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Love of opera informs Nusbaum, VanBlargan’s Chautauqua tale

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Ron VanBlargan and Susan Nusbaum have a truly great Chautauqua story. While many couples have married or met on the grounds, VanBlargan and Nusbaum can claim both. With strong memories that span several stages of both of their lives, VanBlargan created his own legacy, naming Chautauqua as a beneficiary in his will. VanBlargan and Nusbaum’s romance was sparked by an Opera Guild cast party in 2003. VanBlargan served on the Opera Guild board, while Nusbaum was an incoming member; the two were assigned to plan the cast party.

Eliasen focuses on opera for Chautauqua Speaks

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If you love opera, you’ll love hearing Mikael Eliasen, director of the Curtis Institute of Music Voice Department and Chautauqua Music School voice teacher, explain “Opera — What Is It?” at the Chautauqua Speaks program 9:15 a.m. Thursday at the Chautauqua Women’s Club. If you hate opera, you’ll still love hearing Eliasen explain “Opera — What Is It?”

IOKDS welcomes 16 students from around the world

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Perhaps you’ve seen the houses on the red brick walk replete with huge white banners: “CELEBRATING 93 YEARS: THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF THE KING’S DAUGHTERS AND SONS!” and wondered what an international order was or why it necessitates three houses and a chapel on the grounds.

Watershed founders to walk shoreline, discuss conservancy

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Many people on the grounds may have heard of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, but few have had an opportunity to learn about its programs firsthand from its founders. A presentation at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the covered porch at Heinz Beach Fitness Center on South Lake Drive at the corner of South Avenue will offer that opportunity.

Chautauqua Fund director recognized for 21 seasons of work

Nalini Nadkarni, co-founder of the Sustainable Prisons Project.
Every year, the Chautauqua Fund recognizes its volunteers with a luncheon in the Athenaeum Hotel. At this year’s luncheon, which took place last Tuesday afternoon, the Chautauqua Fund volunteers gathered not only to celebrate their own work but also to acknowledge that of David Williams. After 21 seasons in the Colonnade, Williams, the director of the Chautauqua Fund, is retiring.

CLSC Alumni Association’s annual Great American Picnic to feed, entertain

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What better way to celebrate the midpoint of the summer than with a Great American Picnic? The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Alumni Association once again will host the annual get-together from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday on the front lawn of Alumni Hall. It’s a fundraiser and a Chautauqua-wide block party with plenty of food, music, entertainment and fun.

Couple extends Chautauqua experience through volunteering

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It’s easy to sit in a lecture and hear about how to fix the government or how to find the common good, but a challenge for Chautauquans is taking those lessons and calls to action outside the gates. Susan McKee and Hal Simmons have done just that — actively taking what they learn here at Chautauqua and putting it into action.

The Athenaeum’s Delta Force

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The Athenaeum Hotel general manager kept calling, but Michele “Mickey” Murray wouldn’t return his calls. This went on for several weeks in 1993, the GM calling, Murray suspecting he wanted to offer her a job at the Institution. For her, having a summer vacation that year was more important.

Porch Discussion sheds light on marketing impact of PBS special

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George Murphy, Chautauqua’s vice president and chief marketing officer, said he wants Chautauqua to “own” surrounding marketing areas and “attack” problems at the Main Gate, but most of all, he wants to draw people in. Murphy spoke to nearly 60 people Wednesday on the Hultquist Center porch about the Institution’s recent marketing strategies and the effects of the WNED documentary “Chautauqua: An American Narrative.”

Precision, consistency key to Keyser’s lemon tart success

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Equipped with a brand-new, lemon-yellow wagon that matches his famous lemon tarts, Herb Keyser is back in business for the season. Every Monday morning, Keyser marches up and down the brick path in front of the post office selling his homemade lemon tarts to those waiting in the ticket line for the Logan Chamber Music Series. With his lemon tarts, Keyser found a fun and creative way to fundraise; he donates all of the proceeds to the Chautauqua Fund, sometimes multiplying his initial investment in ingredients almost five-fold.

Chautauquan Bestor Cram premieres films

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Filmmaker Bestor Cram is no stranger to Chautauqua. “I consider myself the George Washington of Chautauqua,” Cram said, “because I’ve slept in almost every house here given the number of years that I’ve come here.”

NOW Generation reception focuses on spreading the word

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The younger set of Chautuauqua Fund donors opened the 2011 Season by greeting old faces and meeting new friends at President Tom Becker’s cottage on Saturday evening. The Beckers held the reception to welcome the NOW Generation back to the Institution. The NOW Generation is a group of Chautauqua Fund donors who are less than 50 years old.
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