For 150 years, Chautauqua has made its mark on American life in a way few other institutions can claim.

As we look to our next 150 years, the possibilities that await are extraordinary.

In fact, they are

We can and we will…

Enable visitors to enjoy Chautauqua as never before through investments in the grounds and Summer Assembly season

while creating and expanding programs beyond the grounds and the season.

We can and we will…

Expand our partnerships and technology to enable richer conversations, engaging Chautauquans in new ways

while reaching audiences we never have, engaging new Chautauquans.

We can and we will…

Implement the 150 Forward Strategic Plan and elements of our visionary Master Plan

while seizing opportunities impossible to plan.

We can and we will…

Honor traditions of dialogue and connection across difference — strengths that have always defined Chautauqua —

while applying these strengths to serve our nation in this time of need.

At this historic moment, our vision calls Chautauqua to be more and do more — to fulfill our true and far-reaching potential.

Through this campaign, we are moving boldly to respond.

Campaign Goal:

$150 million

Our Aim:

To ensure Chautauqua flourishes by augmenting existing strengths and pursuing new ventures both visionary and necessary.

Our Priorities:

#1 A World-Class Experience

Making major investments in programming and facilities

#2 Expanding Our Role as a Convener

Leaning into our strengths as conversation starters and champions of civil dialogue

#3 A Thriving Chautauqua Lake

Protecting and restoring this essential treasure

#4 Endowing a Vibrant Future for Chautauqua

Achieving long-term financial stability

Priority

#1

A World-Class Experience

We are funding improvements to make the Summer Assembly truly memorable for all our patrons.

Fundraising Goal: $70 million

A World-Class Experience:

The Plan

As Chautauqua seeks to thrive in a competitive environment, our success will depend on a vibrant Summer Assembly season that will attract new patrons and make them eager to return year after year. We will invest in enriched programming, enhanced lodging and dining options, advanced technology and needed infrastructure—from housing capacity for essential seasonal staff to maintenance facilities equipped to support our historic grounds. Deepened commitments to the Chautauqua Fund will allow major investment for immediate impact.

A World-Class Experience:

Key Actions

  • Optimize the Summer Assembly by investing in strategic initiatives and capital projects that elevate both the patron experience and our ability to deliver service:
    • Hotel room rendering
    • Restore and weatherize the Athenaeum Hotel to extend its operating season, protect its infrastructure, and enable a first-class guest experience.
    • Renovate Bellinger Hall to provide upgraded student housing during the summer and affordable guest accommodations year-round.
    • Replace the maintenance facilities that occupy space adjacent to our arts facilities and fronting on Route 394 with a facility on Stedman Road that honors the dedicated employees who care for the grounds and its buildings.
    • Staff housing rendering
    • Identify and build a flexible solution to house seasonal staff during the Summer Assembly, decrease dependence on the private housing market, and establish a base of accommodations for off-season gatherings.
  • Increase annual Chautauqua Fund giving to support infrastructure and programs, from world-class speakers and preachers to residencies and new work incubation.
  • Implement new systems for ticketing, upgraded security, and other operational functions.
  • Bolster Chautauqua’s long-term sustainability by investing in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives that develop and retain a more diverse patron base, promote more inclusive programming, and ensure a more accessible guest experience.
Hotel room rendering
Staff housing rendering

Priority

#2

Expanding Our Role as a Convener

We are building on our strengths as champions of civil dialogue to extend the Chautauqua experience beyond the summer season and our historic grounds.

Fundraising Goal: $15 million

Expanding Our Role as a Convener:

The Plan

We plan to expand Chautauqua’s programming to reach diverse new audiences and provide them the chance to explore issues of pressing importance deeply and meaningfully. In doing so, we will promote a model of successful civil dialogue for a nation divided. Our goal: to fulfill our mission with greater impact and position the Institution to participate in the national conversation in larger ways.

Expanding Our Role as a Convener:

Key Actions

  • Build on the remarkable early success of our digital platform, CHQ Assembly, expanding capabilities for high-quality virtual programs.
  • Forge strategic partnerships to co-create content and co-sponsor programs, building on recent collaborations with PBS, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Geographic, and others.
  • Expand the impact of the Institution’s Climate Change Initiative, our first ongoing, multiyear and multidimensional exploration of a critical topic.
  • Establish a Chautauqua Fellows Program, a cadre of distinguished thought leaders representing Chautauqua year-round.
  • Extend the reach of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, an early pioneer in distance learning, to offer year-round enrichment through literature.
  • Pride and Prejudice performance, July 2023
  • Construct a permanent facility for the Chautauqua Theater Company that, in addition to Bratton Hall, fosters artistic collaboration at each step of the creative process, allowing writers, artists and performers to incubate new, ground-breaking work from inception to completion.
Logos for PBS, National Geographic, Erie Insurance, National Comedy Center
Pride and Prejudice performance, July 2023

Priority

#3

A Thriving Chautauqua Lake

We are helping lead partnerships to protect and restore the lake, an invaluable resource for the Institution and the region.

Fundraising Goal: $15 million

A Thriving Chautauqua Lake:

The Plan

Chautauqua Lake is essential to the Chautauqua experience, critical to the area economy—and a body of water facing serious challenges. The Institution is committed to a response combining solid science and robust cooperation among many stakeholders. Scientists from The Jefferson Project, which has provided a valuable model through its work on Lake George, are now analyzing data from Chautauqua Lake to inform a plan of action.

A Thriving Chautauqua Lake:

Key Actions

  • Extend support for The Jefferson Project, as scientists complete analysis of recently gathered data and plan next stages of work.
  • Create a full-time position within the Institution for a leader with the expertise to guide both scientific and advocacy initiatives.
  • Form a regional coalition to take joint action, pursuing “in-lake” solutions and addressing watershed-related contributing factors.
  • Invest in advocacy and coalition building, education and awareness, and remediation and restoration projects.

Priority

#4

Endowing a Vibrant Future for Chautauqua

We are achieving a new level of long-term financial stability for Chautauqua Institution.

Fundraising Goal: $50 million

Endowing a Vibrant Future for Chautauqua:

The Plan

Chautauqua’s Strategic Plan targets the goal of increasing and diversifying revenue to address critical needs and build financial resiliency. Securing greater donor investment will be essential. Today, no nonprofit like Chautauqua can thrive without strong philanthropic support. With this support, Chautauqua will be positioned to seize new opportunities and face unforeseen challenges—the potential impact of which 2020 and its ripple effects across the world have shown us clearly.

Endowing a Vibrant Future for Chautauqua:

Key Actions

  • Significantly augment the Chautauqua Foundation’s holdings, including substantial support for flexible endowment.
  • Endow programmatic leadership positions across the four pillars to ensure continuity and excellence in our core programming.
  • Secure the future of our hallmark programs by endowing programmatic excellence.
  • Endow scholarships across disciplines for students in our Schools of Performing & Visual Arts, promoting continued accessibility and cementing Chautauqua’s status as the first choice for top-tier talent.

The Impact

of this Campaign

The campaign will fund four priority areas grounded in a single strategic vision, each supporting the others.

By equipping our facilities to extend Chautauqua’s operating capabilities,

We will bring the summer experience to a new level as well.

By engaging national audiences through new channels,

We will fuel attendance for the programs we have long cherished.

By saving the Lake so vital to the experience of this place,

We will help sustain a movement that transcends place.

By taking these steps in concert,
we will safeguard our financial future,

And with it, something more precious:

our mission.

Seizing the moment

Some might say our goals are ambitious. We enthusiastically agree. This is a moment for bold plans and actions, and Chautauqua’s recent history has shown we are capable.

So, yes, our plans are

visionary.

That is because when Chautauquans unite in commitment to a cause, the possibilities are

A campaign for Chautauqua

Make a Gift

Join us by making your investment in Chautauqua’s future.

To make a gift online, visit giving.chq.org/boundless

For information about Boundless or ways to make a gift, contact the Office of Advancement at [email protected] or 716-357-6404.