Elizabeth Kolbert, Ted Chiang, Ariel Ekblaw, Alicia Olatuja, Return of Beloved Independence Day Traditions Headline Week Two of Chautauqua Institution’s 2021 Season
CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution today proudly the program lineup for Week Two of its 2021 season. The week, which begins July 3 and concludes July 10, features events, lectures and classes both in-person on the grounds and livestreamed through CHQ Assembly. Week Two includes renowned guests such as Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert; Hugo Award- and Nebula Award-winning science fiction writer Ted Chiang; space architect Ariel Ekblaw; and featured vocal soloist from President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration Alicia Olatuja.
The week also features the return of two beloved community Independence Day traditions: The students of the Music School Festival Orchestra step in for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to perform the popular Independence Day Celebration program on Saturday, and the Chautauqua Community Band entertains the Fourth of July crowd with a Bestor Plaza concert on free-admission Sunday.
Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Two examines “New Frontiers: Exploring Today’s Unknowns,” in which speakers in the 10:30 a.m. Chautauqua Lecture Series program, Mondays through Thursdays in 2021,
discuss their cutting-edge discoveries and innovations in the fields of science, health, technology and the environment. The 1 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Series, Mondays through Wednesdays in 2021, examines the theme “New Frontiers: Exploring the Future of Religion in America,” which considers the changing religious landscape of America and the decreasing spirituality and religiosity of successive generations.
The Rev. Zina Jacque will serve as the guest chaplain for the week. Jacque is the lead pastor at the Community Church of Barrington in Illinois and has worked in the areas of education, counseling and support programs for various churches in the state. Jacque also founded and directed the Pastoral Counseling Center of Trinity Church (Episcopal) in Boston.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: Ted Chiang discusses how science fiction can help readers think through the implication of ideas and how science can add wonder to the universe. Chiang, whose short story “Story of Your Life” was the basis of the 2016 film “Arrival,” has won four Hugo Awards, four Nebula Awards, four Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He recently served as Artist in Residence at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.
Interfaith Lecture Series: The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson explores the advancement of multi-faith justice and creating spaces for authentic interfaith engagement. In addition to being president of the Auburn Seminary, Henderson co-founded Face to Face|Faith to Faith and was named co-recipient of the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize. She was also selected as an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation’s Fellow for the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival and serves on several multifaith advisory boards.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: Elizabeth Kolbert discusses her recent book Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, and her experiences writing about the debate over global warming. A writer at The New Yorker, Kolbert has traveled all over the world writing about the communities most affected by climate change. Her work has won numerous awards including a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, a Lannan Writing Fellowship, the Heinz Award and a National Magazine Award in Reviews and Criticism.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Margarita Simon Guillory explores the interplay between social activism and individual spiritual needs, which she discusses in her book Social and Spiritual Transformation in African American Spiritual Churches. In addition to being associate professor of Religion and African American Studies at Boston University, Guillory is also co-editor of Esotericism in African American Religious Experience.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: R. Alta Charo speaks to the ethics of genome editing as an expert on human embryonic stem cell research guidelines genome editing science. Charo is currently the inaugural David A. Hamburg Distinguished Fellow at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Gary Laderman discusses various facets of American life, religious culture, contemporary religion and the spiritual habits of younger demographics. In addition to being the Goodrich C. White Professor of American Religious History and Cultures at Emory University, Laderman has authored many books on religion and has been interviewed extensively on a wide range of spiritual topics.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: Ariel Ekblaw founded and directs the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, which drives research across science, engineering, art and design. Through recurring parabolic flights and sub-orbital and orbital launches, Ekblaw’s team now includes a portfolio of over 40 research projects focused on life in space and the potential for future interplanetary civilization.
Aside from the daily lectures, Week One features a variety of afternoon and evening arts and entertainment programs live at the Amphitheater or the new, temporary Performance Pavilion on Pratt, with some offerings available via livestream and on-demand through the CHQ Assembly platform.
4 p.m. Saturday, July 3, Performance Pavilion on Pratt: Written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Stori Ayers, Blood at the Root tells the story of six black students charged with attempted murder following a high school yard fight steeped in racial tension. This play examines racial bias and the nature of justice through the students of Cedar High.
8:15 p.m. Saturday, July 3, Amphitheater: In his return to the Amphitheater, Buffalo-native conductor William Eddins leads students from the Music School Festival Orchestra and the School of Music Voice Program in a patriotic and inspirational concert including beloved traditions such as the Armed Forces Salute.
1 p.m. Sunday, July 4, Bestor Plaza: The Chautauqua Community Band assembles for the first time since August 2019 to play a program of patriotic favorites for those gathered on the Institution’s iconic town square. Admission to the Chautauqua grounds on Sundays is free.
8:15 p.m. Monday, July 5, Amphitheater: Conducted by Music Director Timothy Muffitt and 2021 David Effron Conducting Fellow Joshua Hong, the Music School Festival Orchestra comprises top-tier students from around the world and will perform its third 2021 concert in the Amphitheater.
8:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, Amphitheaterl: The Chautauqua Piano Program presents an evening recital with internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Alexander Kobrin.
8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, Amphitheater: Alicia Olatuja will perform her Resilience Music Alliance debut and share her powerful perspective on culture and female empowerment.
8:15 p.m. Thursday, July 8, Amphitheater: The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular, an impressive troupe of entertainers, world-record breakers and grand champions, brings a variety of dazzling circus feats to Chautauqua.
4 p.m. Friday, July 8, Performance Pavilion on Pratt: An opera by Derrick Wang, directed by Cara Consilvio and conducted by Steven Osgood, Scalia/Ginsburg is a one-act comedy about the unlikely friendship between the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
8:15 p.m. Friday, July 8, Amphitheater: Combining the classic jazz sounds of previous eras with their new, joyful arrangements, The Hot Sardines bring music made decades ago to life. In addition to being featured at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival, they have toured around the world and sold out at several New York City venues.
ADDITIONAL LECTURES/CONVERSATIONS ON CHQ ASSEMBLY
Chautauqua is proud to continue some cherished programming online in lieu of additional in-person programming during the 2021 Summer Assembly.
3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 3: The Chautauqua Writers’ Center presents a free reading with writers-in-residence Danielle Legros Georges and Zelda Lockhart.
1 p.m. Thursday, July 8: Simone Boyce, correspondent for NBC News Now, presents on a powerful ancestry story, the truth of the past, and our ability to transform our futures as part of the Chautauqua Women’s Club Contemporary Issues Forum.
1 p.m. Friday, July 9: The Rev. Heber Brown III, senior pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore and founder of the Black Church Food Security Network, presents as part of the 2021 African American Heritage House Lecture Series.
MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT
Chautauqua’s Mystic Heart Meditation Program offers community members daily meditation sessions at 7:30 a.m. throughout the week.
Chautauqua Cinema Under the Stars, a new initiative in 2021, presents “Monsters Inc.” on Sharpe Field at dusk on Saturday, July 3.
Tickets are available for purchase at tickets.chq.org and at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning Program Tickets are $30; Afternoon Program Tickets are $15. The fee for Evening Program Tickets varies based on the evening entertainment. For tickets and information, visit tickets.chq.org or call 716-357-6250. Program Tickets permit access to the Chautauqua Institution grounds four hours prior to the scheduled start time of an event. Patrons are invited to arrive early and explore the grounds and other amenities, including free access to world-class art galleries, plus shops and restaurants. Admission to Chautauqua is always free on Sundays.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage, and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution’s mission.
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