Renjilian family sponsor Lake Street Dive concert out of love for Chautauqua and popular music

For Tim Renjilian, his wife, Leslie, and their family, the opportunity to help underwrite a popular entertainment concert at Chautauqua Institution offered the perfect amalgamation of a shared love for Chautauqua and for live and popular music.

At 8:15 p.m. Friday in the Amphitheater, Lake Street Dive will be performing thanks, in part, to the sponsorship provided by the Renjilian family.

“I was really excited to have the chance to do that,” Renjilian said. “It’s part of our family’s ongoing love of Chautauqua and our commitment to the place.”

Lake Street Dive are a multigenre band who will be featuring songs from their recently released album, Side Pony.

A fan of the band himself, Renjilian believes the group’s talent and stage presence, as well as the breadth of genres the band covers, will make them appealing to audiences of all ages.

“I think they’re a great fit for what we’re doing at Chautauqua,” Renjilian said.

As a former trustee of the Institution, Renjilian is well aware of the vital role philanthropy plays in the maintenance and annual running of the Institution.

“If you look at how the Institution is funded, we don’t have a massive endowment,” Renjilian said. “So we’re really living year-to-year on a couple of key things — including ticket sales and individual philanthropy.”

As a not-for-profit organization, the Institution depends on the philanthropy provided through the annual Chautauqua Fund to function year-to-year.

“When we look to the future, we have a lot of ambitious plans for what Chautauqua can continue to grow into,” Renjilian said. “I think a lot of us have a feeling that the work that Chautauqua does is particularly important and relevant right now. In the current political and cultural landscape of the United States, Chautauqua is even more important than it has been in the past. For all those reasons, we need to not only maintain what we’re doing summer after summer, but to continue to make it better, to reach more people (and) to make it more relevant.”

Whether in the form of unrestricted funds or in support of particular programmatic or institutional initiatives, Renjilian encourages people who are capable to support Chautauqua in any way they can.

“Where we have the opportunity to contribute and enrich the life of the Institution, we ought to take advantage of those things,” Renjilian said.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Tina Downey, director of the Chautauqua Fund, at 716-357-6406 or

Meaghan Wilby

The author Meaghan Wilby

Meaghan Wilby covers the Lincoln Series in Applied Ethics as well as special lectures and programs, and works with the Chautauqua Foundation to cover development activities. Originally from New Zealand, she recently graduated from Allegheny College with a B.A. in English. She played four years of varsity basketball at Allegheny and was an editor for The Campus newspaper for two years. She can be reached at