News & Announcements

Fr. Richard Rohr, Jon Meacham, Martha S. Jones, Joshua Bell, David Treuer Headline Week Eight of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Eight of its 2020 season. The week, which begins Aug. 15 and concludes Aug. 22, features presentations released on the new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Eight includes globally recognized ecumenical teacher Fr. Richard Rohr; presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham; legal and cultural historian Martha S. Jones; celebrated violinist Joshua Bell; and 2019 National Book Award finalist author David Treuer. 

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Eight focuses on “Reframing the Constitution,” in which the 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series examines whether 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. 

The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series program showcases Rohr, the Franciscan mystic, theologian and movement-maker, presenting a four-day series titled “Reframing Our Journey: A Week with Fr. Richard Rohr.” Rohr moved Chautauqua audiences in droves during his 2019 residency, and he returns via CHQ Assembly to help citizens more intentionally think about how they are reframing their own journey. 

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Brian Greene, Adrienne Lafrance, Flynn Coleman, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Petina Gappah Headline Week Seven of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Seven of its 2020 season. The week, which begins Aug. 8 and concludes Aug. 15, features presentations released on the new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Seven includes theoretical physicist Brian Greene; editor and journalist Adrienne LaFrance; writer and human rights attorney Flynn Coleman; author Maurice Carlos Ruffin; and author and 2020 Chautauqua Prize winner Petina Gappah. 

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Seven focuses on “The Science of Us,” and how 21st-century science, and now a global pandemic, are disrupting our social and historical understandings of how “us” happens and who “we” are — as communities, demographies, families, nations and a human race. The 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series take a deep dive on America’s understanding of itself and how scientific developments are now informing that perspective. 

The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series is themed “The Spirituality of Us,” in which we explore how the spirit of the world’s traditions continues to communicate essential wisdom and to weave tapestries of spiritual truth that help to define “us.”   

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Kirk Stauffer named Director of Golf at Chautauqua Institution

Kirk Stauffer

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Kirk Stauffer as Director of Golf, effective Wednesday, July 29. In this newly created role, made possible through philanthropy, Stauffer assumes leadership of the Chautauqua Golf Club, and is responsible for managing and continuously developing all aspects of golf operations at Chautauqua Institution.
Stauffer’s charges in the new post include providing a clear vision strategically aligned with 150 Forward, the Institution’s strategic plan, and the parallel Campus and Golf Club master plans; identifying additional sales and marketing opportunities; ensuring consistent delivery of customer service excellence; and maximizing revenue and profitability. Areas of direct oversight also include the Chautauqua Golf Club’s Pro Shop and Learning Center; course maintenance operations; food, beverage and banquet facility (The Double Eagle); and locker rooms and other golf facilities administration.

“We were grateful to receive a considerable response to our posting for this position, and fortunate to consider strong candidates from all manner of backgrounds and experience levels,” said Director of Recreation Meg Pickard, who oversees all recreation operations at Chautauqua Institution. “In addition to his remarkable accomplishments as a professional golfer, Kirk became our top choice thanks to his track record of care for his patrons and guests, and particularly his passion for introducing newcomers to golf and fostering their love for the game. We’re excited to see how his leadership inspires the continued elevation of our already highly regarded playing conditions and customer service.”

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Jeb Bush, Sir Ken Robinson, Diane Ravitch, Beloved Chautauqua Community Traditions Headline Week Six of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Six of its 2020 season. The week, which begins Aug. 1 and concludes Aug. 8, features presentations released on the new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Six includes renowned guests such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; world-renowned educational leader Ken Robinson; education historian and researcher Diane Ravitch; and a number of beloved Chautauqua community traditions recreated in the CHQ Assembly space in lieu of in-person celebrations. 

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Six focuses on “Rebuilding Public Education,” a topic that assumes even more urgency as local, state and national leaders reach critical decision points on how to best and most safely provide an education for students and essential services for families. The 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series will also look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020 election, to help us understand how we might build more integrated and equitable public schools and best prepare our children for careers and as citizens in a rapidly changing world.

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Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Joan Chittister, Valarie Kaur, Mirabai Starr, Elaine Weiss, Carol Jenkins, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul Headline Week Five of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Five of its 2020 season. The week, which begins July 25 and concludes Aug. 5, features presentations released on the new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Five includes renowned guests such as former U.S. senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; author and activist from nearby Erie, Pennsylvania, Sr. Joan Chittister; celebrated filmmaker Valarie Kaur; award-winning journalist Elaine Weiss; co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality Carol Jenkins; and New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Five commemorates “The Women’s Vote Centennial and Beyond,” as Chautauqua joins the nation in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Lecturers will consider those who were left out of the mainstream suffrage movement, examine the slow progress toward gender equality in the United States, and bring forward relevant lessons from the fight for women’s suffrage and apply them to ongoing battles for equality. The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series is themed “The Feminine Spirit,” exploring how the feminine charisms are juxtaposed with the masculine charisms in this emerging era.

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Nicholas Thompson, Rana El Kaliouby, Michael Sandel, Rabbi David Wolpe Headline Week Four of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Four of its 2020 season. The week, which begins July 18 and concludes July 25, features presentations released on the new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Four includes renowned guests such as Wired Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson; computer scientist and entrepreneur Rana el Kaliouby; Harvard political philosopher and bestselling author Michael Sandel; and one of America’s most influential rabbis, David Wolpe.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Four examines “The Ethics of Tech: Scientific, Corporate and Personal Responsibility,” in which speakers in the 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series program explore the tremendous and sometimes harmful impact Big Tech companies and their products have on society. The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series is themed “Ethics in a Technologically Transforming World?” which will examine the ethical, spiritual and religious dimensions of “new tech.” Is it a step away from our own spiritual growth or can it be harnessed to create greater understanding?

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Chautauqua Wins National “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” USA TODAY Contest

Chautauqua Wins National “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” USA TODAY Contest

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Voters in the latest USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest have spoken: Chautauqua, New York, boasts America’s “Best Small Town Cultural Scene.” The announcement was made at 10best.com at 12 p.m. EDT today.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Chautauqua to win this national contest, especially among such an amazing array of fellow nominees. We’re so grateful to all of our dedicated community members here in Chautauqua County and all over the country for helping in this effort,” said Michael E. Hill, president of Chautauqua Institution. “We’re immensely proud of the cultural scene we provide at Chautauqua Institution: We explore the best in human values and uplift art and voices that our world needs to see and hear. This is further affirmation that the work we do matters.”
Town of Chautauqua Supervisor Don Emhardt agrees. “This recognition is extra special because it suggests Chautauqua is not only a great place to visit, but it’s also a wonderful place to live year-round,” Emhardt said.

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Anna Deavere Smith, Fr. Greg Boyle, Darren Walker, Paula Kerger, Gina Chavez Headline Week Three Of The 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Three of its 2020 season. The week, which begins July 11 and concludes July 19, features presentations released on the brand-new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Three includes renowned guests such as actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith; popular priest and Homeboy Industries founder Fr. Greg Boyle; Ford Foundation President Darren Walker; PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger; and 12-time Austin Music award winner Gina Chavez.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Three examines “Art and Democracy,” in which speakers in the 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series program explore the role of art and artists in an active democracy — how they’re able to raise the social consciousness, challenge the status quo and engage communities large and small toward meaningful action. The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series is themed “Art: A Glimpse into the Divine,” which will explore how art underlies and underlines the commonalities of human existence. 

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Ben Folds, Ruth Marcus, Cedric Alexander, David Rohde Headline Week Two of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Two of its 2020 season. The week, which begins July 4 and concludes July 11, features presentations released on the brand-new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Two includes renowned guests such as multiplatinum singer-songwriter Ben Folds; expert analyst on 21st-century policing Cedric L. Alexander; Washington Post opinion editor and author Ruth Marcus; and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Rohde.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Two examines “Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives,” in which speakers in the 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series program explore how we are influenced in ways we often do not know or understand, by people, algorithms and nature. The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series is themed “Forces that Shape Our Daily Lives: The Contemporary Search for Spirituality,” tracing the evolution of modern faith traditions, and seeking common ground between adherents and so-called “nones” who don’t identify with a mainstream religion, but of whom many are indeed on a journey seeking spirituality and meaning. 

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From the President: You're Invited to CHQ Assembly

CHQ Assembly

Chautauqua Proudly Launches the New Online Expression of Its Mission

Dear Chautauquans,

It is with great enthusiasm that I invite you to join us for CHQ Assembly, the online expression of Chautauqua’s mission that will host our 2020 Summer Assembly programs and experiences — and keep us connected and engaged year-round.

CHQ Assembly creates a way for us to gather and engage this summer for the 147th Chautauqua Assembly, when we are unable to attend Chautauqua face-to-face due to COVID-19 concerns. It is composed of five separate but interconnected digital properties — think of them as online venues — where video content, online conversations, master and enrichment classes, and virtual experiences will be offered and presented.

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Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2020 New Play Workshop Series to be Broadcast Online

Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2020 New Play Workshop Series to be Broadcast Online

Chautauqua Institution’s New CHQ Assembly Platform to Feature Works by Charly Evon Simpson and Heather Raffo

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Borba and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy, will preserve its commitment to new work development by presenting virtual workshops of Charly Evon Simpson’s it’s not a trip it’s a journey, directed by Nicole A. Watson, on July 15, and Heather Raffo’s Tomorrow Will Be Sunday (working title), directed by Jenny Koons, on July 22. Both New Play Workshop performances will be offered at no cost; viewers will be encouraged to provide a donation to benefit Chautauqua Institution’s Arts Education initiatives in local schools.

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Chautauqua Opera Company reinvents 2020 season to live on CHQ Assembly

Chautauqua Opera Company 2020 Season

Virtual Young Artist Program and nine weeks of digital operatic content to be released on Chautauqua Institution’s new online platform

The Chautauqua Opera Company, following the suspension of all face-to-face programming at Chautauqua Institution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been working diligently to rebuild a socially distanced 2020 company this summer. Honoring the company’s commitment to support the artists and artisans who were to make up the physical 2020 company, Chautauqua Opera has engaged more than 40 company members who will come together virtually to create nine weeks of digital operatic content. In addition to creating digital content, Chautauqua Opera will support and foster the growth of the 20 Young Artists who were engaged for the 2020 season by creating a virtual Young Artist Program, which will provide these artists with opportunities for connection, coaching, and mentorship with professionals in the field and Chautauqua Opera staff.

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Online Opera Chat: Tosca

Tosca

On April 28, Chautauqua Opera held their third online preview event for the 2020 Season, which they are calling Opera Chats. This conversation featured Steven Osgood (General and Artistic Director) and Sarah Ina Meyers (stage director) talking about the opera Tosca.

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Chautauqua Institution to Offer Online Programs in Lieu of In-Person Programming

Chautauqua Institution’s Board of Trustees Friday voted unanimously to approve a resolution that calls for no in-person programming on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution for the summer of 2020. Depending on government and public health regulations and guidelines, the Institution may operate a limited range of facilities and services, such as dock installation and service, recreation facilities, and food service, targeted for property owners. 

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Online Opera Chat: Thumbprint

Thumbprint

On April 14, Chautauqua Opera held their second of four online preview events for the 2020 Season, which they are calling Opera Chats. This conversation featured Steven Osgood (General and Artistic Director), Omer Ben Seadia (stage director), Kamala Sankaram (composer) and Susan Yankowitz (librettist) talking about the opera Thumbprint. Two more Opera Chats are scheduled during April and May, and more information can be found at chq.org/opera-chats

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Online Opera Chats: The Mother of Us All

MotherOfUsAll

On March 24, Chautauqua Opera held their first of four online preview events for the 2020 Season, which they are calling Opera Chats. The first conversation featured Steven Osgood, General and Artistic Director, and Keturah Stickann, stage director, talking about the opera The Mother of Us All, by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein. Three more Opera Chats are scheduled during April and May, and more information can be found at chq.org/opera-chats.

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One Man, Two Names: Commedia dell’Arte Archetypes in One Man, Two Guvnors

Capitano

One Man, Two Guvnors, directed by Andrew Borba, is playing July 26-August 11 at Bratton Theater, as part of Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2019 season. Tickets are available here.

Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors reimagines Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece, A Servant of Two Masters, setting the story in Britain in the 1960s. Though the characters in One Man, Two Guvnors have different names than their commedia counterparts, they serve a similar function within the story. Commedia characters were based on archetypes, making them recognizable to audiences from show to show. Below is a selection of One Man, Two Guvnors characters, and their commedia analogs.

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One Man, Two Guvnors Dramaturgy: Skiffle & The Rise of the Beatles

TheaterBlog_1M2G_2

One Man, Two Guvnors, directed by Andrew Borba, is playing July 26–August 11 at Bratton Theater, as part of Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2019 season. Tickets are available here.

One Man Two Guvnors features a number of standard farce elements — slamming doors, mistaken identities, aggressive horseplay. Perhaps its most distinguishing feature is that it features a live four-piece skiffle band. In fact, the plot centers on the show’s protagonist, Francis, looking for work after he’s booted as the band’s trombone player. If misery loves company, Francis is in good hands as Pete Best was famously fired from the skiffle band that went on to become The Beatles. But what is skiffle anyway.

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How the Light Gets In Dramaturgy: The Art of Japanese Gardens

Japanese Garden

How the Light Gets In, directed by Emilie Beck, is playing July 18-20 at Bratton Theater, as part of Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2019 season. Tickets are available here.

How the Light Gets In is set in a Japanese style garden in America. First developed as a place of reflection in the 6th century, gardens have long been a staple of Japanese art. The garden tradition has roots in the Shinto faith and was later influenced by the rise of Buddhism as well as by Chinese gardening techniques.

Over time, Japanese gardens evolved to take on many different forms. Tea gardens were first introduced in the Momoyama period (1185-1573), while larger Zen rock gardens became popular during the Edo period (1615-1867). Today, the three main styles of traditional Japanese gardens are the Karesansui (rock/dry/Zen garden), Tsukiyama (hill and pond garden), and Chaniwa (tea garden), each of which carries meaning. The garden in How the Light Gets In is a chaniwa; one of the play’s central conflicts involves the construction of a chashitsu, or tea ceremony house, in the garden.

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How the Light Gets In: An Interview with Playwright E. M. Lewis

EM-Lewis-playwright---2018-_20190723-131620_1

How the Light Gets In, by directed by Emilie Beck will play July 18-20 at Bratton Theater, as part of Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2019 season. Tickets are available here.

What was your original inspiration for this piece?                                                                       

How the Light Gets In is a very personal play. I was writing Grace’s journey through the crisis she faces as I was taking my own.                                                               

Do you have a defined process for how you write a new play or is it different for every piece?                                                                       

Every play I’ve written has had its own process. Some have taken years to research and write (like my Antarctic epic Magellanica). Others force me to carry a notebook everywhere, because the words are clamoring in my head so loudly and I can’t write fast enough! Some of my plays are big and socio-political, some are more intimate and personal.... I try to figure out what each play needs.

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