Here are some of the local producers at the heart of Week 9 Food & Film Festival

  • Grapes at 21 Brix Winery start to ripen on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 at 21 Brix Winery in Portland, NY. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Locally Sourced

Wheels of Wanderer cheese rest in the aging room on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at Reverie Creamery in Mayville, NY. After the cheese is aged for 6 months it is washed in a porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company to provide a malty flavor to the brine. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

This week’s Chautauqua Food & Film Festival will bring artisan food producers from

throughout Western New York to the Institution for cooking demonstrations,

competitions and tastings. Among the participants are local artisans of the Chautauqua Lake

area. Wine and food from 21 Brix Winery, Green Heron Growers and Reverie Creamery are

just a sampling of the many gastronomic pleasures that will be around the grounds all week.

Julie Rockcastle takes a seat with her dog in the Shiitake Mushroom Yard on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at Green Heron Growers in Sherman, NY. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Shiitake Mushrooms grow on logs in the Mushroom Yard on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at Green Heron Growers in Sherman, NY. Green Heron prepares every piece of wood with Shiitake spawn to produce the mushrooms. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Old First Night Fun

  • The Chautauqua community Band performs during the family-friendly Chautauqua Birthday celebration and Annual old First Night Concert, Tuesday, August 7, 2018 on Bestor Plaza. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Chautauqua Institution officially turned 144 years young with its annual, all-day Old First Night and Annual Fund Day festivities Tuesday. The activities began on Bestor Plaza with the Family-friendly Chautauqua Birthday Celebration. That day, donors to the Chautauqua Fund were entered into a drawing for a half-day pontoon boat rental. The winner was 4-year-old Lily Hird (every gift, regardless of size or the size of the Chautauquan, matters!), and her family, of Youngstown, Ohio. Thanks to the collective birthday gift of this community throughout Annual Fund Day and the evening of Old First Night, over $26,000 was raised in support of the 2018 Chautauqua Fund. Later that evening in the Amphitheater, the traditional Old First Night included such beloved traditions as the Drooping of the Lillies and a Vespers litany penned by Bishop John Heyl Vincent. The day featured something from both new and longtime Chautauquans alike, all in the spirit of honoring and celebrating the continuous, lived mission set forth by the Institution’s founders:
A shared space for learning, for recreation in every sense of the word, and for community.

Gateways to Open Minds: CLSC Class of 2018

  • Messenger Steve Piper, left, and Watchman Carl Badger lead CLSC alumni to the Amphitheater after the 2018 CLSC Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 in the Hall of Philosophy. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

On Wednesday, Aug. 8, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Class of 2018 were honored in Annual Recognition Day, where CLSC alumni going as far back as 1963 march together to the graduation ceremony in the Hall of Philosophy. The class adopted “Gateways to Open Minds” in honor of Chautauqua Institution President Michael Hill’s call to turn the Institution’s “gates into gateways.”

Fierce & Free: MSFO & Voice Program bring ‘Carmen’ to life

  • Amanda Bottoms, Mezzo-Soprano, performs as the titular character in "Carmen" on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 in the Amphitheater. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


On Monday, Aug. 6, a collaboration between the Music School Festival Orchestra and Chautauqua Voice Program bring George Bizet’s Carmen to life. The opera consisted of students from the Chautauqua Voice Program taking on the main roles with the Music School Festival Orchestra providing live orchestral music.


Pas de Blur: One Evening, Two Art Forms

  • Finn Faulconer and Christiana Cecere perform "Peasant Pas de Deux(Giselle)" during An Evening of Pas de Deux featuring Alumni Artist, Wednesday, August 2, 2018, in the Amphitheater. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Curated by School of Dance Director of Contemporary Studies Sasha Janes, An Evening of Pas de Deux featuring Alumni Artists on Wednesday, Aug. 1, in the Amphitheater featured former students who have gone on to become company members at such esteemed troupes as New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and The Washington Ballet, among others. The evening highlighted the incredible grace and technical skill these dancers possess, and provided an opportunity to showcase an additional art form.

The process of creating these photographs combines several techniques. All photos were made entirely in-camera; no fancy post-processing work was used. Traditionally, a fast shutter speed is used to stop motion and ensure sharp photos. For these photos, a slow shutter speed was used — anywhere between half a second to a full five seconds — to capture the graceful motion of the dancers. A technique called multiple exposures was also used. This process allows multiple frames, between two and nine, to be stacked, in-camera, into one image.

Rockin’ on Air

  • Josie Dawson performs "70s Road Trip" with the Group 4 girls during the Chautauqua Boys and Girls' Club Airband Performance, Thursday, August 2, 2018, in the Amphitheater. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


The Annual Air Band competition took place Thursday, Aug. 2. As a result, the children from the Boys’ and Girls’ Club ended up busting some moves.


Good Clean Fun: First Annual Mud Day


Children’s School students have messy good time at the first-ever Mud Day.

  • Quinn Kiley Jr. lays in the mud pit during the First Annual Mud Day, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at Children's School. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Chautauqua Opera’s crew puts in weeks of work for ‘Candide’

  • From right, Kimberly Hann, mezzo-soprano, Emily Howes, mezzo-soprano, and Eve Kushmaul, 9, wait to be called to places for a dress rehearsal of "Candide" on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Norton Hall. RILEY ROBINSON/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Leonard Bernstein’s operetta Candide demands a smorgasbord of sets and costumes, as the title character traverses more than eight countries, each with their own stylistic air. Teams of carpenters, seamstresses and wigmakers put in weeks of work for only two shows. Candide opened Friday, July 27, and will run once more Monday, July 30, in Norton Hall.

Chautauqua Opera Company’s crew built all of this season’s sets in Norton Hall’s backstage workshop. For the week of Candide dress rehearsals and performances, they share the space with the cast as a series of choral quick changes turn the sawdust-covered shop into a de facto dressing room.

“It’s a frenetic show backstage,” said Martha Ruskai, wig and makeup designer.

She designed hairpieces and accessories that come on and off easily between scenes. “We have wigs on top of wigs,” she said. “We have wigs with magnets and hats with magnets.”

Days before opening night, crew workers clad in plastic bags finished spray-painting a vignette on the backdrop amid clattering drills and hammers.

By the end of the week, backstage was a whimsical storm of their collective efforts. Trays of fake cake and feathered wigs wait alongside raw plywood and rows of tools. But when the curtain rises, their labors assume supporting roles to the artists onstage.

A job well done is a job unnoticed by the audience, Ruskai said: “Ideally, they don’t even know that we’ve done anything.”

A Temporary Goodbye

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  • Conservation Technician Elyse Henshaw bands a purple martin prior to its migration south on Friday, July 20, 2018, near Chautauqua Lake. Banding allows scientists, researchers and bird lovers alike to track the migration path of certain species. ABIGAIL DOLLINS/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Along with Bird, Tree & Garden Club naturalist Jack Gulvin, community members tagged resident purple martins before their seasonal migration from Chautauqua Lake to Brazil.

Conservation Technician Elyse Henshaw and Twan Leenders, president of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, bands a purple martin prior to its migration south on Friday, July 20, 2018, near Chautauqua Lake. Banding allows scientists, researchers and bird lovers alike to track the migration path of certain species.

Twan Leenders, president of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, assists Jack Gulvin in the final purple martin chat.

Like Leif: Replica Viking longship ‘Norseman’ sets sail on Chautauqua Lake



From Stockholm, Sweden, to St. Petersburg,Russia; L’AnseauxMeadows, Newfoundland, to Chautauqua Lake. The Norseman’s journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

The 40-foot replica Viking ship nearly didn’t get the chance to set sail on Chautauqua Lake after the 1997 GMC 3500 truck that tows the vessel caught fire in Jamestown.

That setback didn’t stop Heldegard Lindstrom, membership chairwoman and events coordinator for Leif Ericson Viking Ship, Inc., and her Viking cohorts from plundering along the shores. The group was in the area for the Jamestown Scandinavian Folk Festival, and docked at Pier Club last Friday afternoon.

Members of the group mostly come from the Philadelphia area, Baltimore and New York City, and travel with the intent of educating people about the Vikings.

“They were not just plunderers and marauders,” Lindstrom said. “They were the first to have parliament; women were allowed to own land. They were far advanced for the era in which they were living.”

  • Steven Clarke gets ready to launch the Norseman, a replica viking ship, Friday, July 20, 2018, at the Long Point State Park Marina. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Olympic Spirit

  • Bianca Allaire, 3, enjoys the inflatables set up on Bestor Plaza, as a part of this week's theme, "The Art of Play," on Sunday, July 8, 2018. ABIGAIL DOLLINS/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

In a week exploring “The Art of Play,” Chautauquans of all ages were invited to take part in the CHQ Olympics. The friendly competition included an inflatable swan race, obstacle course, blindfolded longest-drive competition, Color Sprint, and a number of other events across the grounds. Winners were announced Friday, and we are pleased to publish the teams who placed in the top 10. (We would also like to note that a team from the Daily placed 14th out of 39 registered teams.)

1. Only Ship Worth a Darn is Friendship                                                                                                                2. Team Sababa
3. Soccer Stars
4. NT
5. Lillana’s Raiders
6. The Daring Dirty Dogs                                                                                                                                          7. The Canucks                                                                                                                                                        8. The RiffRaff
9. 200 South
10. The Lone Rangers

Photos by Abigail Dollins, Brian Hayes, Haldan Kirsch and Riley Robinson

Roshambo Rockstars


Jill Vialet, founder and CEO of Playworks, leads the Chautauquans in a single-elimination rock-paper-scissors tournament called Roshambo Rockstars on Monday, July 9 at Bestor Plaza.

Lily Gierszal, 8, and Bruce Gierszal celebrate Lily’s victory in the rock, paper, scissors tournament Monday, July 9, 2018 on Bestor Plaza. RILEY ROBINSON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

July 4th at Chautauqua Institution


When Theodore Roosevelt visited Chautauqua in 1905, he described this place as “a gathering that is typically American, in that it is typical of America at its best.” Each summer, Chautauquans showcase their American spirit with a day filled with celebrations of country and community. The Children’s School parade, Chautauqua Community Band concert, Independence Day Pops Celebration, and fireworks over a flare-lined Chautauqua Lake make for a day that is, indeed, typical of America at its best.

Photos by: Haldan Kirsh, Riley Robinson and Abigail Dollins

  • Students from the Children's School sing "This Land is Your Land" outside of the Colonnade during the Fourth of July Parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Children’s School Fourth of July Parade



The Children’s School celebrates Independence Day with its annual parade, which begins at the Children’s School and ends in front of the Colonnade.  In the video, students from the Children’s School sing “This Land is Your Land” in front of the Colonnade.

Video by Haldan Kirsch

Photos by Haldan Kirsh and Riley Robinson

  • Students from the Children's School sing "This Land is Your Land" outside of the Colonnade during the Fourth of July Parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. HALDAN KIRSCH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


The Power of Words

  • Wick Poetry fellow Sony Ton-Aime explains the process of making a blackout poem to Jamestown High School students during a CLSC Young Readers Program event in the Poetry Makerspace, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

“I am offering this poem to you, since I have nothing else to give,” read Vanessa DeStevens, a Jamestown High School student, on the steps of the Colonnade. The words, written by Jimmy Santiago Baca, rang out from the blue-haired DeStevens with palpable emotion.

Jamestown High School students visited the Poetry Makerspace on Wednesday to learn about poetry as part of both the CLSC Young Readers program and a new event called Stanzas on the Plaza. Several students had the opportunity to read poems to a crowd.

The Poetry Makerspace currently houses the Traveling Stanzas exhibit from Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center.

The exhibit allows people to experience poetry in an accessible and tactile way, with iPads that let guests create blackout poems and word blocks to display on the wall.

“It’s a great opportunity to write poetry,” said Linda Poelma, a Chautauquan. “It’s difficult and I never liked it. But this sounds fun to me. I’ll try it.”

Chautauqua Literary Arts is also reaching out to area high school students, so they have an opportunity to experience the Makerspace, something they would not get to do in a classroom.

Poetry was something Anthony Weber, a sophomore at Jamestown High School thought about before, but this year those thoughts were much stronger. Weber credits his teachers with introducing him to the programs at Chautauqua.

Poetry has given Weber and many high school students like him an outlet for their thoughts and emotions.

“It helps me talk about my feelings in a different form,” Weber said.

Gallery : Black Violin Performance

  • Black Violin performs in the Amphitheater Wednesday, June 27, 2018. RILEY ROBINSON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

“Black Violin” performed on Tuesday, June 26 at 8:15 p.m. The performance combined a blend of genres, including classical, hip-hop, rock, and R&B by Kevin “Kev Marcus” Syvlester and and Wilner “Wil” Baptiste to the public of Chautauqua Institution.

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