Chautauqua Institution News & Announcements

President Michael E. Hill Delivers Annual Closing Three Taps of the Gavel Address

Photo by Dave Munch

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed Chautauquans gathered for the season's final Sacred Song Service with the traditional Three Taps of the Gavel to close the 2018 Chautauqua Assembly. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

Tonight we share an evening surrounding a Pilgrim’s Hymn. As pilgrims, immigrants all to this sacred place, please pray with me:

Eternal Friend,
grant me an ease
to breathe deeply of this moment,
this light,
this miracle of now.

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Chautauqua Institution Presents Weeklong Food & Film Festival, Aug. 19–24

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Chautauqua Institution is pleased to host the Chautauqua Food & Film Festival from Sunday, Aug. 19, through Friday, Aug. 24, the second consecutive year Chautauqua has paired a weeklong food festival with its final week of summer programming. Film and food lovers will gather with filmmakers for a festival featuring screenings, conversations, and great food and craft beverages throughout the grounds. The Institution’s town square, Bestor Plaza, will once again come alive with a daily roster of food- and drink-themed events, from cooking demonstrations and competitions to interactive experiences and tastings prepared by the best regional restaurants, farms, wineries and breweries.

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President Michael E. Hill Delivers the President’s Address to the Bestor Society

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Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed a gathering of the Bestor Society on Aug. 5, 2018. The President's Address is traditionally the highest-profile speech the Chautauqua president delivers during the Chautauqua season. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

My heartfelt thanks to each of you for spending your Sunday afternoon here and for representing some of Chautauqua’s truest friends.

It is an honor to gather with you in this magical environment with this picturesque view of our beloved lake behind us, in the shelter of this tent to shade us from the sun, and serenaded by the exquisite sounds of a chamber ensemble that exemplifies the promise of Chautauqua and of the future of artists and artistry.

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President Michael E. Hill Delivers Remarks at the 10th Anniversary Rededication of the Everett Jewish Life Center at Chautauqua

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Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed a gathering of Chautauquans on July 31, 2018, at the rededication and 10th anniversary celebration of the Everett Jewish Life Center at Chautauqua. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

It’s a joy to be here with this esteemed group of speakers and all of you. A very special thank you today to Rich and the board of the Everett Jewish Life Center, to my friend and predecessor Tom Becker, and with an abundance of gratitude to Edith Everett and your family for bestowing on the Institution this incredible gift, which has nourished our community for the past decade and stood as a symbol of welcome.

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‘As One’ Community Day at Chautauqua: Works and Life Story of Filmmaker and Librettist Kimberly Reed Highlighted Through Film, Forums, Opera

Works by celebrated documentary filmmaker and librettist Kimberly Reed take center stage for three days at Chautauqua, starting with As One Community Day, Sunday, Aug. 5.

The Aug. 5 half-day program starts at 12:30 p.m. with a free presentation of Reed’s acclaimed autobiographical documentary Prodigal Sons at Chautauqua Cinema, located at 25 Wythe Ave. on Chautauqua’s grounds.

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Sharon Louden Named Artistic Director of Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution

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Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Sharon Louden as the artistic director and Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Chair of its resident visual arts program, VACI (Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution). In this capacity, Louden will oversee a dynamic department composed of the Chautauqua School of Art, Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg Art Centers, an artist lecture series and growing education and community engagement programs. Louden succeeds Don Kimes, who announced in November his intention to step down following the 2018 Chautauqua season.

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The Revs. Jesse Jackson, Joan Brown Campbell Join 2018 Chautauqua Lecture Lineup

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The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson to Moderate Amphitheater Conversation 

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce that the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Joan Brown Campbell will appear in a conversation moderated by the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, at the Chautauqua Amphitheater, closing a week themed "The Forgotten: History and Memory in the 21st Century."

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Institution Establishes New Podcast Featuring Conversations with High-Profile Guests

Through Partnership With WRFA, Interviews To Be Broadcast On New Program On 107.9-FM

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce the launch of its new flagship podcast, “CHQ&A,” featuring interviews with prominent guests who participate in Chautauqua's summer season of programs in the arts, education, interfaith dialogue and recreation. Now with 13 episodes available at podcast.chq.org and on most major podcast platforms, “CHQ&A” aims to provide further insight into the work and thought processes of some of the celebrated individuals who pass through the Institution’s grounds this summer.

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Chautauqua Institution Screens Documentary Film "Mother's Milk: A Film Quilt"

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Talkback with Filmmaker Larry Powell to Follow Film

As Chautauqua Institution concludes a week investigating the theme “American Identity,” the Chautauqua and surrounding communities are invited to attend a special presentation of the innovative film project “Mother’s Milk: A Film Quilt” by Larry Powell. The film (63 minutes) will be presented at 12 p.m. at Chautauqua Cinema, located at 25 Wythe Ave. on the grounds of Chautauqua. A talkback with Powell will follow the film.

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Michael Feinstein and Storm Large 'Shake and Stir' the Chautauqua Amphitheater July 13

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Chautauqua Show Will Be First For Pair This Summer

Five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein and Pink Martini’s Storm Large launch their summer 2018 “Shaken and Stirred: Classic Songs Reimagined” tour at Chautauqua Institution on Friday, July 13, 2018, in the Chautauqua Amphitheater.

Accompanied by a five-piece band, “Shaken & Stirred” will pay tribute to a wide range of artists such as Al Green, Frank Sinatra, Bill Haley, Nat King Cole, James Taylor, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Donny Hathaway and many others.

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Chautauqua Establishes Dr. Robert R. Hesse Welcome and Business Center

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Named After Institution’s 14th President, Facility to Serve as Important New Community Resource

A gift from Jane Fortune in honor of her late partner, Robert Hesse, the 14th Chautauqua Institution president, will make possible a new business center on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution in time for the organization’s 2018 summer season. The Dr. Robert R. Hesse Welcome and Business Center transforms a substantial portion of the Institution’s existing Main Gate Welcome Center into a modern, adaptable workspace that will allow those on vacation at Chautauqua to stay remotely connected to their offices.

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Chautauqua Theater Company Announces Partnerships to Bring Free, Outdoor Shakespeare to Chautauqua County

Performances June 24 – August 15

Chautauqua Theater Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Borba and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy, announces the launch of Free Will: Chautauqua Shakespeare in the Park, a new program that will bring free, public Shakespeare performances to Chautauqua Institution and venues across Chautauqua County in partnership with the City of Jamestown (as part of the Summer Performance Series at Allen Park), the Mayville / Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce (as part of the Summer Concert Series at Lakeside Park) and Southern Tier Brewing Company. Borba will direct the program’s inaugural production, As You Like It . Tickets are free and performances are open to the public.

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Poetry Takes Center Stage at Chautauqua

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A new Poetry Makerspace in Chautauqua Institution’s Colonnade will bring poetry to the everyday lives of Chautauquans throughout the entire 2018 season.

Located in the space formerly occupied by the Chautauqua Fair Trading Company, the Makerspace will host Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center  Traveling Stanzas exhibit.

The technology-infused interactive exhibit includes both analog and digital engagement tools that invite guests to create poetry from core texts selected to complement each week’s theme and arts programming. Using a poetry device similar to found poetry, or blackout poetry, an application called Emerge enables novice and established poets alike to create poems by selecting words or phrases in text that most appeal to them. They can then share their poems on social media, on video or even on a postcard that can be printed on location.

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Nicole Cuffy’s ‘Atlas of the Body’ Wins First-ever Chautauqua Janus Prize

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Author Will Give Public Lecture and Reading at Chautauqua Institution on July 25

Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce Atlas of the Body (Black Lawrence Press) by Nicole Cuffy as the 2018 winner of The Chautauqua Janus Prize. 

As the author selected from 16 finalists by judge Kazim Ali, Cuffy receives $2,500 and all travel and expenses for a summer residency at Chautauqua from July 22 to 28, 2018. A public lecture and reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, in the Athenaeum Hotel Parlor on the Institution's grounds. Her writing will also appear in a future issue of the literary journal Chautauqua.

Cuffy described her excitement about the prize’s relevance to her work, saying that “in Atlas of the Body, I asked myself what would happen if I treated prose as more pointillistic than linear — if I used narrative to offer brief islands of illumination. I am honored to be the first recipient of the Chautauqua Janus Prize, which celebrates the deconstruction of form and literary convention.”

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The Long Game of Chautauqua Lake Conservation

The following was submitted as an op-ed to Chautauqua-area media outlets on June 1, 2018.

The herbicide permits granted to the Town of Ellery and other lake municipalities recently by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to control weed growth in selected areas of Chautauqua Lake, and the process leading to the issuing of the permits, have raised significant concern among many regional citizens, including Chautauqua Institution and many of the 1,190 private property owners on the Institution grounds. Our concerns center on the general ecology and sustainability of the lake, including our dependence on it for drinking water, recreation and, more broadly, regional economic development. 

The Institution’s leadership team has closely followed and formally responded to the herbicide application process, including the Town of Ellery's application for Lead Agency Status and the related Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). In order to do so in the most responsible way possible, we hired outside scientific experts and legal counsel to advise and support our engagement in this process. Our goal has been to become informed about the perspectives of the various Chautauqua Lake organizations and municipalities, to stay up to date on the NYSDEC’s own research and investments in lake care and management, and to advocate for a collaborative, scientifically supported long-term approach to lake care and management.

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Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s The Fact of a Body Wins 2018 Chautauqua Prize

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Author Will Give Public Reading at Chautauqua Institution on August 3

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (May 21, 2018) — Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir (Flatiron Books), by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, as the 2018 winner of The Chautauqua Prize.

As author of the winning book, Marzano-Lesnevich receives $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a summer residency at Chautauqua from Aug. 1 to 6, 2018. A public reading will take place at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, in the Hall of Philosophy on the Institution’s grounds.

Marzano-Lesnevich said she was honored to receive The Chautauqua Prize, and “that the award comes from an institution with such a long history of creating space for rigorous, rewarding interdisciplinary and cross-genre dialogue makes it particularly meaningful at this moment in our national history, with our urgent need for socially engaged art.”

“I very much look forward to attending the Institution this summer, and to all the rich conversations that will unfold there,” Marzano-Lesnevich said. 

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Chautauqua Theater Company announces 2018 Mainstage Season

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An Octoroon, Airness, and Into the Breeches!

Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Borba and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy, is proud to announce mainstage programming for the 2018 summer season. The 2018 season features Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, running June 29–July 8; Airnessby Chelsea Marcantel, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody, running July 14–29; Into the Breeches!by George Brant, directed by Laura Kepley and running Aug. 11–17; Shakespeare’s As You Like It, directed by Andrew Borba and touring around Chautauqua Institution and surrounding communities; The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey, directed by CTC Artistic Associate Sarah Elizabeth Wansleyfor a special limited run, Aug. 19–21; two New Play Workshops including Untitled Russia Play by Lauren Yee and another to be announced.

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Elevating Civil and Interfaith Dialogue in Communities: Finding Common Ground in an Age of Discord

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed a gathering of Chautauquans on April 17, 2018, at South Franklin Circle in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

I bring you greetings from a Chautauqua Institution community that is preparing to remove its porch wraps and launch the Institution’s 145th season on June 23. As we busily complete a few remaining lecture and entertainment bookings, we are also in the process of inviting our community members to help us frame the next strategic plan for Chautauqua.

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Seven Finalists Named for 2018 Chautauqua Prize

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Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce seven exceptional books as the 2018 finalists for The Chautauqua Prize, now in its seventh year:

  • Salt Houses, by Hala Alyan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic, by Glenn Frankel (Bloomsbury)
  • The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading, by Anne Gisleson (Little, Brown)
  • The Wanderers, by Meg Howrey (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
  • The Signal Flame, by Andrew Krivák (Scribner)
  • The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Flatiron Books)
  • The Worlds We Think We Know, by Dalia Rosenfeld (Milkweed Editions)

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

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Chautauqua Writers’ Festival Announces VIDA Fellowships

Application window open for two festival tuition fellowships

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Literary Arts and the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival announce two new Festival Workshop Tuition Fellowships for the June 2018 workshops. The fellowships are offered in partnership with VIDA, a non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals.

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