Last Saturday along the Chautauqua Boys’ and Girls’ Club waterfront, the NOW Generation hosted its first Summer Fest. With a variety of different events occurring this season, the NOW Generation took advantage of the sunshine at the campus of the oldest day camp in the nation for an afternoon of family activities, volleyball, music and food.
Last Wednesday, the NOW Generation hosted a reception at the Chautauqua Golf Club. The event served as a platform for Chautauqua leaders, members of the NOW Gen Advisory Council and other NOW Gen members to gather and discuss upcoming events and efforts made on behalf of the group
Adam Birkan | Daily File Photo Megan Sorenson, assistant director of the Chautauqua Fund, also serves as staff liaison to
Last Thursday evening, the NOW Generation hosted its second “After Hours” event of the season on the porch of the Athenaeum Hotel. Members of the NOW Generation — a group of Chautauquans in their 20s and 30s who have expressed a strong commitment to the Institution’s future — gathered in a casual environment to mingle with peers, enjoy refreshments and get an exclusive look behind the curtain of Chautauqua Theater Company.
At the center of the NOW Generation’s plan to structure itself into a more ambitious and proactive organization is the formation of its new advisory council.
As dusk painted Chautauqua Lake soft hues of orange and purple, NOW Generation members arrived at the Athenaeum Hotel for a chance to speak casually with Army Maj. James Smith, who had lectured about the role of “military millennials” in contemporary America earlier in the week.
Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, wowed his audience during an exclusive three-day lecture seminar from July 1 to July 3.
With NOW Generation members taking greater strides than ever to ensure Chautauqua Institution’s legacy, Week Two’s theme of “The Next Greatest Generation” couldn’t come at a more relevant time.
The NOW Generation is a group of young Chautauquans in their 20s and 30s who are dedicated to preserving the Chautauqua experience. They do so by investing their time, talents and resources in the Institution. The organization attempts to rally the support of other young adults who share a love and respect for the Institution.
Megan Sorenson, assistant director of the Chautauqua Fund, serves as staff liaison for the group, expressing the NOW Generation’s interests to the Chautauqua Foundation and the Institution at large.
Almost everyone struggles to fit all that is Chautauqua into one simple sentence. But that didn’t stop Megan Smith from trying during Friday’s NOW Generation Reception.
“It’s the TED conference, only if it was founded in the 1800s. And lasted all summer,” Smith said.
Smith’s description provides a poignant example of a younger Chautauquan’s search for relevance. NOW Generation seeks to connect those ages 21–50 and to provide the resources to allow them to make Chautauqua pertinent to young people well into the future.
The reception, which took place at 5 p.m. at the President’s Cottage, boasted 150 attendees. The first half-hour of the event was social — a time for people to meet, reunite and chat on the goings-on of Chautauqua.
Tina Downey, director of the Chautauqua Fund, was the first of the evening’s speakers.
“Welcome home,” Downey said. “It’s an amazing summer.”
As the generation that populated Chautauqua in the later half of the 20th century ages, a younger group begins to fill the roles of the Institution’s leading volunteers and enthusiasts.
The group is ready to take up the responsibility of ensuring that the Chautauqua tradition continues; they are eager to become the supporters who carry the Institution. They are the NOW Generation.
An organization to bring together those up-and-coming Chautauquans, NOW Generation seeks to give a voice to that rising demographic and to build a stronger Chautauqua. By connecting people and engaging in activities at Chautauqua and beyond, NOW Generation supports the leaders who will bring the Institution into an auspicious future.
“Their voices are important, and we want to hear more and get them engaged,” said Megan Sorenson, assistant director of the Chautauqua Fund.