News & Announcements

From the President: Update on 2021 Planning

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Chautauqua Theater Company Announces Stori Ayers as new Associate Artistic Director

Stori Ayers in CTC's Detroit 67

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Borba and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy, today announced the appointment of Stori Ayers as Associate Artistic Director. 

Ayers has been an integral part of the CTC community since 2017, first arriving as a guest actor in Detroit ’67, and returning in 2018 and 2019 as assistant director on An Octoroon, Into the Breeches! and One Man, Two Guvnors. In 2019, she also appeared in CTC’s production of The Christians. For CTC’s virtual 2020 Season, Ayers became the Conservatory Liaison, overseeing a conservatory of 33 actors and designers as well as teaching. In her new role as Associate Artistic Director, Ayers will work with Borba on planning future seasons; inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) work; and conservatory growth. She will also continue to direct and act.

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Two National Leaders Join Chautauqua Institution Board Of Trustees

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Helene Gayle, David Peckinpaugh Begin Terms Oct. 1

Chautauqua Institution’s Board of Trustees elected Dr. Helene D. Gayle and David Peckinpaugh to four-year terms of service at the body’s final meeting of the 2020 season on Aug. 29. The new trustee class officially begins its term on Oct. 1. 

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Samantha Power, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Henrietta Fore, Sandra Cisneros, Partnership With UN Foundation, Headline Week Nine of the 2020 CHQ Assembly

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Nine of its 2020 season. The week, which begins Aug. 22 and concludes Aug. 30, features presentations released on the new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. Week Nine features former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen; UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore; celebrated author Sandra Cisneros; and a program partnership with the UN Foundation, as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the United Nations.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Nine focuses on “The Future We Want, The World We Need: Collective Action for Tomorrow’s Challenges,” in which the 10:45 a.m. EDT Chautauqua Lecture Series partners with the UN Foundation to consider how we can work together to better prepare for our global future. The inquiry will include what we can learn from international communities and partnerships driving innovative solutions to global issues, identifying tools that communities can use to learn from one another and drive collective action.

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Introducing the Jefferson Project to Chautauqua Lake

One of two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-built vertical profilers that will be installed on Chautauqua Lake in late-August (Source: Rick Relyea).

The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) is pleased to announce that The Jefferson Project at Lake George, a state-of-the-art program for water quality and Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) research, will be introduced to Chautauqua Lake in 2020.  In partnership with the Chautauqua County Government and Chautauqua Institution, the Alliance has finalized the arrangements to bring The Jefferson Project Team from Lake George to Chautauqua Lake later this month. 

The Jefferson Project is a collaboration of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and The FUND for Lake George, which employs a sophisticated technological approach to studying fresh water, with a goal of understanding the impact of human activity on fresh water, and how to mitigate those effects.

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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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Chautauqua Institution Launches New Platform That Brings In-Demand Arts, Culture and Education Content To Your Home

146-year tradition will continue with launch of CHQ Assembly; 2020 summer lineup includes Ben Folds, Jon Meacham, Sir Ken Robinson, Brian Greene, and others

90-day free trial provides access to robust lineup of guest lecturers, performing and visual arts, events, and more

To coincide with the commencement of the summer season, Chautauqua Institution is today announcing the official launch of a brand-new digital collective called CHQ Assembly. This collection of five digital platforms will extend the Institution’s high-caliber programming beyond its Chautauqua Lake campus and engage participants across the U.S. year-round by removing geographic, cultural, social, economic, generational and class barriers to engagement at a pivotal time in our country.

For 146 years, Chautauqua Institution has gathered members and visitors for a summer schedule of in-person and hands-on programming that centers on the most critical issues of the day through lectures, classes, arts and entertainment, and recreation. In lieu of a physical assembly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the interactive CHQ Assembly collective will continue to provide access to dynamic content experiences that explore the very best in human values and enrichment through education and conversation.

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Chautauqua Institution and Mather Announce Partnership

Collaboration Will Enrich and Enhance Lives of Those 55+

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y., and EVANSTON, ILL.— Recognizing the opportunity of collaboration to better reach and serve the nation’s 55-plus population, Chautauqua Institution and Mather, a nearly 80-year-old not-for-profit organization, have entered into partnership to jointly pursue research and programming to engage and enrich lives.

The partnership is composed of three primary components: connecting communities for enriching online engagement; conducting research to inform services and support to adults 55-plus; and sharing research findings via online programming.

“This partnership signals the opportunities before us now that we will have a robust online expression of Chautauqua’s mission,” said Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work in new and exciting ways with an organization of Mather’s distinction that also has a mission that is perfectly aligned with ours.”

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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 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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