News & Announcements

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.”   

The Rev. Casey Baggott and the Rev. Robert Baggott will serve as guest chaplains for the week. They will participate in services at 10:45 a.m. EDT Sunday and at 9:15 a.m. EDT weekday. The pair are currently co-interim ministers at First Congregational U.C.C. in Glencoe, Minnesota. 

Further details on all programs, including where to access them within the suite of CHQ Assembly platforms, are available at



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Brian Greene details how mankind got to this point and where it’s heading. One of the world’s leading theoretical physicists, Greene’s most recent book is Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe. Greene offers some perspective of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of the future. 

Interfaith Lecture Series: The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author, teacher, Episcopal priest and emerita professor of religion at Piedmont College. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, released in 2019.  



Chautauqua Lecture Series: To be announced. 

Interfaith Lecture Series: Rabbi Naomi Levy will weave tapestries of spiritual truth that reveal the spirituality of “us” from a Jewish perspective. Levy is the founder of Nashuva, a groundbreaking Jewish outreach community, based in Los Angeles. 



Chautauqua Lecture Series: In a special presentation in partnership with the Chautauqua Women’s Club, Adrienne LaFrance details the impact of misinformation and conspiracy theories. LaFrance is the executive editor of The Atlantic. She wrote the magazine’s June cover story about the conspiracy theory known as QAnon. 

Interfaith Lecture Series: Kent Nerburn looks to bridge the gap between Native and non-Native cultures. Nerburn is the author and editor of 16 books on spiritual values and Native American themes, including the groundbreaking creative nonfiction book Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Journalist Angela Saini discusses her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science. Saini is an award-winning science journalist, author and broadcaster. Superior, which tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and the Foyles Book of the Year. 

Interfaith Lecture SeriesIngrid Mattson looks at Islamic interfaith relations and studies. Mattson is a Muslim religious leader, a scholar of Islamic Studies, and an expert in interfaith relations. Since 2012 she has held the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at Western University in London, Canada. 



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Writer Flynn Coleman examines the impact intelligent technology will have on humanity and how we can thrive as we move into our brave new world. Coleman, is a writer, international human rights attorney, professor and social innovator, and author of A Human Algorithm.  

Interfaith Fridays: Chautauqua continues its Interfaith Fridays series, this week featuring a Sufi perspective from Kainat Felicia Norton and Muinuddin Charles Smith. Norton and Smith are senior Sufi teachers, retreat guides, and interfaith ministers within the Inayati Sufi Order. Together they founded and facilitate the Light of Guidance Center for Sufi Studies in New York City. 



Aside from daily lectures, Week Seven features a variety of artistic offerings across the CHQ Assembly platforms. 

4 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 10 • Chautauqua Chamber Music: Chautauqua partners with PUBLIQuartet for Week Seven’s Chautauqua Chamber Music series. PUBLIQuartet features a modern interpretation of chamber music, making them one of the most dynamic artists of their generation and are dedicated to presenting new works for string quartet. 

5 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 10 • Cocktails, Concerts and ConversationsChautauqua Opera Company’s Steven Osgood and guest host Daniel Belcher provide a musical performance followed by conversation. Featured Young Artists include Michael Colman, Aaren Rivard and Wan Zhao. 

5 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 11 • Cocktails, Concerts and Conversations: The world-renowned and visionary company Pilobolus will be represented by co-artistic directors Renee Jaworski and Matt Kent alongside Chautauqua Dance Artistic Advisor Sasha Janes for an evening of conversation about the company’s career. 

8:15 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 11 • Into the Music with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra:  CSO presents “Where'd They Get that Paper?” with CSO principal second violinist Diane Bruce, cellist Peter Anderegg, and two frequent CSO substitutes, violist Carrie Fischer and violinist Leslie Anderegg. The ensemble will perform string quartet masterpieces by Haydn, Saint-Georges, Beethoven, Ravel and Joplin, and explore how composers marketed their works and made income from their compositions in various ways. 

5 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 13 • Cocktails, Concerts and Conversations: The “Recitals with Rossen” series features world-renowned cellist Pablo Ferrández, whose emotional intensity and personality on stage have wowed audiences around the globe, in conversation with CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov. 

6 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 13 • Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Rebroadcasts: The CSO reairs performances of Wagner and Rachmaninoff from performances on July 7 and Aug. 8, 2019.  



3:30 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 10: Author Petina Gappah will be presented the 2020 Chautauqua Prize for her book Out of Darkness, Shining Light, a captivating story of those who carried explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingstone’s body across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England.  

3:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 11: The Chautauqua Women's Club Contemporary Issues Forum features Beth Fouhy, senior editor of politics at NBC News and MSNBC, with a lecture titled "Politics, Protests and a Pandemic: How the 2020 Election Has Been Transformed." 

3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 12: George W. “Mac” McCarthy, president and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, continues the African American Heritage House Lecture Series. 

3:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 13Maurice Carlos Ruffin presents his book We Cast a Shadow, a keen satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. At its center is a father who just wants his son to thrive in a broken world. Ruffin was a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and the winner of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for Novel-in-Progress.  

3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 14: Continuing the Heritage Lecture Series, Jon Schmitz, Chautauqua’s archivist and historian, will introduce a 1923 film of a pageant at Chautauqua, performed by Chautauquans, which was created at the request of Anna Pennybacker, president of the Chautauqua Women’s Club. 



Chautauqua’s Mystic Heart Meditation Program offers community members daily meditation sessions at 8 a.m. EDT and 1 p.m. EDT throughout the week. 

Chautauqua community members will have further opportunities for entertainment and engagement through the Virtual Porch,, including events such as Brown Bag lectures and webinars with Institution leadership. 



A complimentary gate pass is required to access the grounds during our 2020 season, whether for a day visit or an extended stay. Guests must order passes via phone (716-357-6250) or through our online ticketing portal. Visit The Main Gate Welcome Center is not open to the public. All residents and guests must follow New York state regulations and advisories regarding travel from out of state, quarantine, social distancing and wearing cloth facecoverings. 



Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution’s mission.