Enriching Lives, Deepening Conversations

The Bestor Society is a community of Chautauqua's closest friends whose generous leadership support plays an instrumental role in advancing the work of Chautauqua Institution. Members enjoy unparalleled access to Institution programs, most notably exclusive receptions and luncheons with program leadership, the multi-day Scholar in Residence intensive, and other gatherings during the season and throughout the year. Those who wish to engage deeper in Chautauqua's work are encouraged to join.

Bestor Society members are committed to active engagement in Chautauqua's programs, serve as advocates and ambassadors, and help sustain the Institution's mission by amplifying our work for greater impact in shaping a better tomorrow. 

Membership provides important, unrestricted support that advances all facets of the Institution's work. Members understand the importance of curating artistic expression, the value of assembly to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and the engagement with others to convene probing conversations on important issues of the day.

Join the Bestor Society to advance and expand the work of Chautauqua Institution. Your support is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Benefits of Bestor Society Membership

  • Invitation to the annual President's Address
  • Invitation to the Scholar-in-Residence Program
  • Opportunity for invitation to select event(s) at the President's Cottage
  • Invitations to special tours and/or events hosted by CHQ's artistic directors or leadership 
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, a semi-annual publication for community leaders
  • Invitation to luncheon with select lecturer ($5,000+)

Arthur E. Bestor

Arthur E. Bestor's presidency of Chautauqua from 1915 to 1944 saw the Institution through an astonishing period of achievement and growth. Under his leadership the Institution surmounted difficulties experienced by a country during two world wars and a great depression. He realized that while persistence may have achieved his dreams, only passion would sustain them. Maintaining Chautauqua's programming, which had achieved world acclaim, would require ongoing devotion and support. More than 70 years later, the society that bears his name also shares his passion for maintaining Chautauqua's greatness. Today's builders... today's visionaries... those who care deeply about furthering the Institution's stability... form Chautauqua's Bestor Society.

Leadership Giving

While gifts of any amount are most welcome and deeply appreciated, leadership giving is a wonderful way to help sustain the delivery of the Chautauqua experience at the highest quality.


 bestor society logo with words

Presidents Club $3,500+ 
Sponsor Club $5,000+
Patron Club $10,000+
Benefactor Club $25,000+

1874society logo web

$1,874 to $3,499