News & Announcements

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to Perform at Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Aug. 22

0704_July4th_Pops_BCH_22

Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert Marks First-ever Performance Outside Chautauqua Grounds for 91-year-old CSO

Chautauqua Institution today announced that the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will bring its unmistakable sound and artistry to downtown Jamestown’s Reg Lenna Center for the Arts with a performance featuring the music of Aretha Franklin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. The concert is made possible by the Fund for Downtown Programming awarded through the Jamestown Local Development Corporation and made possible by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

Continue reading

(UPDATED 3/27) How We're Planning in These Uncertain Times

At this time, Chautauqua Institution's 2020 summer assembly season remains intact, and there are currently no restrictions or cancelations impacting our planned programs and services.

In the meantime, to protect the health and well-being of our staff, on-grounds community and Chautauqua County neighbors, we are in daily conversation with Chautauqua County officials and are taking every measure and precaution they recommend as our understanding of the pandemic evolves, in addition to following regulations from state and federal officials. We have no evidence of an influx of seasonal residents returning to Chautauqua from more densely populated areas.

Regular updates will be provided below. Please see the CDC's COVID-19 guidance for information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

 
Continue reading

Institution Offices and Operations Closed Thursday, Feb. 27

Due to inclement weather and the Blizzard Warning issued by the National Weather Service, most of Chautauqua's offices and operations will be closed today, Thursday, Feb. 27. Afterwords Café is closed. The Chautauqua Bookstore is open but may close early. The Fitness Center is open but classes are canceled. The Ticket Office is closed.

Continue reading

Update on Constable Status for Chautauqua Police

Dear Chautauquans,

I am writing to provide an update on the status of our efforts to achieve Constable status for the officers of the Chautauqua Institution Police Department. This follows communications over the past couple months regarding a change in their “special deputy” status through the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.

It's my pleasure to report that, at a meeting Monday night of the Town of Chautauqua Board, the Board voted to approve a new law establishing a town constabulary and authorized Supervisor Don Emhardt to sign our agreement making our police department personnel the Town of Chautauqua constables.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Golf Club Master Plan Calls for Restoration of Original Donald Ross Vision

golfclubsmall

Chautauqua Institution’s Chautauqua Golf Club now has a master plan that offers a menu of suggestions for consideration as Institution leaders consider the future of this nationally recognized asset. The 36-hole club includes the Lake Course, which was designed by legendary Scottish golf course architect Donald J. Ross in the early 1920s, and the Hill Course, designed by Xen Hassenplug in the mid 1980s. 

Continue reading

Chautauqua Community Mourns Passing of Jim Lehrer

Lehrer

We were heartbroken to hear the news yesterday that Jim Lehrer, the legendary PBS NewsHour anchor and dear friend of Chautauqua, passed away at the age of 85.

After first appearing on the Amphitheater stage in 2009 during a week on “The History of Liberty,” Lehrer returned to Chautauqua in 2010 in conversation with Roger Rosenblatt. In 2012, Lehrer moderated an entire week of conversations on “What Informed Voters Need to Know,” ahead of that year’s presidential election. 

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Chautauqua Opera Company's 2020 Opera Festival

Screen-Shot-2020-01-16-at-12.18.58-PM

Chautauqua Institution has been awarded a $15,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2020 Opera Festival, entitled “The Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote.”

As part of Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week summer assembly season, Chautauqua Opera Company produces more than 30 operatic events, including three mainstage operas. The company’s 2020 season celebrates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with a trio of operas, each of which revolves around a powerful female figure who is fighting to forge her own path and have her voice heard.

Continue reading

Sony Ton-Aime Named Director of Literary Arts

SonyTonAime_portrait_web

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Sony Ton-Aime to the position of director of literary arts, effective Jan. 13, 2020. A poet, teaching artist and arts administrator, Ton-Aime is currently program operation coordinator for Lake Erie Ink, a Cleveland-based literary arts organization, and worked previously with Chautauqua Literary Arts in 2018 and 2019 at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center and Poetry Makerspace.

Continue reading

Season's Greetings from Chautauqua

Whatever warms your heart and makes you smile, may you experience it in abundance this holiday season. From all of us at Chautauqua, season's greetings!

Continue reading

Joshua Stafford Named Interim Chautauqua Institution Organist

Josh_Stafford__0174_web-cop_20191216-135556_1

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Joshua Stafford as its organist for the 2020 summer assembly season. In this interim capacity, Stafford, an internationally renowned and award-winning organist and native of neighboring Jamestown, will succeed his mentor and teacher, the late Jared Jacobsen, as the principal performer on the Institution’s historic Massey Memorial Organ. 

“We are so fortunate to have someone of Josh’s talent and stature ready to step into this vital position, already as a member of the Chautauqua family, at a time when our community is healing from Jared’s deeply felt loss,” said the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, vice president of religion and senior pastor.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution to Celebrate Giving Tuesday on December 3 with Special Match Opportunity, Trustee Challenge through December 15

GivingTuesday_Graphics_2019_news

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Chautauqua Institution again joins individuals, families and organizations from all 50 states and in countries around the world for Giving Tuesday. This growing, global movement celebrates the collective gifts shared in community with one another. At Chautauqua, these are gifts of artistic expression, lifelong learning, multi-generational experiences and treasured moments that lift up the best of human values.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution Launches 2019 Winter Village at Chautauqua

WinterVillage_121017_DM_15

Continuing a tradition launched in 2017, Chautauqua Institution will host the annual Winter Village at Chautauqua on two holiday weekends in 2019: Nov. 29–Dec. 1, following Thanksgiving, and Dec. 21–22, just before Christmas. The festivities will highlight on-grounds shopping and dining, and include special events such as wine and food pairing dinners, classes in holiday decoration-making, Breakfast with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and other seasonal activities.

Continue reading

Stuart Chafetz Named Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra's First-ever Principal Pops Conductor

0704_July4th_Pops_BCH_22

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Stuart Chafetz as its first-ever principal pops conductor of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Chafetz, the CSO's longtime principal timpanist, has served for more than a decade in a guest pops conductor capacity for the ensemble, including leading the popular annual Independence Day Celebration.

Continue reading

Recently Retired Chautauqua Institution Chief of Police Al Akin Lays Wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Alan Akin, who for more than 40 years served as chief of police at Chautauqua Institution until his retirement earlier this month, participated on Sunday, Oct. 20, in the ceremonial wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Akin was selected for this honor by members of the United States Army Field Band, which frequently performs free concerts at Chautauqua, in recognition of his decades of service to the Chautauqua community, ensuring the safety and security of residents, patrons and distinguished guests. Akin laid a wreath in memory of his cousin, Theodore W. Johnson, of Westfield, a U.S. Air Force first lieutenant who was killed in action in Vietnam.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Arts Education Receives Kennedy Center Contract for School Residencies Program

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has awarded a contract to Chautauqua Arts Education to continue Chautauqua Institution’s school residencies program, providing nearly $18,000 in support of the Institution’s work in Chautauqua County for students with disabilities.

These programs began in 2014, providing residencies at area BOCES Educational Centers, and have grown to provide eight residencies in 2019–20, including at LoGuidice, Hewes and Chautauqua Lake BOCES educational centers, Chautauqua Lake Central School, Southwestern Central School District, Love Elementary and Washington Middle schools in the Jamestown Public Schools, and Little Seeds Pre-School in Jamestown.

Continue reading

Four Join Board of Trustees; New Leadership Assumes Office

Chautauqua Institution’s Board of Trustees elected Izumi Hara, Terrance N. Horner Jr., Sarah Hagen McWilliams and Richard R. Wade to four-year terms of service at the body’s final meeting of the 2019 season on Aug. 24. The new class officially begins their terms today, Tuesday, Oct. 1, along with newly elected chair Candace (Candy) Littell Maxwell, whose appointment was approved at the board’s May 4 meeting, and Marnette Perry, who was elected as vice chair at the August meeting.

“As I begin my first term as chair, it is an honor to welcome these brilliant new voices to our trustee table, and to build on the remarkable work and devoted service of those colleagues who have come before us,” Maxwell said. “I’m excited to welcome four individuals as accomplished and credentialed as Izumi, Terry, Sarah and Dick to help Chautauqua realize the promise of opportunities outlined in our new strategic plan.”

Continue reading

Chautauqua Welcomes Fall with October Festival, Oct. 4–5

Fall_fest_w_beer_instead_of_wine_glass

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce it will host a special October Festival on Oct. 4 and 5, 2019, featuring Oktoberfest-inspired events and activities to celebrate the beginning of fall on its picturesque lakeside grounds. Festivities will include German-style food, hay rides, axe throwing and other seasonal activities, and there is no charge for admission or parking. A special package is available at the Athenaeum Hotel for guests who wish to stay the full weekend, through Sunday morning.

The Chautauqua October Festival kicks off on Friday, Oct. 4, with a three-course German-inspired tasting menu at the Athenaeum Hotel. The hotel’s lounge will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight, and entertainment before and after dinner will be provided by The Shotskis, a five-piece ensemble that plays German classics and party songs, from 4 to 6 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. Reservations for Friday’s dinner can be made at fall.chq.org.

Then, from 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, the festivities move to Bestor Plaza, Chautauqua’s town square. Alongside German-style food, drinks and adult beverages at the Brick Walk Cafe, a mix of family-friendly and adult-oriented activities will include hay rides, bobbing for apples, a bounce house, pumpkin painting, and axe throwing by AXEWAGON. See fall.chq.org for a full list. Fees apply for food and drinks and for some activities.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Community Mourns Passing of Jared Jacobsen

06XX16_sacredsongpreview_text

Dear Friends of Chautauqua Institution:

We learned yesterday of the tragic passing of our beloved Jared Jacobsen, Chautauqua’s organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music for nearly 25 years, and someone who proudly proclaimed himself a lifelong Chautauquan. Jared was involved in a car accident in Geneva, Ohio.

While we await formal word of Jared’s wishes, we know our community is grieving this unspeakable loss. Many have described Jared and the music he masterfully created with the iconic Massey Memorial Organ at the Chautauqua Amphitheater as the “heart and soul” of Chautauqua. This sentiment speaks not only to Jared’s talent, but of his ever-presence during our summer assembly season, his untiring love for music, and his generous willingness to share his passions with Chautauquans across generations. His music ushered in each day, heralded the noontime and afternoon hours, and closed each Sunday evening of the summer assembly, keeping the time of a timeless community.

Continue reading

Three Taps of the Gavel Address: ‘Camp Meeting Commences’

082519_Closing_ThreeTaps_DM_03

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed Chautauquans gathered for the season's final Sacred Song Service with the traditional Three Taps of the Gavel Address to close the 2019 Chautauqua Assembly on Sunday. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below. (Photo by Dave Munch, Chautauqua Institution multimedia producer)


“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
—T.S. Eliot

Our organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music, Jared Jacobsen, has dubbed this evening “Camp Meeting is Over” and The Chautauquan Daily headline reminded me that my job tonight is to declare that this is so. This final Sacred Song Service each summer season lends itself well to this narrative. The day’s sun has slipped beneath the horizon, hints of autumn can be felt in the air, and our beloved Amphitheater is far too empty. The Saturday crowds have left the grounds and a new group has not come to take up residence on “change over day.” And the likelihood that a gentle bark from one of our furry puppy Chautauquans will puncture the proceedings is far less than it was just a few nights ago.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution Plans Post-Season Programs

fall_bestor-plaza_CHQ3399

Consistent with aspirations outlined in Chautauqua Institution’s new strategic plan, 150 Forward, officials have announced plans for Fall 2019 programs that expand upon the Institution’s normal fall and winter activities and offerings.

From the close of the summer assembly on Sunday, Aug. 25, through the month of October (potentially as long as Nov. 15, weather permitting), the Athenaeum Hotel will remain open and available for daily, weekly or extended bookings, offering breakfast for overnight guests. The Athenaeum’s Lobby Lounge will also be open noon to 8 p.m. daily, offering club sandwiches, burgers, soup, salad, appetizers and beverages. The Brick Walk Cafe will be open weekends 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the Coffee Gazebo open 7 a.m. to noon. Daily breakfast and lunch service at the Afterwords Café will continue throughout the fall, winter and spring months.

Continue reading