VG 01Ideas and opinions are exchanged in an open, challenging atmosphere, and Chautauqua's knowledgeable audiences have the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions at the conclusion of the lectures.

View Events

 

Interfaith Lectures

07182019 AfternoonRohrSecondLife VG 03This series is designed to present issues that impact the lived experience of everyday life from theological, ethical, moral, humanitarian, philosophical and religious perspectives.

View Events

 

Heritage Lectures

heritage lecturePresented by the Chautauqua Institution Archives, this series combines the research of Archives staff with notable historians and Chautauqua scholars in order to explore the rich history of the Institution and its effect on American culture.

View Events

 

CLSC Authors

080119 CLSC Oyinkan Braithwaite MS 02Reading together since 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle has remained a leader in adult education through quality programming. Each summer, the CLSC chooses nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to Chautauqua present their work to an audience of approximately 1,000 readers.

View Events

 

Special Lectures

071719 StaceyAbrams AW 06Lectures sponsored by the Institution but which fall outside the normal platform schedule will be posted as they are scheduled.

View Events

 

Arts & Entertainment

081719 CS0 MS 05Chautauqua as a community celebrates, encourages and studies the arts and treats them as integral to all of learning. With symphony, opera, theater, dance, visual arts and a renowned music school, Chautauqua produces an "ecstatic mix" of programming that can be found nowhere else.

View More

 

Lectures

072919 InterfaithAmigosAfternoon AW 09The morning and interfaith lecture platforms are the bedrock of Chautauqua's programming. Many other lecture series also exist and support Chautauqua's weekly themes.

View More

 

Literary Arts

0725 JanusPrize BCH 2The literary arts are represented at Chautauqua by a variety of programs, from the CLSC to the Writers’ Center, and include two major national literary prizes.

View More

 

Faith and Religion Programs

072819 Susan Sparks MorningWorship MS 02Chautauqua provides a wide variety of services of worship and programs that express the Institution's Christian heritage as well as its interfaith commitment.

View More

 

Partnerships & Collaborations

JAZZ SeptetChautauqua is proud to partner and collaborate with other mission-based organizations to deliver programming that adds values and diversity to your CHQ Assembly experience.

View More

 

Subcategories

School of Dance
dance thumb

The Chautauqua Ballet program, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, is well known for the unique opportunity it affords students to study with master teachers within a small studio environment.
>> Find out more

School of Art
art thumb

The School of Art presents the opportunity for the kind of sustained and focused study in studio art not available in academic settings.
>> Find out more

Theater
theater thumb

Internationally known actors, directors, designers and writers join nineteen emerging artists drawn from the nation’s top training programs to form a unique company that produces a vibrant summer of work in the historic Bratton Theater.
>> Find out more

Instrumental
instrumental thumb

Each summer we enroll 80 of the most promising young instrumentalists from here and abroad to join us for an exciting summer of music making.
>> Find out more

Piano
piano thumb

The program offers an exceptional and exciting mixture of traditional and innovative classes, concerts and an artist certificate program.
>> Find out more

Voice
voice thumb

The Chautauqua Institution Voice Department is a seven-week intensive educational program that seeks to offer the highest caliber of training for the young singer, 18 and older.
>> Find out more

Schools Alumni
Alumni

Our arts alumni are currently living, performing, and teaching all over the world. We look forward to learning more about you and where you are headed in your life and career.
>> Find out more

Special Studies
specialstudies thumb

Special Studies offers subjects ranging from child and youth development, music, education, religion and philosophy, to fitness, health, and personal and professional development.
>> Find out more



 

The literary arts are represented at Chautauqua by a variety of programs.

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle presents weekly roundtable lectures by distinguished, nationally known authors; book reviews and discussion sessions programmed by the CLSC and the CLSC Alumni Association; and a Young Readers program.

The Chautauqua Writers’ Center coordinates workshops, free weekly readings, lectures by its writers-in-residence, a yearly pre-season Writers’ Festival, and the Chautauqua literary journal. Books featured in these programs, in addition to books by the Writers’ Center faculty, are always available at Chautauqua’s Smith Memorial Library, and the Chautauqua Bookstore.

Special literary events are featured in the Amphitheater and other Chautauqua locations throughout the season.

 

CLSC

Reading together since 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle has remained a leader in adult education through quality programming.

Each summer, the CLSC chooses nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to Chautauqua present their work to an audience of approximately 1,000 readers.

> Read more…

CLSC

clsc logo

Reading together since 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle has remained a leader in adult education through quality programming.

Each summer, the CLSC chooses nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to Chautauqua present their work to an audience of approximately 1,000 readers.

- See more at: http://www.chq.org/literary-arts/clsc#sthash.fCDv4T76.dpuf

Chautauqua’s programs for youth present a diversity of activity, in settings varied and historic. From pre-school to day camp, from sports instruction to informal youth centers, from enrichment classes to entertainment, and from reading to experiences in the arts, these programs offer opportunities to explore the Chautauqua experience. At the same time, youth are encouraged to grow in independence, make choices, take responsibility and celebrate family time, all in the safe and supportive community that is Chautauqua.

Chautauqua provides a wide variety of services of worship and programs that express the Institution's Christian heritage as well as its interfaith commitment. The Institution, originally the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, was founded as an educational experiment in out-of-school, vacation learning for Sunday School teachers. While founders Lewis Miller and John Heyl Vincent were Methodists, other Protestant denominations participated from the first year onward, and today Chautauqua continues to be ecumenical — as well as interfaith — in spirit and practice.

October 27, 2015
The Department of Religion is co-sponsoring with Nazareth College a "Mini-Chautauqua in Rochester" program from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Otto Shults Community Center Forum on the Nazareth campus. The program is titled "On a Planet in Peril and Our Moral Responsibility." Click here for more details, a list of presenters and how to participate.