Tag Archives: Megan Tan
The Rev. William Watley reflects and speaks on his history and connects Frederick Douglass’ speech to the present-day identity of a black man in the United States. Photo by Megan Tan.

From Douglass to Obama, Smith and Watley compare history to present

Frederick Douglass’ speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” came back to life at Chautauqua on Thursday as actor Roger Guenveur Smith recited the abolitionist’s words for the Interfaith Lecture Series.

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim,” Smith said, reciting the speech.

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Ed Ayers, historian of the American South and president of the University of Richmond, lectures Wednesday morning in the Amphitheater. Photo by Megan Tan.

Ayers: Southern logic allowed for no choice but to secede from Union

“There might seem to be a non sequitur in the title of my lecture, ‘The Logic of Secession,’” Edward Ayers said to open his lecture at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in the Amphitheater. “How could there actually be a logic of taking the United States apart?”

Ayers’ lecture focused on discerning the logic that led the Southern states to secede. As a historian, Ayers has focused on the history of the South.

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Mary Tymeson became a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society after she and her daughters made a planned gift in honor of her late husband, Gale E. Tymeson. Photo by Megan Tan.

Tymeson honors late husband through gift to Chautauqua

When Mary Tymeson sat down and started making her estate plans this year, she thought of Chautauqua.

On what would have been the 83rd birthday of Gale Tymeson, her late husband, Mary asked her two daughters — Carol Warmuth and Martha Tymeson — if she could make the Chautauqua Foundation the beneficiary of their family’s variable annuity.

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Instilling family traditions

Every morning, 11-year old Mendel Vilenkin wakes up with a kippah on his head. He climbs down from his top bunk, sits next to his bed and pours water over his hands, alternating three times in a ritual washing — known as negel vasser or “nail water” — to begin the day of service to God. Eight-year-old Shmuel also knows the morning rhythm.

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Lighting technicians prepare to raise heavy, specially ordered trusses to the Amp rafters for the the Aug. 12 Clint Black show. Photo by Megan Tan.

The house is in order

It’s Thursday night in the Amphitheater, the evening wearing on now, another popular Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra concert in the books. The audience files out, satisfied, anticipating a good rest in the cooling night air. A nearly full moon illuminates the scene. Quiet replaces hubbub in Chautauqua’s concert center.

Out of sight on the Amp’s busy back porch, Keith Schmitt is thinking about Clint Black, the country superstar who will perform on his stage the following evening. Schmitt, the Amp manager, knows several critical hours lie ahead for him and his stage crew. Final preparations now are in full swing.

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Kembel discusses focus on the innovator, not innovation

George Kembel, executive director and co-founder of Stanford University’s d.school, presented a small gift to audience members during his 10:45 a.m. lecture Friday in the Amphitheater.

Taped to the backs of some seats in the Amp, small plastic bags hung. Inside each one were black dots smaller than grains of sand.

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Amy-Jill Levine delivers the Thursday Interfaith Lecture in the Hall of Philosophy. Photo by Megan Tan.

Levine: Don’t judge Biblical widows by their stereotype

“Today, we’re going to talk about the widow and the judge. I have no clue what this thing means,” Amy-Jill Levine said. “The more I look at this, the more disturbed I get. The good news there is that if I’m disturbed by a parable, at least the parable is working.”

Levine, professor of New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School, returned to the Hall of Philosophy lectern at 2 p.m. Thursday to discuss the parable of the wily widow and the unjust judge. “Wiley Widow and Unjust Judge” was the fourth in the Week Eight lecture series theme, “Human Creativity, The Spark of the Divine.”

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Guest conductor Rossen Milanov leads the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Tuesday evening in the Amphitheater.

Echoes of the Golden Age in CSO’s Tuesday performance

Concert programs in the so-called Golden Age of American Orchestras (defined roughly as the time during which one began listening to orchestral music seriously) often opened with an overture, presented a concerto before intermission and a symphony after.

If Tuesday evening’s Chautauqua Symphony concert didn’t always conjure the Golden Age, the programming strategy largely did so. On the podium was the Bulgarian-born Rossen Milanov making his CSO debut. Milanov’s training has a Golden Age flavor, too. The artistic director of The Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is an experienced opera conductor, the opera pit being the traditional training ground for old-school maestros.

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