Chautauqua Institution News & Announcements

Prayers for Pittsburgh, from Chautauqua

Chautauquan Daily photo by Ruby Wallau

Dear Chautauquans,

We were all shocked and horrified by the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this past Saturday. A faith community, a city and a nation mourn and grieve and, as a community, all at Chautauqua stand with them and you in prayer and togetherness. To our Jewish brothers and sisters and our Pittsburgh neighbors: May you feel the warm, global embrace of your Chautauqua family as together we seek out a path for healing. And as we remember the lives lost and begin to heal from this unthinkable tragedy, all too common in these troubled times, let us renew our collective commitment to sowing more love, kindness and compassion in our neighborhoods and world.

May the names of those who have lost their lives be long remembered …

Shalom,
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Michael E. Hill
President

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Community Update on Chautauqua Lake Conservation Efforts

Dear Chautauqua Institution Property Owners and Other Interested Citizens:

Thank you for your continued attention to and concern for the health of Chautauqua Lake, which is fundamental to the livelihood of Chautauqua Institution, our community and our neighbors all around the lake shore. I write today to share the latest developments in our efforts to ensure responsible conservation of the lake.

At a hearing on Oct. 25 in Erie County, State Supreme Court Justice Donna M. Siwek asked attorneys for Chautauqua Institution, the Town of Ellery and Chautauqua Lake Partnership to encourage their clients to pursue mediation as a potential means of resolving the litigation regarding the Chautauqua Lake Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Justice Siwek suggested the mediation involve representatives of the named parties, their counsel and mutually agreed upon legal and technical consultants to attempt to work through the disagreements on the content and sufficiency of the SEIS. Attorneys for Chautauqua Institution immediately indicated willingness to participate in mediation.

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Chautauqua Lake Advocates Learn from the Lake George Experience

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In order to benefit from the lake and watershed conservation experience of another lake community in New York, Chautauqua Lake stakeholders including representatives of Chautauqua Institution, SUNY Fredonia, and Chautauqua County government earlier this month visited Lake George, New York, where an innovative new model for lake and watershed management is working to save and maintain one of New York’s most famous lakes. Lake George has faced similar environmental concerns as Chautauqua Lake and most of New York’s fresh waters, including the negative impacts of human activity in its watershed and infestations of aquatic invasive species.

The Chautauqua group on Oct. 10 spent a full day with the leaders and researchers of the Jefferson Project, a public-private partnership that uses sound, validated science to spur decisions that have greatly improved the lake’s health and water quality.

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The Nonprofit Crystal Ball: What Does the Future Hold?

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Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed the annual Nonprofit Networking Day conference hosted on Oct. 17, 2018, by the Cattaraugus Community Foundation at St. Bonaventure University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be with you for this gathering of some of the most important leaders in our region. The nonprofit sector is not only an important economic and social driver in communities across our nation, but I believe this sector also represents the heart and soul of our communities.

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Athenaeum Hotel Hosts Farm-to-Table Culinary Getaway Weekend, Oct. 19-21

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Package Includes Meals, Demonstrations and Workshops Showcasing Fall in Chautauqua County and Region

The Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce its 2018 Farm-to-Table Culinary Getaway Weekend, Oct. 19–21. Food and fall lovers are invited to spend the weekend at the Athenaeum Hotel and enjoy exquisite locally sourced cuisine, hands-on workshops and the beauty of Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua County in the fall.

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Matt Ewalt Named Vice President in Institution Leadership Reorganization

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Matt Ewalt, who has served Chautauqua as chief of staff at Chautauqua Institution since 2017, has been named vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education. In this role, Ewalt will continue to lead the 10:45 a.m. lecture platform and theme development work, and will also oversee education, youth, and literary arts programs.

The change comes as part of a reorganization to, in part, better resource the lecture platform and theme development work. David Griffith’s contract as vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education ended as part of this reorganization.

“Following a thorough organizational analysis, which included input from members of the Board of Trustees as well as outside organizational experts, it was determined that we needed to change the way Chautauqua Institution is staffed at the executive level to address a number of priorities,” said Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill. “We are grateful to David Griffith for his service over the past year, during which we achieved increased engagement in youth programs and exciting new partnerships and programs in education and the literary arts.”

The Institution will seek to fill the now-vacant chief of staff position, responsible for implementation and monitoring of the Institution’s strategic plan, and will be creating a new position to oversee development of youth programs, under Ewalt’s leadership.

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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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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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