Week Six :: July 27–August 2

What’s Funny? In Partnership with the National Comedy Center

Come learn and laugh with us as Chautauqua Institution again partners with the National Comedy Center for a week exploring how comedy changes us and, in turn, society.

  • Comedy can do more than hold up a mirror to our world; it can, in fact, change it. We look at the potential of comedy — particularly political comedy — to change minds and influence decision-making.
  • Among the topics to explore are: What does your sense of humor reveal about you? How can we be challenged by things we don’t find funny?
  • We look at the challenging intersection of free speech, political correctness, and humor, and what we can learn from that uncomfortable space.


Interfaith Lecture Theme :: What's So Funny About Religion?

Even religion can have its less serious side, and in this week we will look for a lighter, smiling way to lift one’s heart and mind in the human enterprise that tends to take life and its meaning and purpose very seriously. Building upon our 2018 week on “The Spirituality of Play,” we will use words to play and to discover that seeing the humorous side of religion is a delightful way of joyfully leading the human to the divine. Be prepared to smile!

  • Monday, July 29, 2019 |

    Reconstructing Identities

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    June 26–July 30 | Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 26, 3–5 p.m.
    First Floor Galleries and the Angela Fowler Memorial Gallery

    Curated by Erika Diamond, Assistant Director of VACI Galleries, this exhibition features work by contemporary artists Sonya Clark, April D. Felipe, Roberto Lugo, Jiha Moon and Wendy Red Star. 

    Location: Fowler-Kellogg Art Center


  • Monday, July 29, 2019 | 09:15am

    Rev. Susan Sparks

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    Sun., July 28 at 10:45 a.m. | Mon., July 29 - Fri., Aug. 2 at 9:15 a.m.

    As a trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. 

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Monday, July 29, 2019 | 10:45am

    The Smothers Brothers

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    Tom and Dick Smothers, the groundbreaking Smothers Brothers, are the most enduring comedy duo in history, having performed together professionally since 1959.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Monday, July 29, 2019 | 02:00pm

    The Interfaith Amigos

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    Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, and Imam Jamal Rahman—now known as the Interfaith Amigos—were brought together by the tragedies of 9/11...

    Location: Hall of Philosophy


  • Monday, July 29, 2019 | 04:00pm

    Augustin Hadelich and Orion Weiss

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    Note: Due to high expected attendance, complimentary tickets MUST be obtained in advance of this event. Tickets are on a first-come basis at the Welcome Center Ticket Office which opens at 7 a.m.

    Location: Lenna Hall


  • Monday, July 29, 2019 | 08:15pm

    Alumni Dance Gala

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    The 2019 Alumni Dance Gala promises to be a spectacular evening that features former Chautauqua School of Dance students who are now prominent artists from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Atlanta Ballet.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Monday, July 29, 2019 | 10:00pm

    Chautauqua Opera Young Artist Open-Mic Night #2

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    Get to know the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists better as they present a curated concert of diverse selections in a laid-back setting.

    Location: Athenaeum Parlor