Boundless: A Campaign for Chautauqua launched Friday with recognition of major gifts to date

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill delivers opening remarks during the Boundless, A Campaign for Chautauqua kickoff event Friday in the Amphitheater. DAVE MUNCH/PHOTO EDITOR

Chautauquans gathered on the Amphitheater stage Friday to celebrate the public launch of Boundless, A Campaign for Chautauqua with an evening of conversation, performances and special recognition of five major gifts.

Institution President Michael E. Hill welcomed attendees with an overview of the newest campaign. “Aligned with the anniversary we have set an ambitious $150M goal. To date, we have raised more than $114 million, about three-quarters of the way to success.” Hill said. “Last year more than 2,800 donors and organizations collectively gave more than $36 million to Chautauqua. Of the many, many stories we could tell about the generosity of Chautauquans, we had to limit ourselves to only a handful this evening.”

Hill announced a $4.5 million commitment from the Roe Green Foundation that “will ensure that Chautauqua Theater Company remains one of the nation’s leading accelerators of theater artists in the nation.” “Tonight it is my pleasure to announce what will be a complement to our beloved Bratton Theater: the new Roe Green Theater Center, named in Roe’s honor.” 

The Roe Green Foundation’s commitment includes a $1.5 million matching gift. “With this match, we look forward to partnering with others on this exciting journey of creative excellence at Chautauqua,” Hill said.

Hill recognized gifts from Willow and Gary Brost, Bonnie and Jim Gwin, and Craig and Cathy Greene that funded the beautification of Bestor Plaza and restoration of the Bestor Plaza fountain. An anonymous gift helped support the renovation of playgrounds at Chautauqua in addition to plaza beautification projects.

Campaign cabinet member Karen Goodell recognized a gift from both the Chautauqua Perry Fellowship in Democracy, named in honor of Paul and Marnette Perry, as well as the inaugural Perry fellows: David French, opinion writer for The New York Times, and Melody Barnes, executive director of the Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia and upcoming Chautauqua Lecture Series speakers on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The Perrys’ gift will provide both French and Barnes with a $100,000 stipend for a 15-month appointment, intended to accelerate and amplify existing research or initiatives of each Perry Fellow along with the goal of creating an additional work product for distribution and engagement. “We are delighted that they will be making their first official appearances as Perry Fellows on our historic lecture platform,” Goodell said.

Foundation director and campaign cabinet member Erroll Davis recognized a gift from Craig and Cathrine Greene totaling $5.3 million in support of several significant initiatives and programs—among them, dance, IDEA, and Bellinger Hall. A portion of that gift included $1 million in endowment support for dance at Chautauqua. The Sasha Janes Fund for Dance, named in honor of Chautauqua’s artistic director of the School of Dance,  will support programs, staff or facility improvements, and the Craig and Cathrine Greene Family fund will provide general support for the presentation of dance at Chautauqua.

Davis also recognized the generosity of two donors who wished to remain anonymous. Their estate plans include a gift of  $12 million supporting grounds beautification, a lectureship endowment, and an endowed leadership position. “When this gift is realized, it will ensure that these key areas receive support in perpetuity,” Davis said.

Boundless, A Campaign for Chautauqua will conclude in 2026. Chautauquans interested in donating can contact the Office of Advancement at

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The author Dave Munch

Dave Munch serves as multimedia producer for Chautauqua Institution and works during the summer assembly season as photo editor of The Chautauquan Daily. A Cincinnati native, Dave graduated from Ohio University with a degree in photojournalism and has worked as a staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun Media Group and the Erie Times-News. His work has received local and national recognition and has been featured in publications across the country. Dave lives in Jamestown with his partner and enjoys tending to an increasingly large vegetable garden when the temperature is above freezing.