News & Announcements

From the President: Update on 2021 Planning

Update on 2021 Planning
President Michael E. Hill • October 7, 2020

It is a pleasure to reach out to you today to share a brief update on our work at Chautauqua — specifically how we are planning for the 2021 Summer Assembly amid continuing uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before I do that, I want to express deep appreciation to the many Chautauquans who have provided continuing and extra philanthropic support this year, understanding that our normal revenue streams have been significantly interrupted due to the pandemic. Your gifts and thoughtful words of support and encouragement have meant so much to us. You have also helped us to focus on the future and on new initiatives, such as CHQ Assembly. Thank you for your generosity and for your untiring commitment to our mission to explore the very best in human values and the enrichment of life.  

While we are still in the process of planning the 2021 summer assembly, what I can tell you is that we are planning to host programming on the grounds next summer in addition to presenting programs online at CHQ Assembly as we did this summer. Our plan will both prioritize health and safety and be flexible to respond to changing state and federal regulations related to the pandemic.  

We are preparing to review these plans with the Board of Trustees at its November meeting, after which we will host a webinar to share more details, including when you can expect to receive additional program updates and information about pricing, gate passes, and single ticket sales. In the meantime, you can see the latest information about 2021 themes and programs scheduled to date at We already have some popular entertainment dates secured, and we will be adding more lectures and other events in the coming weeks.

Speaking of CHQ Assembly, I am hopeful you have secured your subscription — just $3.99 a month or $45 a year — so that you can take in the hundreds of programs we presented this past summer, as well as new programs we are creating every week. Later this month, we will welcome the Jazz at Lincoln Center Septet with Wynton Marsalis to Chautauqua for a 10-day residency, during which they will present concerts and conversations for CHQ Assembly. If you are in the neighborhood or can plan a visit to Chautauqua during this time, you can also take part in several very special jazz-themed dinners and brunches at the Heirloom Restaurant at the Athenaeum Hotel. The full schedule of events, including online classes with members of the Septet — is available at  

Finally, I wish to end on a personal note. Many of you may know that my fiancé Peter Korns and I had planned to be married at the Hall of Philosophy in May, a celebration that had to be delayed because of the pandemic. We had hoped to be able to reschedule that plan for late October, but that also was not possible. I am happy to tell you that we will be married by our very own Bishop Gene Robinson in an intimate backyard ceremony on Oct. 10. Thanks for the many well wishes we have received. They mean a great deal to both Peter and me and have lifted our spirits during this challenging time.

I will close with a wish for every one of you that you have the ability to seek and cherish the blessings of every day, recognizing that the challenges of today will pass. And, with your support and prayers, Chautauqua will be there to call out and lift up the very best in all of us. Of that, I am certain.

Thank you.