News & Announcements

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.

The 2 p.m. EDT Interfaith Lecture Series program, similarly titled “The Future We Want, The World We Need,” examines what needs to change, what can change, and what do we and all peoples actually need — not only to survive, but to sustain life and to thrive — in an evolving world. 

Pastor Ben Cachiaras will serve as guest chaplain for the week, participating in services at 10:45 a.m. EDT Sunday and at 9:15 a.m. EDT each weekday. Cachiaras has served since 1997 as lead pastor with Mountain Christian Church located on the outer reaches of Baltimore, Maryland.

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



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Elizabeth Cousens opens Chautauqua’s week of programs in partnership with the UN Foundation. Cousens became the UN Foundation’s third president and CEO in January, and is now leading the Foundation’s next generation of work to support the United Nations. 

Interfaith Lecture Series: Minerva G. Carcaño begins the final week of the Interfaith Lecture Series. Carcaño is bishop of the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves on the Council on Foreign Relations Religious Advisory Committee.



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Fabrizio Hochschild discusses efforts to celebrate the United Nations’ 75th anniversary. Hochschild serves as under-secretary-general and special adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Interfaith Lecture Series: The Rev. Mitri Raheb will share his vision for his fellow Palestinians to not only survive but thrive. Raheb is co-founder of Bright Stars of Bethlehem and president of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, Palestine. 



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Rachel Bowen Pittman explores her commitment to the idea that individuals, when brought together and motivated around a common vision, can be strong catalysts for change. Pittman is the executive director of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. 

Interfaith Lecture Series:  Jeremy Ben-Ami provides an update on Israeli-Palestinian relations. Ben-Ami president of J Street, bringing to the role both deep experience in American politics and government and a passionate commitment to the state of Israel.



Chautauqua Lecture Series:  Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s seventh executive director, provides insight based on a career that spans four decades dealing with economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership. 

Interfaith Lecture Series: Robert J. Wicks, professor emeritus at Loyola University Maryland, will speak calm into chaos as he has for more than 35 years teaching and speaking on resilience, self-care, maintaining a healthy perspective and the prevention of secondary stress (the pressures encountered in reaching out to others). 



Chautauqua Lecture Series: Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, closes the week and caps the CLS program for the 2020 Assembly. Power is a leading voice internationally for principled American engagement in the world.

Interfaith Fridays: Chautauqua completes its 2020 Interfaith Fridays series, this week featuring a Sikh perspective from Satpal Singh, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.



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

4 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 24 • Chautauqua Chamber Music: Chautauqua features the Ying Quartet for Week Nine’s Chautauqua Chamber Music series. The Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet occupies a position of unique prominence in the classical music world, combining brilliantly communicative performances with a fearlessly imaginative view of chamber music in today's world.

5 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 24 • Cocktails, Concerts and ConversationsChautauqua Opera Company’s Steven Osgood and guest host Todd Thomas provide a musical performance followed by conversation. Featured Young Artists include John David Nevergall and Jake Skipworth.

8:15 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 27 • Cocktails, Concerts and Conversations: A special conversation with writer Sandra Cisneros and composer Derek Bermel accompanied by selected excerpts recorded during Chautauqua’s 2017 world premiere of Mango Suite, an inter-arts work based on Cisneros’ classic novel, The House on Mango Street.

5 p.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 28 • Cocktails, Concerts and Conversations: Attend an online evening of chamber music and conversation with violinist Joshua Bell and Larisa Martínez. Bell’s career spans more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor and director. Martínez made her Kennedy Center recital debut in September 2019 and her Carnegie Hall debut In October 2019 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman.



3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 22: Bryant Day marks the beginning of the reading year. Originally, it was held in the fall; this ceremony commemorates William Cullen Bryant’s interest in, and encouragement of, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in 1878. Traditionally, at the end of the brief service, the Bryant Bell in the Miller Bell Tower is rung by graduates of the CLSC, particularly the newest members from this year’s class. Some CLSC selections for next year will be announced as well.

3:30 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 24: A panel discussion titled “Belonging and Placemaking for Equitable Communities of the Future,” will be presented by Week Nine program sponsor Erie Insurance. In this thought-provoking discussion, three changemakers in Erie, Pennsylvania, will explore how community-building, the arts and education drive solutions towards a more equitable future for the Northwest Pennsylvania region and beyond. Panelists include Patrick Fisher, executive director of Erie Arts & Culture; Tesha L. Nesbit, who leads the Diversity & Inclusion discipline in 12 states and Washington, D.C., for Erie Insurance Group; and Leslie C. Sotomayor, an artist, curator and professor in art education and women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

3:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 25: The Chautauqua Women’s Club Contemporary Issues Forum features Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs and director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College.

6:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 25: Chautauqua Visual Arts (CVA) hosts a weekly public lecture series of luminaries who will share their current projects and discuss relevant topics of the day. This week features artist Seph Rodney, a writer, editor and museum scholar who lives and works in the Bronx.

3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 26:  James Johnson concludes the season’s African American Heritage House Lecture Series with a presentation titled “Leading and Managing in an Era of Disruptive Demographics and Certain-Uncertainty.” Johnson is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and director at the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the University of North Carolina.

3:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 27: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen presents The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, a collection of original essays by writers from around the world, and a compelling look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge.

3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 28: Concluding the 2020 Heritage Lecture Series, Jon Schmitz, Chautauqua’s archivist and historian, and Emálee Krulish, assistant archivist, will showcase 10 people who came to Chautauqua and went on to do great things.  



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.