News & Announcements

Petina Gappah’s ‘Out of Darkness, Shining Light’ Wins 2020 Chautauqua Prize

CHQPrize-Winner_2020_SocialGraphics_FB

Author Will Give Reading as Part of Chautauqua’s 2020 Online Assembly

Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce Petina Gappah’s Out of Darkness, Shining Light (Scribner) as the 2020 winner of The Chautauqua Prize.

As author of the winning book, Gappah receives $7,500, and will be presented with the Prize — and give a public reading — during a celebratory event at a date to be determined as part of Chautauqua Institution’s online assembly season this summer.

Continue reading

Joseph Earl Thomas Wins Third Annual Chautauqua Janus Prize

Janus-Winner_2020_SocialGraphics_TW

Author Will Give Lecture, Reading as Part of Chautauqua’s 2020 Online Assembly 

Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce “Reality Marble” by Joseph Earl Thomas as the 2020 winner of the Chautauqua Janus Prize.  

As the author selected from 16 finalists by judge Hilary Plum, Thomas receives $5,000 and will present a public lecture and reading at a celebratory event at a date to be determined as part of Chautauqua Institution’s online assembly season this summer. His writing will also appear in a future issue of the literary journal Chautauqua.   

Hailing from Philadelphia, Thomas is a doctoral student in English at the University of Pennsylvania whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Offing, Gulf Coast and The Kenyon Review. Being an emerging writer, Thomas said, means “applying and submitting to hundreds of places where you feel the work might fit or be in conversation with other art you love and admire,” and he was surprised and honored for his work to be selected for the Janus Prize, “which thinks so deliberately about aesthetics and the social world simultaneously.”  

Continue reading

Seven Finalists Named for 2020 Chautauqua Prize

2020PrizeBooks_03

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce seven exceptional books as the 2020 finalists for The Chautauqua Prize, now in its ninth year:

  • Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey, by Mikhal Dekel (W.W. Norton)
  • What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance, by Carolyn Forché (Penguin Press)
  • Out of Darkness, Shining Light, by Petina Gappah (Scribner)
  • Feast Your Eyes, by Myla Goldberg (Scribner)
  • The Parisian, by Isabella Hammad (Grove Press)
  • Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, by Imani Perry (Beacon Press)
  • Bangkok Wakes to Rain, by Pitchaya Sudbanthad (Riverhead Books)

The winning book will be selected from this shortlist and announced in late May.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution to Offer Online Programs in Lieu of In-Person Programming

Chautauqua Institution’s Board of Trustees Friday voted unanimously to approve a resolution that calls for no in-person programming on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution for the summer of 2020. Depending on government and public health regulations and guidelines, the Institution may operate a limited range of facilities and services, such as dock installation and service, recreation facilities, and food service, targeted for property owners. 

Continue reading

From the President: Moving Our 2020 Assembly Online

May 2, 2020

Dear Chautauqua Family, 

I write today with a message I never conceived I would need to convey, but one that is necessary for the health, wellness and safety of our beloved community. Late yesterday our Board of Trustees decided unanimously and with moral clarity to suspend any in-person programs on our sacred Western New York grounds this summer. We will not be convening as we usually do, but rather in a new, online space, as a distributed but still tightly knit community of lifelong learners and lovers of the arts, education, interfaith and recreational programming. I invite you to read the news release at this link, and to view the above video, in which I provide a few remarks and then participate in a traditional Chautauqua Q-and-A session. Much more information will of course be shared in the coming days and weeks, but I wanted to gather with you as soon as possible after the board’s decision to hear your thoughts and to share some of my own. 

I share in the collective heartbreak and grief this decision is sure to evoke. I assure you — after weeks of careful and painstaking analysis by our amazing and dedicated staff and trustees, in consultation with governmental and other leaders and public health experts — that this is the right decision, to ensure the safety of our community, our region and our future. We are so grateful to all those within the Chautauqua community who have reached out in recent weeks to offer your counsel and expertise, or simply your heartfelt sentiments and well-wishes as we collectively confront a world-historic moment marked by uncertainty, grief and suffering.  

Continue reading

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to Perform at Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Aug. 22

0704_July4th_Pops_BCH_22

Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert Marks First-ever Performance Outside Chautauqua Grounds for 91-year-old CSO

Chautauqua Institution today announced that the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will bring its unmistakable sound and artistry to downtown Jamestown’s Reg Lenna Center for the Arts with a performance featuring the music of Aretha Franklin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. The concert is made possible by the Fund for Downtown Programming awarded through the Jamestown Local Development Corporation and made possible by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

Continue reading

(UPDATED 4/30) Outcomes of Board of Trustees meeting to be shared Saturday, May 2

2020 Season Update

On May 2, 2020, our Board of Trustees decided unanimously and with moral clarity to suspend any in-person programs on our sacred Western New York grounds this summer. We will not be convening as we usually do, but rather in a new, online space, as a distributed but still tightly knit community of lifelong learners and lovers of the arts, education, interfaith and recreational programming. View and read President Michael Hill's message to our community at chq.org/update.

Refunds
The Institution is offering full refunds for services, gate passes, Athenaeum Hotel reservations, and single event tickets. The Chautauqua Ticket Office and Athenaeum Hotel will be reaching out to patrons via email to facilitate the refund process. Patrons are asked to avoid contacting the Chautauqua Ticket Office or the Athenaeum Hotel via phone during this time as call volumes are expected to be very high, and our staffing is limited.

If you have a specific question, please email the Ticket Office at ticketoffice@chq.org and staff will respond as quickly as possible. The Institution will be posting frequently asked questions and responses on the webpage chq.org/update, where questions can also be submitted. We look forward to engaging you in a new kind of Chautauqua Assembly this summer, and to a time when we can all safely be together again. Be safe and well.

 
Continue reading

Institution Offices and Operations Closed Thursday, Feb. 27

Due to inclement weather and the Blizzard Warning issued by the National Weather Service, most of Chautauqua's offices and operations will be closed today, Thursday, Feb. 27. Afterwords Café is closed. The Chautauqua Bookstore is open but may close early. The Fitness Center is open but classes are canceled. The Ticket Office is closed.

Continue reading

Update on Constable Status for Chautauqua Police

Dear Chautauquans,

I am writing to provide an update on the status of our efforts to achieve Constable status for the officers of the Chautauqua Institution Police Department. This follows communications over the past couple months regarding a change in their “special deputy” status through the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.

It's my pleasure to report that, at a meeting Monday night of the Town of Chautauqua Board, the Board voted to approve a new law establishing a town constabulary and authorized Supervisor Don Emhardt to sign our agreement making our police department personnel the Town of Chautauqua constables.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Golf Club Master Plan Calls for Restoration of Original Donald Ross Vision

golfclubsmall

Chautauqua Institution’s Chautauqua Golf Club now has a master plan that offers a menu of suggestions for consideration as Institution leaders consider the future of this nationally recognized asset. The 36-hole club includes the Lake Course, which was designed by legendary Scottish golf course architect Donald J. Ross in the early 1920s, and the Hill Course, designed by Xen Hassenplug in the mid 1980s. 

Continue reading

Chautauqua Community Mourns Passing of Jim Lehrer

Lehrer

We were heartbroken to hear the news yesterday that Jim Lehrer, the legendary PBS NewsHour anchor and dear friend of Chautauqua, passed away at the age of 85.

After first appearing on the Amphitheater stage in 2009 during a week on “The History of Liberty,” Lehrer returned to Chautauqua in 2010 in conversation with Roger Rosenblatt. In 2012, Lehrer moderated an entire week of conversations on “What Informed Voters Need to Know,” ahead of that year’s presidential election. 

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Chautauqua Opera Company's 2020 Opera Festival

Screen-Shot-2020-01-16-at-12.18.58-PM

Chautauqua Institution has been awarded a $15,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2020 Opera Festival, entitled “The Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote.”

As part of Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week summer assembly season, Chautauqua Opera Company produces more than 30 operatic events, including three mainstage operas. The company’s 2020 season celebrates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with a trio of operas, each of which revolves around a powerful female figure who is fighting to forge her own path and have her voice heard.

Continue reading

Sony Ton-Aime Named Director of Literary Arts

SonyTonAime_portrait_web

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Sony Ton-Aime to the position of director of literary arts, effective Jan. 13, 2020. A poet, teaching artist and arts administrator, Ton-Aime is currently program operation coordinator for Lake Erie Ink, a Cleveland-based literary arts organization, and worked previously with Chautauqua Literary Arts in 2018 and 2019 at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center and Poetry Makerspace.

Continue reading

Season's Greetings from Chautauqua

Whatever warms your heart and makes you smile, may you experience it in abundance this holiday season. From all of us at Chautauqua, season's greetings!

Continue reading

Joshua Stafford Named Interim Chautauqua Institution Organist

Josh_Stafford__0174_web-cop_20191216-135556_1

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Joshua Stafford as its organist for the 2020 summer assembly season. In this interim capacity, Stafford, an internationally renowned and award-winning organist and native of neighboring Jamestown, will succeed his mentor and teacher, the late Jared Jacobsen, as the principal performer on the Institution’s historic Massey Memorial Organ. 

“We are so fortunate to have someone of Josh’s talent and stature ready to step into this vital position, already as a member of the Chautauqua family, at a time when our community is healing from Jared’s deeply felt loss,” said the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, vice president of religion and senior pastor.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution to Celebrate Giving Tuesday on December 3 with Special Match Opportunity, Trustee Challenge through December 15

GivingTuesday_Graphics_2019_news

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Chautauqua Institution again joins individuals, families and organizations from all 50 states and in countries around the world for Giving Tuesday. This growing, global movement celebrates the collective gifts shared in community with one another. At Chautauqua, these are gifts of artistic expression, lifelong learning, multi-generational experiences and treasured moments that lift up the best of human values.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Institution Launches 2019 Winter Village at Chautauqua

WinterVillage_121017_DM_15

Continuing a tradition launched in 2017, Chautauqua Institution will host the annual Winter Village at Chautauqua on two holiday weekends in 2019: Nov. 29–Dec. 1, following Thanksgiving, and Dec. 21–22, just before Christmas. The festivities will highlight on-grounds shopping and dining, and include special events such as wine and food pairing dinners, classes in holiday decoration-making, Breakfast with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and other seasonal activities.

Continue reading

Stuart Chafetz Named Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra's First-ever Principal Pops Conductor

0704_July4th_Pops_BCH_22

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Stuart Chafetz as its first-ever principal pops conductor of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Chafetz, the CSO's longtime principal timpanist, has served for more than a decade in a guest pops conductor capacity for the ensemble, including leading the popular annual Independence Day Celebration.

Continue reading

Recently Retired Chautauqua Institution Chief of Police Al Akin Lays Wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Alan Akin, who for more than 40 years served as chief of police at Chautauqua Institution until his retirement earlier this month, participated on Sunday, Oct. 20, in the ceremonial wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Akin was selected for this honor by members of the United States Army Field Band, which frequently performs free concerts at Chautauqua, in recognition of his decades of service to the Chautauqua community, ensuring the safety and security of residents, patrons and distinguished guests. Akin laid a wreath in memory of his cousin, Theodore W. Johnson, of Westfield, a U.S. Air Force first lieutenant who was killed in action in Vietnam.

Continue reading

Chautauqua Arts Education Receives Kennedy Center Contract for School Residencies Program

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has awarded a contract to Chautauqua Arts Education to continue Chautauqua Institution’s school residencies program, providing nearly $18,000 in support of the Institution’s work in Chautauqua County for students with disabilities.

These programs began in 2014, providing residencies at area BOCES Educational Centers, and have grown to provide eight residencies in 2019–20, including at LoGuidice, Hewes and Chautauqua Lake BOCES educational centers, Chautauqua Lake Central School, Southwestern Central School District, Love Elementary and Washington Middle schools in the Jamestown Public Schools, and Little Seeds Pre-School in Jamestown.

Continue reading