Week Four: Chautauqua Institution Presents Geopolitics Today

Charlotte Ballet

Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Four of its 2017 season. The week, which begins today and concludes July 22, features presentations by renowned guests such as the pastor and author Isaac Canales, U.S. foreign policy experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, author Sandra Cisneros and storyteller Garrison Keillor.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week summer season features morning and afternoon lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. The morning lecture series will take place at 10:45 a.m. Monday through Friday in the Amphitheater. Held in partnership with CSIS, the Week Four theme “Geopolitics Today” focuses on identifying and discussing the world’s greatest challenges — from climate change to terrorism.

The Interfaith Lecture Series, at 2 p.m. weekdays in the Hall of Philosophy, explores the theme “Religion and Statecraft Today: The Soft Power of Global Peacemaking” Lecturers this week come from a variety of organizations exploring and pursuing peace through interfaith dialogue in an increasingly globalized world. Increasingly, interfaith traditions are promoting new paradigms for conflict transformation, understanding and collaboration through promising practices, rituals, visions and ideals. This we week will learn from organizations and individuals who are exploring and practicing these emerging paradigms for global peacemaking, reconciliation and enhancing the quality of life.

The Rev. Isaac Canales will serve as the ecumenical guest chaplain for the week. Heis the senior pastor of the Mission Ebenezer Family Church in Carson, California, a dynamic urban ministry 3,000 members strong. He served Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years, after which he resigned to serve for more than five years as president of the historic Latin American Bible Institute (LABI, founded in 1926).


Morning: Kathleen Hicks is senior vice president, Henry A. Kissinger Chair and director of the International Security Program at CSIS and a frequent writer and lecturer on U.S. foreign policy; national security strategy, forces and budget; and strategic futures. She previously served in the Department of Defense as principal deputy under secretary for policy, a Senate-confirmed position with responsibility for assisting in the development and oversight of global and regional defense policy, strategy and operations.

Afternoon: Larry L. Greenfield is executive director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the largest and the most historic convening organization of the interfaith movement, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. He is an ordained clergyperson in the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. He serves on the boards of numerous ecumenical and interfaith organizations and chairs the board of trustees of the Baptist Theological Union at the University of Chicago Divinity School.


Morning: Christopher K. Johnson is a senior adviser and holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS. An accomplished Asian affairs specialist, he spent nearly two decades serving in the U.S. government’s intelligence and foreign affairs communities. Johnson served as an intelligence liaison to two secretaries of state and their deputies on worldwide security issues, and in 2011 was awarded the U.S. Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for outstanding support to then-Secretary Hillary Clinton and her senior staff.

Afternoon: Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., and the former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland. He has served as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and was the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Ahmed is also filmmaker and author of more than a dozen award-winning books. At 3:30 p.m., following his lecture, he will be showing his documentary “Journey into Europe” in the Hall of Christ.


Morning: Jon B. Alterman is a senior vice president, holds the Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and is director of the Middle East Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS in 2002, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Alterman is the author or co-author of four books on the Middle East and the editor of five more. In addition to his academic work, he is a frequent commentator in print, on radio and on television. His opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and other major publications.

Afternoon: William F. Vendley is secretary general of Religions for Peace International and a member of its World Council, which consists of 60 senior religious leaders from all continents. Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace by working to advance multi-religious consensus on positive aspects of peace as well as concrete actions to stop war, help eliminate extreme poverty and protect the earth. He coordinates the activities and projects of Religions for Peace in 90 national and five regional councils.


Morning: As director of the Energy and National Security Program, Sarah Ladislaw leads CSIS’s work in energy policy, market and technology analysis. An expert in U.S. energy policy, global oil and natural gas markets, and climate change, Ladislaw has authored numerous publications on the geopolitics of energy, energy security and climate change, low-carbon pathways, and a wide variety of issues on U.S. energy policy, regulation and market dynamics. Additionally, she has spearheaded new work at CSIS on climate change, the electricity sector and energy technology development.

Afternoon: Jan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology at Emory University since January 2007, is an internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas and a scholar of world politics, particularly issues of religion and politics, conflict transformation and globalization. She has been a lay leader at state, national and international levels since she was in high school, including representing The United Methodist Church (UMC) on the World Council of Churches from 1975 to 2006, and serving on the boards of several United Methodist agencies. From 2004 to 2006, Love was the chief executive officer of United Methodist Women, the largest denominational women’s organization.


Morning: Denise E. Zheng is a senior fellow and director of the Technology Policy Program at CSIS, where her work is focused on cyber and emerging technology issues. Prior to CSIS, she served as chief of staff and lead science and engineering technical adviser as a contractor for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) foundational cyber warfare program, Plan X. Before DARPA, Zheng was director for global government relations and cybersecurity policy at CA Technologies, where she advised company executives on cybersecurity, supply chains and software assurance issues. In addition to writing on technology and cybersecurity issues, she has also authored reports on U.S.-China relations and soft power, and civil space policy issues. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Afternoon: Daryl Weinert is associate vice president for research at the University of Michigan, overseeing the administrative and business functions of the University’s $1.4 billion research enterprise, including budget, finance, human resources, shared services and communications. Since 2012 Weinert has served as chair of the board of trustees for Youth For Understanding USA. YFU is one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected student exchange organizations. It is a non-profit international educational organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., with programs in over 60 countries around the globe. Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill, former president and CEO of YFU, will join Weinert in conversation.

Additional Lectures

3:30 p.m. Thursday, Hall of Philosophy: Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist and essayist, whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, Chicago’s Fifth Star Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award, in addition to the American Book Award. She is the founder of Macondo Writers Workshop and the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation. Cisneros visits Chautauqua this week to discuss her book “The House on Mango Street,” the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection of the week.

Amphitheater Entertainment

Aside from the daily lectures, Week Four features a variety of evening entertainment programs at the Amphitheater.

The Chautauqua School of Dance Student Gala takes place at 2:30 p.m., today. Chautauqua is recognized as having one of the finest summer dance programs in the United States. This Student Gala gives Chautauqua an opportunity to see, first hand, the talent, dedication and grace of these incredible young people.

The Music School Festival Orchestra performs at 8:15 p.m., Monday. Music Director Timothy Muffitt serves as the conductor. The evening’s program features Jean Sibelius’ “En Saga,” Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Claude Debussy’s “Le Mer.” Tickets are $43.

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s performance “Very Wagner: From Valkyries to Valhalla” takes place at 8:15 p.m., Tuesday. Rossen Milanov serves as the conductor. The evening’s program features Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walkurre, “Forest Murmurs” from Siegfried, “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey and Funeral Music” from GGotterdammerng and “Entry of the Gods into Valhalla” from Das Rheingold. Tickets are $20.

At 8:15 p.m., Wednesday, July, 19, Charlotte Ballet in Residence presents an evening of innovative and exciting dance. World-premiere choreography will highlight an evening of the dramatic and fanciful in contemporary dance. Tickets are $20.

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performs again this week at 8:15 p.m., Thursday. Milanov serves as the conductor and Bella Hristova as the violinist. The evening’s program features Astor Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47. Tickets are $43. A pre-performance lecture will take place at 6:45 p.m. in the Hurlbut Church sanctuary.

“An Evening with Garrison Keillor” takes place at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Heard by millions of listeners on his iconic public radio show A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor continues to walk and talk the best of Americana. Blending poetry, song and his famous down-to-earth musings about life in the American Midwest, the masterful storyteller captivates audiences across the country with his unique gift of observation in intimate, solo performances. Tickets are $43-73. Preferred seating is available.

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra presents an inter-arts collaborative performance with the Chautauqua Theater Company at 8:15 p.m., Saturday. The artists will combine their talents on composer Derek Bermel’s new “Mango Suite,” a 45- to 50-minute symphonic work inspired by Sandra Cisneros’ short novel “The House on Mango Street.” The CSO program also features Leonard Bernstein’s “Fancy Free,” and Milanov serves as the conductor. Tickets are $43. A pre-performance lecture will take place at 6:45 p.m. in the Hurlbut Church sanctuary.

Alternative Entertainment Options

Chautauqua Theater Company closes its run of Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” with 2:15 p.m. performances Saturday and Sunday in Bratton Theater. The piece is a roller-coaster, side-splittingly funny look at theatre — both onstage and off — as a hapless troupe of actors attempt to mount a dreadful, ill-fated farce of a play. Tickets are $35. Chautauqua Theater Company stages its first production of “Detroit ’67” at 8 p.m., Friday in Bratton Theater. Written by Dominique Morisseau, a 2016 Obie Award Winner and the 2014 recipient of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, this moving, sharp-eyed drama filled with the iconic music of the time, explores the resilience of one family’s – and one American city’s — survival. Tickets are $35. Additional productions will take place Saturday and Sunday at 2:15 p.m and during the following week.

The Chautauqua Winds perform at 4 p.m., Monday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall as part of Chautauqua’s Logan Chamber Music Series.

Chinese acrobat Li Liu performs at 5 and 7 p.m., Tuesday in Smith Wilkes Hall. In this one-woman acrobatic performance, Liu performs hand balancing, plate spinning, artistic cycling, ribbon dancing, diabolo, foot juggling and Chinese Kung Fu fan manipulation. A limited number of volunteers get to join her on stage to create an impromptu ribbon dance, and also to try their hand at plate spinning. Celebrate Chinese culture as Liu teaches Chinese phrases and brings ancient rituals to life. This is a free family event; free passes can be picked up at the Main Gate Welcome Center.

Gate Pass Information

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $24. Afternoon tickets grant access from noon-8 p.m. for $17. Combined morning/afternoon passes allow access from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and cost $41. Evening passes grant access from 4 p.m. to midnight with the cost varying based on the evening entertainment. For tickets and information, visit chqtickets.com or call 357-6250.

About Chautauqua Institution

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. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue.