10:45 a.m., Monday-Friday, Amphitheater

Ideas 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.

Week One :: June 27–July 4

Climate Change: Prioritizing Our Global and Local Response

How we talk about climate change is rapidly shifting. But amid the ongoing political debates, how are we — and should we be — responding?

  • What does prioritizing a response to climate change mean, and how do we collectively determine the overall benefits and costs of such investments?
  • How do we balance proactive work aimed at reversing climate change with strategies for adapting to the realities of its worst effects?
  • We examine case studies of solutions being sought at a global and local scale, from the work of small U.S. towns to foreign countries, and from corporate investments to military strategies.

More information on Week One 

Week Two :: July 4–11

Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives

We like to think we have ultimate freedom of choice. Yet every product or experience we can possibly consider has been carefully selected for us by a mostly invisible class of societal gatekeepers and tastemakers. Our choices are not only limited, but also affected by everything from explicit advertisements and an industry of “influencers” to secretive campaigns and algorithms.

  • Who are these shapers of modern life? How do they decide what trends to push?
  • Who are they accountable to, and how can we as individuals recognize and contend with them?

More information on Week Two

Week Three :: July 11–18

Art and Democracy

Artist, advocate, activist, citizen. What is the role of art — and the artist — in an active democracy? In this week, we hear from artists raising the social consciousness, challenging the status quo and engaging communities large and small toward meaningful action.

  • We consider how art and artmaking serves as a catalyst for dissent and change and has the unique ability to bring community together to heal following trauma.
  • How are the arts uniquely positioned to move the conversation forward, when other attempts at dialogue fail?

More information on Week Three

Week Four :: July 18–25

The Ethics of Tech: Scientific, Corporate and Personal Responsibility

Big Tech companies have begun to acknowledge their tremendous and sometimes harmful impact on society — particularly with regard to marginalized communities and civil liberties, and usually only following public calls for ethics reform and oversight.

  • Is it enough for these giants to self-police, or is an industry-wide code of ethics or government regulation necessary to protect a future dominated by artificial intelligence, datafication and facial recognition?
  • Does such oversight stifle innovation? How is the rest of the world responding?
  • And, while it’s easy to see ourselves as victims, how do we take personal responsibility as consumers and users?

More information on Week Four

Week Five :: July 25–August 1

The Women’s Vote Centennial and Beyond

As we join the nation in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, we also consider those who were left out of the mainstream suffrage movement, examine the slow progress toward gender equality in the United States, and look to the movement’s relevance to the ongoing battle over voting rights.

  • Despite women having the vote for nearly a century, and a surge in the 2018 election, why are so few women represented in government positions and on the ballot today?
  • How does gender bias continue to be used against candidates, not only by political opponents, but by voters?
  • Why has the Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923 and passed by Congress in 1972, fallen short of ratification?

More information on Week Five

Week Six :: August 1–8

Week Six Theme :: Rebuilding Public Education

In this week we take a comprehensive view of the cradle-to-college pipeline and look beyond the 2020 election to ask how we build more integrated and equitable public schools and best prepare our children for careers and as citizens in a rapidly changing world.

  • With a growing shortage of credentialed teachers, how do we recruit and keep the next generation of educators?
  • How do we navigate what has become one of the most contentious debates in education today and evaluate the impact of charter schools and vouchers in American communities?
  • What does the recent college admissions cheating scandal tell us about how parents, students and society-at-large view the purpose of secondary education?

More information on Week Six


Week Seven :: August 8–15

The Science of Us

In the midst of robust debates about tribalism, isolation and bridging differences, this wide-ranging week explores how 21st-century science is disrupting our social and historical understandings of how “us” happens and who “we” are — as communities, demographies, families, nations and a human race.

  • We look at America’s long narrative of folklore and our “melting pot” narrative. • We explore our obsession with — along with the limitations and repercussions of — genealogical/ancestry services.
  • What are the emerging scientific understandings of heritage and ethnicity?
  • How is science is informing community development and our socioeconomic models going forward?

More information on Week Seven

Week Eight :: August 15–22

Reframing the Constitution

Two-hundred and thirty years after its ratification, the U.S. Constitution remains one of the most difficult to amend of any in the world. During this week we ask if the Constitution is securing the “blessings of liberty” for all Americans and whether constitutional reform — from amendment to outright replacement — is necessary and even possible.

  • We look at constitutional politics to understand the “unamendability” of the U.S. Constitution, consider resistance to a constitutional convention from both the political left and right, and determine what we can learn from younger democracies around the world.

More information on Week Eight

Week Nine :: August 22–30

The Future We Want, The World We Need: Collective Action for Tomorrow’s Challenges

A Week in Partnership with the U.N. Foundation

What will the world look like over the coming decades, and how can we work together to better prepare for the future? From climate change to new technologies, the world faces countless interrelated and fast-moving drivers of economic, political and social change.

  • Where are the most important opportunities to realize a more equitable and sustainable world? What are our biggest collective challenges?
  • During the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, we examine what we can learn from international communities and partnerships driving innovative solutions to global issues and identify tools that communities can use to learn from one another and drive collective action.

More information on Week Nine


NOW Generation Fall Weekend

103018 FallGrounds DM 09October 25–27

Join members of the NOW Generation for a fall gathering at Chautauqua. With family-friendly activities, excursions and more, please email msorenson@chq.org if you have questions. Click below to register, and mark your calendar for all the fall fun!

Register for the NOW Gen Fall Weekend


Accommodations are excluded from the NOW Gen fall weekend ticket prices. To book a room at the Athenaeum Hotel at a special discounted rate, please click below.

Reserve a stay at the Athenaeum Hotel


Masquerade Night at the Athenaeum Hotel

MasqueradeNight Graphics 101019 webSaturday, November 2 
8 p.m.

Featuring Guest DJ Hector
cocktails • Lobby Lounge menu • dancing

Drink Specials:

  • $3 select beer
  • $5 select wine and well liquor
  • $8 specialty cocktails

Themed dress optional

The Winter Village at Chautauqua

120918 WinterVillage DM 19Continuing a new tradition, Chautauqua Institution will host the 2019 Winter Village at Chautauqua on selected weekends this winter.

November 29–December 1 & December 21–22
Free admission and parking
Open to the public

Learn more as details are announced


062417 sacredsongpreview 03 fileOrganist, liturgist, choir director, community faith leader: Our community mourns the loss of our beloved Jared Jacobsen and celebrates his remarkable life and artistry.

Having spent 65 summers at Chautauqua, Jared Jacobsen served as the Institution’s organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music since 1996, shaping the worship life of Chautauqua’s thousands of residents and guests for each of its nine seasonal weeks. He was the primary operator and guardian of the 112-year-old Massey Memorial Organ of four manuals and 5,640 pipes, located in the Amphitheater, which is the centerpiece of Chautauqua’s programming. He also shepherded the 50-voice Motet Choir for daily worship services and the 150-voice Chautauqua Choir for Sunday morning and evening worship, played weekly recitals on the Massey and the 1893 Tallman mechanical-action organ in the Hall of Christ, and appeared frequently as soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony and Music School Festival Orchestras.

In 1987, Jared played for the papal mass in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for a congregation of 70,000 and the following spring was invited by Pope John Paul II to be an American delegate to the historic First World Congress of Church Music at the Vatican. 

When not at Chautauqua during the summer months, Jared served as director of music for First Lutheran Church in downtown San Diego, and as a member of the performing arts faculty of The Bishop’s School, an independent college-preparatory middle and high school in La Jolla, California.

Please feel welcome to leave a public tribute to Jared in the thread below.


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In Memoriam: Jared Jacobsen, March 18, 1949–August 27, 2019

"Day is Done" & "Largo," August 25, 2019
Sacred Song Service: "Camp Meeting is Over — Final Chautauqua Thoughts"

Leavetaking: Litany of Thanksgiving for Chautauqua

A version of the following litany written by Jared, shown as it appears in the program, has been read near the conclusion of the final Sacred Song Service of each season since 1999, including his last on Aug. 25, 2019.

 JaredJacobsen Leavetaking

Public Tributes to Jared

We welcome you to share memories or tributes to Jared using the comment box below. Please note that comments are public.

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