After 25 seasons helming the Institution’s performing and visual arts programming, Marty Merkley has decided to hang up his hat.
They had all assembled for a single purpose: to ring in another Chautauquan milestone with a gallop around the grounds. Nearly 900 men, women and children gathered in front of Sports Club to celebrate Chautauqua’s 140th birthday with the Old First Night Run/Walk.
This last Saturday was Bryant Day, a tradition that marks the official start of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle reading season. The ceremony featured Sherra Babcock, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education, announcing the first three selections of the year: Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende, What I Did by Christopher Wakling, and The Names of Things by John Colman Wood. The three novels fall within the season’s vertical theme, “Exploration and Discovery,” which honors Week Five’s morning lecture theme and the second interarts collaborative project on the American West.
“The bell-ringing will go on for a while,” said Sherra Babcock, Chautauqua Institution vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education. “And it will be loud.”
As Terry Bacon sat outside the School of Music’s studios studios Tuesday morning, a young musician approached him and shared his experience at the Chautauqua Music Camps. The student said that it was, for him, the first place he had ever felt welcome. It was the only place, other than his own band room, where he felt no one would make fun of him. It was where he belonged.
The Bryant Day celebration on Saturday began at Miller Bell Tower and ended with books.
Bryant Day, a Chautauqua tradition, marks the start of a new reading season with a ceremony led by the Alumni Association, and each member of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Class of 2012 rings the bell.
Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education and Youth Services, announced a few CLSC selections after toting the books from her office in the Colonnade to Miller Park. Babcock kept the books hidden in her office until they were revealed to Bryant Day attendees.
The CLSC joins Chautauqua’s other arts programs in celebrating Romeo and Juliet in 2013, but Babcock emphasized it is in a broad sense, and all selections have themes similar to Shakespearean work.
This weekend, Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle graduates will ring the Bryant Bell to commence the new reading year in celebration of Bryant Day.
A ceremony with the Alumni Association begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday by Miller Bell Tower, and Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education, will announce a few CLSC selections for 2013. Taking inspiration from next season’s focus on Romeo and Juliet in Chautauqua’s fine and performing arts, 2013 CLSC books will celebrate the themes, broadly construed, from Shakespearean classics.
Artist Daniel Levin’s camera obscura installation near Miller Bell Tower explores the idea of multiple truths during “Digital Identity” week. In these photos, Levin assembles the structure, rotates the lens for a different view, installs the optics, and explains how the camera optics work. Photos by Adam Birkan.
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The past three weeks have been good to the Chautauqua Lake Association, and that is good news for Chautauqua County, Chautauqua Lake and Chautauqua Institution.
The Chautauquan Daily reported in late June that the CLA had insufficient funding to keep lake weeds under control this summer. Since then, the association has secured two cash infusions which should help significantly.
First, the CLA has raised $20,000 to secure release from Chautauqua County of an emergency $80,000 grant.
The CLA also got an extra $50,000 from New York State, doubling its 2012 allotment. Altogether, the lake association has received $150,000 in additional funding this month, allowing almost full deployment of its weed cutters and shoreline crews.
Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department presents its annual “Field Day” from 12–4 p.m. Sunday at Miller Park, featuring emergency equipment demonstrations, free blood pressure checks and a tour of the ambulance.
The department’s 75-foot ladder truck will be set up near Miller Bell Tower, discharging 2,000 gallons of water per minute from the tip of the ladder supplied by fire engines drafting water from the lake. The fire department tanker will demonstrate procedures for shuttling water from the 4,200-gallon portable tank to fire engines when operating in areas without available fire hydrants.