Chautauqua Institution


Through a unique mix of professional and pre-professional programs, Chautauqua celebrates, encourages and studies the fine and performing arts in a community where artists and audiences live together as one.

The artistic diversity that is Chautauqua Institution includes the 74-member Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, drawing professional musicians from around the world for 21 concerts during the summer season.

Chautauqua Opera Company, the oldest continuously producing summer opera company in the United States, builds on its rich history with both professional performances and the education of young singers on the verge of careers in opera.

Chautauqua Theater Company brings together internationally known actors, directors, designers and writers with 19 emerging artists to produce a vibrant summer of work.

The Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution extends throughout the Chautauqua community with professional and student exhibitions in two renovated gallery facilities, a lecture series and special events.

The Chautauqua Dance program presents classical and contemporary ballet as well as modern dance performances by the Charlotte Ballet in residence and Chautauqua’s renowned School of Dance. The Chautauqua Music Festival — designated an All-Steinway Music Festival — provides a unique learning experience for students from around the world to study in the school’s instrumental, voice and piano programs.

Our Popular Entertainment events feature a dynamic mix of artists, musicians, entertainers and speakers, and attract crowds to our our 4,000-seat, open-air Amphitheater. The Family Entertainment Series features free performances each Tuesday evening (during the Chautauqua season) in Smith-Wilkes Hall. This series appeals to family members of all ages providing fun, interactive entertainment ranging from music to mime, puppetry, dance and much more. Sunday Entertainment is free at Chautauqua; your free admission to the grounds includes an afternoon show in the Amphitheater.

The Logan Chamber Music series, held in the intimate setting of Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, offers a variety of chamber music experiences each season with a diverse selection of guest ensembles of both instrumental and vocal music, ranging from medieval chant to Brahms to jazz to the contemporary music of our time.


Self-improvement through lifelong learning was at the heart of the impulse that motivated Americans and founded Chautauqua in 1874. That tradition continues today through a variety of programs aimed at the exploration and exchange of ideas in an atmosphere that encourages civil discourse.

The morning lecture series is Chautauqua’s signature program, welcoming distinguished scientists, authors, educators and other experts in fields such as arts and humanities, foreign affairs and religion, to engage with Chautauqua audiences on matters that shape our world.

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC), the oldest continuous book club in America, introduced learning by correspondence and has enrolled over a half-million readers.

Today, CLSC books address critical and ethical issues of the day through a variety of genres, with an author presenting a different book each week of the summer season.

The Chautauqua Writers’ Center brings focus to writing as an art form with nationally recognized authors in residence offering workshops, readings and lectures, as well as an annual preseason Writers’ Festival, to writers at all levels of development.

Each season, Chautauqua Institution Archives also presents its Heritage Lecture Series, which combines the research of Archives staff with notable historians and Chautauqua scholars in order to explore the rich history of Chautauqua and its effect on American culture.

Chautauqua provides a wide variety of services of worship and programs that express the Institution's Christian heritage as well as its interfaith commitment. The Institution, originally the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, was founded as an educational experiment in out-of-school, vacation learning for Sunday School teachers. While founders Lewis Miller and John Heyl Vincent were Methodists, other Protestant denominations participated from the first year onward, and today Chautauqua continues to be ecumenical — as well as interfaith — in spirit and practice.



Located on the shores of beautiful Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York, Chautauqua offers a variety of recreational opportunities that further enrich the mind, body and spirit and bring together families and the larger community.

Chautauqua’s programs for youth present a diversity of activity, in settings varied and historic. From pre-school to day camp, from sports instruction to informal youth centers, from enrichment classes to entertainment, and from reading to experiences in the arts, these programs offer opportunities to explore the Chautauqua experience. At the same time, youth are encouraged to grow in independence, make choices, take responsibility and celebrate family time, all in the safe and supportive community that is Chautauqua.


Chautauqua is holding an online talent competition.

Winners Announced!

Chautauquans from all over have shared their talents with the Chautauqua community for a chance to win! A big THANK YOU to our 38 entries and over 1,580 voters!


First PlaceSecond PlaceThird PlaceDrawing At-Large
Mallory Twist, 404 votes Dallas Marsh, 319 votes Guilia, 278 votes Bijou Miller
Untitled Children's Book
"It began like any ordinary Chautauqua morning. The beaming sun pushed its way through the curtains..."
Runners Up
Graciela 239 votes
Julia 147 votes
Gabriel 60 votes
Isabel, Julia and Charlotte 52 votes
Devin and Jimmy 27 votes
Samuel K. Jones 21 votes
Carrie 20 votes
Daniel Boutwell 18 votes
Moses Mark Howden 4 votes




  • First Place: Your choice of:
    • 4 tickets to a show of your choice this summer
    • Dinner for 4 at the Athenaeum Hotel
    • $200 Chautauqua gift card
  • Two runners up: Your choice of:
    • 2 tickets to a show of your choice.
    • $100 Chautauqua gift card
  • Winner at large: One winner of a random drawing of all submissions will receive a $75 Chautauqua gift card




Tag your submission #chqtalent and send it (text, photo, video or audio) in one of the following ways:

  1. Instagram, photo or video to @CHQ1874
  2. Facebook, post the link on the CHQ wall
  3. Email: send us text, photo or youtube video, use
  4. Tweet the link to @CHQ

ALL ENTRIES (no matter how you submit) must be tagged #chqtalent to be included in the contest.

Include your name (last name is optional) and hometown so the submissions can be identified.

Submissions will be accepted from March 14 until  April 10.

 All entries will appear on Chautauqua Instituion's website and must contain family-friendly content appropriate for all ages. Chautauqua Institution reserves the right to determine what is and is not considered family-friendly content.


MartyContestJudge.jpgJudging: Our very own Marty Merkley, vice president and director of programming at Chautauqua, will judge the submissions. Marty’s top 12 picks will be revealed on Thursday, April 10, and put to a community to vote. Voting closes at midnight, April 16. The top three picks will then be announced on Thursday, April 17.


Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will stay at Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages—all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. - See more at:


privateaccommodationsFinding accommodations should be your first priority when planning a visit to Chautauqua. All accommodations, except for the Athenaeum Hotel, are privatly owned. Seach our directory to find the perfect place to stay.

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