Journey Gunderson and Greg Peterson

Friday, August 04, 2017

Location Hall of Philosophy

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250

Journey Gunderson is the Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, the first national-scale non-profit cultural institution and visitor experience dedicated to comedy. The $50 million dollar public-private endeavor backed by NYS Empire State Development and I Love NY™ includes an immersive exhibit experience designed by renowned creative firms Jack Rouse Associates and Local Projects, the firm awarded the Cannes International Creativity Award for its work on the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The National Comedy Center, Inc. also produces the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York. This year Chautauqua is partnering with the Comedy Festival, which will take place take place during our Week Six.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival draws more than 10,000 attendees from more than 40 States annually, and has welcomed Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, Martin Short, Lewis Black, Ray Romano, Ellen DeGeneres and more than 100 other comedic artists. 2016 featured Trevor Noah, Brian Regan and Lewis Black, and 2017 will feature Jim Gaffigan and other performers to be named.

In May 2016, Gunderson produced, “Satire & Democracy: Empowering the Citizenry with Comedy,” a panel discussion held at the Paley Center for Media in New York featuring Lewis Black, Robert Klein, Larry Wilmore, Lizz Winstead, and Kelly Carlin in honor of George Carlin’s legacy and to commemorate the donation of his extensive archives to the National Comedy Center.

In 2015, Gunderson produced the National Comedy Center’s Groundbreaking Weekend, including “David Letterman: Behind the Scenes of Late Night’s Longest Running Broadcaster,” with Regis Philbin and the award-winning creative team from Letterman’s 33-year career, and “Carlin, Rivers, Ramis: Comedy Legacies,” featuring Melissa Rivers, Kelly Carlin and Violet and Julian Ramis, which was broadcast on SiriusXM during the launch of its new “Comedy Greats” Channel.

Journey has been named one of Buffalo Business First’s “Top-Forty-Under-Forty,” Chautauqua County’s Person of the Year, and the YWCA Women of Achievement’s “Young Leader of the Future.” In 2014, she was asked to join a nationwide panel of comedy industry professionals as a voter in NBC’s American Comedy Awards.

Prior to the Jamestown, Journey spent six years with the Women’s Sports Foundation, the most powerful women’s sports organization in the world. She served as Editorial Director and Educational Media Producer from both New York City and San Sebastian, Spain. At the WSF she co-authored the two-time National Health Award-winning GoGirlGo! Educational Curriculum, and covered ESPN’s X Games from Aspen, Colorado for three years. In her own role as an athlete, she competed in the NCAA Division III national championship tournament in volleyball in 2004, and placed 2nd in the East Coast Surfing Association’s New York State Championship, Women’s Longboard Surfing division in 2006.

A magna cum laude graduate with a B.S. in Sports Information and Communications from Ithaca College, and a recipient of the Ithaca Alumni Leadership Service Award, Journey is also part of Chautauqua’s pride, because, as granddaughter of Chautauqua’s beloved Winnie Lewellen, Journey grew up at Chautauqua and considers Chautauqua her spiritual home!  

Gregory L. Peterson leads the Chautauqua office of Phillips Lytle LLP. Well-known in Western New York and well beyond, he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and the Buffalo Business First Power 250 List.  He was an honoree of the New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel Program for Pro Bono Work; recognized by The Second Circuit Judicial Council Committee on History; a recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s Law, Youth, and Citizenship Committee Distinguished Service Award; was awarded the Toby Ticktin Back Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education, the Parker Award for Social Justice, the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Service to Humanity Award, and the Chautauqua Leadership Award; and  he is an Inductee into The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

Most Chautauquans know Greg best as the Co-Founder and Past President of the Board of Directors of the Robert H. Jackson Center, for which he has been honored widely for his significant contribution toward preserving the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson – which he has accomplished through numerous commemorative events and a prolific commitment to civic education, especially to young people. He has led conversations for many years at the Jackson Center, as well as at Turner Community Center on alternating Tuesdays during the Off- Season, and one of his legendary gifts is his skill in the “art of the interview,” through which he has amassed an extensive video library of interviews that looks like a “Who’s Who” across all interests and disciplines.

For this special time in the Hall of Philosophy, Greg will engage in a heartfelt conversation with his friend Journey Gunderson, about “The Spiritual Power of Humor.”