Bryant Day to encourage Chautauquans to ‘seek understanding’

This Saturday, the Miller Bell Tower will signal the beginning of another Bryant Day, ringing out for all of Chautauqua to hear. 

“Bryant Day marks the official opening of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle reading year,” said Sony Ton-Aime, Chautauqua’s Micheal I. Rudell Director of Literary Arts. “We usually announce some CLSC selections, as we’re going to do this year.”

For the first time, in addition to the very first official CLSC selections for 2023, Ton-Aime said they will also be announcing some CLSC Young Readers selections.

The Bryant Day ceremony — named in honor of William Cullen Bryant and his support for the CLSC — will commence at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Miller Park.

“I’m so excited for the whole literary arts family to come and have books to read,” Ton-Aime said. “We will be announcing more and more selections throughout the year. We’re coming off a wonderful year of reading, and we hope to continue on that same path next year.”

Ton-Aime said he’s particularly excited about the Week Six theme of the 2023 season, “A Life of Literature.”

“It’s a week that’s very much planned around the literary arts,” he said. “I’m very excited.”

For Matt Ewalt, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education, Bryant Day is about “coming together as a community in conversation.”

“Bryant Day marks the beginning of a new reading year, but is also a reminder of Chautauqua both inside, and beyond, the summer assembly season,” he said. 

Ewalt said that reading ought to be “both personal and shared,” in order for the reader to get the most out of their endeavor. 

“It’s a way to challenge oneself and to learn from and engage with others,” he said. “It’s a way to share in joy, but also confront the devastating, to reckon within and move outside ourselves and seek understanding. It’s a way for us to bring Chautauqua with us.”

Tags : Bryant Dayliterary arts

The author Chris Clements

Chris Clements is reporting on literary arts during his third summer with The Chautauquan Daily. He has previously written previews for the Interfaith Lecture Series and Sacred Song Services and covered literary arts digitally in 2020. Chris is a second-year grad student at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in creative writing, specializing in fiction. He’s passionate about all things related to literature, music and film, especially author David Foster Wallace, jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant and the films of Paul Thomas Anderson.