Chautauqua: Week Eight

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi

CHAUTAUQUA — Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce the program lineup for Week Eight of its 2018 season. The week, which began Saturday and concludes Friday, features presentations by renowned guests such as Equal Justice Initiative Executive Director Bryan Stephenson, Kent State University President Beverly J. Warren, popular singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, celebrated violinist Joshua Bell and renowned civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features morning and afternoon lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Eight seeks to examine history, with the theme “The Forgotten: History and Memory in the 21st Century.” Lectures on the 10:45 a.m. Amphitheater platform will look to our history and to the communities, movements and ideas existing at the fringes in our world today. This meeting of the past and present hinges upon what — and who — we must remember. The 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Series in the Hall of Philosophy in Week Eight honors the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and looks to explore his forgotten lessons in the theme “Not to Be Forgotten: A Remembrance on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The Rev. Irene Monroe will serve as ecumenical guest chaplain for the week. Monroe, an ordained minister and motivational speaker, speaks for a sector of society that is frequently invisible. A founder and now member emeritus of the National Black Justice Coalition, she is the co-host of WGBH’s “All Rev’d Up!”


Morning: Sara J. Bloomfield is director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a global institution that raises Holocaust awareness, deepens understanding of the lessons of the Holocaust, confronts denial and advances genocide prevention. She was the first recipient of the Jan Karski Award of the Anti-Defamation League’s Washington chapter.

ABBA: The Concert continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling audiences with energetic performances of ABBA’s iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,”and “Dancing Queen.” Photo Courtesy of Chautauqua Institution

Afternoon: Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under Stephenson’s leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults.


Morning: David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, a true crime tale that unravels one of the most sinister crimes and racial injustices in American history. Grann is also the author of The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, which was a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection in 2010.

Afternoon: Peniel E. Joseph is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin. Joseph’s career focus has been on what he describes as “Black Power Studies,” which encompasses interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women’s and ethnic studies and political science.


Beverly J. Warren

Morning: Beverly J. Warren is the president of Kent State University. As the 50th anniversary of May 4, 1970, approaches, Warren is spearheading the university’s global exploration of the resulting lessons, learnings and remembrances in a journey toward becoming a vanguard of peaceful resolution and a champion of civil discourse.

Afternoon: Ruby Nell Sales is a public theologian, historian, activist, social critic and educator who has made the struggle for racial justice one of the centerpieces of her work. She directs the SpiritHouse Project, which in 2016 introduced Hope Zones, alternative learning spaces designed to strengthen the hope, courage, reason and will of young people.


Morning: Abby Smith Rumsey is a writer and historian focusing on the creation, preservation and use of the cultural record in all media. She is the author of When We are No More: How Digital Memory Will Shape Our Future. For over a decade, she worked with the Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program to develop a strategy to identify, collect and preserve digital content of long-term value.

Afternoon: Drew Dellinger is an internationally known speaker, poet, writer and teacher whose research, writing and speaking on King and interrelatedness has been influential in recovering and highlighting ecological and cosmological dimensions of his philosophy.

Sara J. Bloomfield


Morning: One of the foremost civil rights, religious and political figures of our time, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is the founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo, the highest civilian honors, respectively, in the United States and South Africa. He will be joined in conversation by the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, the former director of religion at Chautauqua Institution.

Afternoon: The Interfaith Friday series continues with the Rev. Joel Hunter, representing Evangelical Christianity. He serves as the chairman of the Community Resource Network, a nonprofit organization he founded that focuses on helping the marginalized — specifically, homeless families. He is also the chairman of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.



Bryan Stevenson

2 p.m. Saturday, Hall of Philosophy: Barbara Mikulski, former U.S. senator from Maryland and longest-serving woman in the history of the Congress, will deliver a lecture titled “The First of Many: Building a Zone of Civility.” Sponsored by the Chautauqua Women’s Club, this event is part of the Contemporary Issues Forum.

4 p.m. Monday, Hall of Philosophy: Volker Benkert is an assistant professor of history at Arizona State University. His research focuses on history and memory of both totalitarian regimes on German soil. He is the author of Gluckskinder der Einheit Berlin 2017 (Children of Communism).

3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Hall of Philosophy: Paisley Rekdal will deliver the CLSC Author Presentation on her book The Broken Country.



David Grann

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

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will perform with the Nashville Ballet at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. Grant Cooper will conduct and Joel Ayau will be the solo pianist.

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, audiences can see firsthand the talent, dedication and grace of the students of the Chautauqua School of Dance in their final afternoon gala of the season.

At 8:15 p.m. Monday, the Music School Festival Orchestra, directed by Timothy Muffitt, will perform and showcase Chautauqua’s top-quality orchestral student talent for the final time in 2018.

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday with guest conductor Gemma New and solo cellist Johannes Moser.

Stunning Chautauqua during her 2017 performance, Rhiannon Giddens returns to the Amphitheater at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday as a 2017 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. Creating a show for this special evening at Chautauqua, Giddens is joined by Francesco Turrisi — an Italian pianist, percussionist and accordionist specializing in jazz, early music and Mediterranean music. Their performance is titled “From Southern Italy to the American South: Musical Migrations.”

Academy Award-winning director Francois Girard’s 1998 film The Red Violin celebrates its 20th anniversary with violinist Joshua Bell performing the score live with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in a stop on a select anniversary tour. The Red Violin follows the intricate history of an antique violin from its creation in 1681 Cremona, Italy, to an auction house in modern-day Montreal where it draws the eye of an expert appraiser (Samuel L. Jackson).

Finally, the top ABBA tribute group in the world, ABBA: The Concert, takes the stage to close the week at 8:15 p.m. Friday.




Chautauqua Theater Company opens its run of George Brant’s Into the Breeches!, directed by Laura Kepley, on Saturday. With the men of the Oberon Play House away at war, Maggie (the artistic director’s wife) decides to take charge and direct an all-female production of Henry V. Into the Breeches! will have performances throughout Week Eight: 6 p.m. Saturday; 2:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. Tuesday; 2:15 p.m. Wednesday; 4 p.m. Thursday; and 4 p.m. Friday.

For Chautauqua Chamber Music, the Pearl Piano Quartet will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall as part of the Resident Artist Series. Then, Calidore String Quartet will perform at 4 p.m. Monday, also in Lenna Hall, as part of the Guest Artist Series.

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet will perform at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.


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 to 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 or call 716-357-6250.

The pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution 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 people visit Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages — all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. 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.

Peniel E. Joseph

Abby Smith Rumsey

Barbara Mikulski