News & Announcements

Chautauqua School of Dance to Engage Students Online in 2020 

Chautauqua Institution today announced its School of Dance will present a four-week intensive online program for the summer of 2020.

The Chautauqua Online School of Dance will present valued aspects of the traditional School of Dance program alongside new programming designed to explore and take advantage of the virtual learning environment. The online experience is aligned with Chautauqua Institution’s decision to move its programming online in 2020 in lieu of in-person gatherings, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Chautauqua Online School of Dance is structured to provide key elements of technical development along with innovative approaches to community-building to inspire student growth as artists this summer and beyond. Students will have the unique opportunity for our dancers to have access to renowned artistic directors such as Alonzo King, Julie Kent, Peter Boal and Paul Vasterling. 

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Chautauqua School of Music to Engage Students Online in 2020 

Chautauqua Institution today announced its School of Music will present a four-week intensive online program for the summer of 2020.

The Chautauqua Online School of Music will present valued aspects of the traditional School of Music program alongside new programming designed to explore and take advantage of the virtual learning environment. The online experience is aligned with Chautauqua Institution’s decision to move its programming online in 2020 in lieu of in-person gatherings, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Chautauqua Online School of Music is structured to provide key elements of musical development along with innovative approaches to community-building to inspire student growth as artists this summer and beyond.  Each week will feature themes relevant to artist development, including “Innovation and the 21st Century Musician,” “Artistic Development and Personal Wellness,” “Arts Career Development and Enhancement” and “Conversations with CHQ Distinguished Alumni.”  

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

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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. 

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Chautauqua Community Mourns Passing of Jim Lehrer

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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. 

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

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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.

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Sony Ton-Aime Named Director of Literary Arts

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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.

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Joshua Stafford Named Interim Chautauqua Institution Organist

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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.

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

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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.

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Chautauqua Institution Launches 2019 Winter Village at Chautauqua

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Chautauqua Institution Plans Post-Season Programs

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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.

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Chautauqua Institution Inaugurates the Leon and Gloria Plevin Family Museum Lecture Series

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Chautauqua Institution this week launches a new endowed lecture series with a presentation by Jill Snyder, Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa Cleveland), at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 28, in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution. This event is free and open to the public. 

The Leon and Gloria Plevin Family Museum Director Lecture Series was established to present the unique personal and professional perspectives of institutional leaders from around the country by examining the innovations, challenges, and changing landscapes of museums today. This new endowment for the visual arts was established in honor of the late Leon Plevin, Gloria Plevin’s husband, who was an advocate and supporter of visual arts, especially at Chautauqua and in Cleveland, where Gloria and her family spent most of their lives.    

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Anjali Sachdeva's "All the Names They Used for God" Wins 2019 Chautauqua Prize

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Author Will Give Public Reading at Chautauqua Institution on Aug. 16

Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce Anjali Sachdeva’s All the Names They Used for God: Stories (Spiegel & Grau) as the 2019 winner of The Chautauqua Prize.

As author of the winning book, Sachdeva receives $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a summer residency at Chautauqua from Aug. 12 to 16, 2019. A public reading will take place at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, in the Hall of Philosophy on the Institution’s grounds. 

Sachdeva said she was “incredibly grateful for all Chautauqua Institution has done to celebrate the arts and their potential to enrich our lives. To me, the Prize represents not only an amazing honor, but key support that will help me to continue writing.” 

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Pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk to Replace Daniil Trifonov for Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra June 27 Concert

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Performance Opens 90th Anniversary Season, 2019 Russian Festival

Chautauqua Institution today announced that celebrated pianist Daniil Trifonov will be unable to join the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra for its Opening Night performance on June 27, 2019.

A representative for Trifonov shared the following statement:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Daniil Trifonov is unable to leave Europe as planned to fulfill his commitment to Chautauqua. He withdraws with sadness because he has really looked forward to making music in such a special and beautiful place. He looks forward to a return engagement in the near future.

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Chautauqua Golf Club Receives National Accolades from Golf Advisor


Golf WebLake Course Named to Top Five U.S. Publicly Assessible Courses Rated by Playing Conditions

The Chautauqua Golf Club’s Lake Course has been named one of Golf Advisor’s Best of 2018, ranking No. 5 in the website’s listing of the publicly accessible courses that delivered the best playing conditions. The national recognition, released at GolfAdvisor.com earlier this month, is based on feedback from the website's community of reviewers. In its listing of Chautauqua Golf Club, Golf Advisor highlights one review from a golfer who praises each of the club’s 18-hole courses, the Lake Course and the Hill Course, stating, "Both courses [were] in excellent shape, and I don't mean for a public course. They would presently rival most country clubs in the Buffalo area right now." Many other reviews posted at GolfAdvisor.com also specifically applaud Chautauqua Golf Club’s excellent playing conditions.

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Leland Lewis Named General Manager of Chautauqua Hotel Company, Inc.

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill today announced the appointment of Leland M. Lewis as general manager of Chautauqua Hotel Company, Inc., which includes the historic Athenaeum Hotel and all of the Institution’s dining and lodging services, effective Nov. 12. An experienced senior executive in the hospitality industry, Lewis has served as interim general manager since August.

As general manager, Lewis is responsible for all aspects of the Chautauqua Hotel Company’s operations, including delivery of an exceptional guest experience. In partnership with Chautauqua Institution leadership, and in support of and service to the Chautauqua mission, he serves as the primary strategic business leader while directing and mentoring a team to assure the highest level of service and performance. In the interim role, Lewis had already made a number of operational and strategic changes at the Athenaeum Hotel, including experimenting with regular fall hours at the hotel’s new lobby lounge and enhancing the building’s physical aesthetic and amenities. He also was charged with leading searches to hire for several key leadership positions within the hotel’s staff.

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Chautauqua Institution Launches 2018 Winter Village at Chautauqua

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Continuing a new tradition launched last year, Chautauqua Institution will host the 2018 Winter Village at Chautauqua on selected weekends starting Nov. 23 through New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. The festivities will highlight on-grounds shopping and dining, and include special events such as musical performances, wine and food pairing dinners, Breakfast with Santa, horse-drawn carriage and sleigh rides, and other seasonal activities.

The 2018 Winter Village kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, when the holiday lights and displays on Bestor Plaza will be illuminated for the first time of the season. On-ground shops and restaurants will be invited to stay open late that night, and holiday music will fill the plaza. Santa will arrive on a horse-drawn carriage to signal the launch of Chautauqua’s Winter Village and the holiday season. Highlights of opening weekend include wine tasting and small plates, Holiday Story Time at the Smith Memorial Library and Lloyd’s Food Truck and holiday beer selections.

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Piano Program is Focus of New Endowment

Clarkson DonorGeorge Heintzelman and Margaret Clarkson have endowed the position of Artistic Advisor and Artist-in-Residence in Chautauqua’s Piano Program, currently held by Alexander Gavrylyuk. Gavrylyuk’s position has been named the Heintzelman Family Artistic Advisor of the School of Music Piano Program, as he continues to work closely with co-chairs of the program, Nicola (Nikki) Melville and John Milbauer. The Heintzelman family’s gift is also supporting an extension of the program from five to six weeks beginning in 2019.

George Heintzelman has been coming to Chautauqua on a nearly annual basis since the summer of 1982. “I remember my parents and my two sisters came for a week when I was 12,” he said, “and we often stayed with our grandparents here.” In 2010, Heintzelman and Clarkson, who live on Long Island, bought a house on Warren Avenue, and George’s parents, his two sisters, and their children began coming together as a family for two weeks each summer. 

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