Use of Chautauqua Institution Resources by Community Groups During the Summer Assembly Season
Chautauqua Institution’s mission and goals are supported by a vibrant community whose members often plan programs that supplement and complement the programming Chautauqua Institution offers each Summer Assembly Season. Chautauqua Institution strongly supports this activity and community groups may request support for programming, events, and meetings from the Institution. The following are the steps and criteria for making such requests.
Use of Chautauqua Institution resources is at the discretion of the Institution. Staff will make every effort to accommodate requests, but may refuse requests on grounds that include, but are not limited to, lack of staff or facility capacity; safety or security concerns; misalignment with the stated mission and/or values of the Institution; past misconduct, theft of property or misuse of Institution equipment or facilities; past abuse or mistreatment of patrons or staff; or past failure to abide by relevant policies and procedures.
Community groups who wish to receive support from the Institution for programs scheduled during the Summer Assembly Season must submit the following to the Institution after November 1 but no later than May 15 prior to the start of the Summer Assembly. This timing allows the Institution to hire and allocate the necessary number of team members for the Summer Assembly. Community groups should note that we will make every effort to support requests made after April 15, but it is less likely we will be able to properly staff and schedule events after this date.
Required submissions are:
- a. A Program Plan for the full season that includes requested dates, times, locations, and a brief description of all events the organization would like to hold in Institution facilities or on Institution property throughout the season, including:
- i. a description of any fundraising activity expected to occur at the event, including, at a minimum, what individuals, or groups you plan to solicit for funds, how much you plan to ask for and the planned use of proceeds. For example, “We will have buckets at the entrance to this event that solicit voluntary donations in any amount from all attendees to help offset costs of the event” or “We will solicit Joan Jones for a $5,000 gift to help us bring an incredible speaker for our event” or “We will charge a $50 fee to participate in the event with 90% of proceeds going to School of Music scholarships and 10% offsetting event costs;”
- ii. the expected use of any non-Institution vendors for production, audio/visual, catering, or other services (the Institution prefers that its trained staff be utilized to limit liability and damage to facilities and equipment, but will consider approval of outside vendors when Institution staff are not available or otherwise capable of providing support); and
- iii. a statement that ties the organization’s mission to Chautauqua Institution’s mission/strategic goals as stated in its strategic plan, 150 Forward.
- b. A Resource Request Form for each unique program. (One form may be used for a series.) This form replaces work orders, housing requests and venue requests used in years prior to 2023. Chautauqua Institution will submit all work orders, housing requests, etc. to the appropriate staff member(s) after approval of the request is issued. Accessibility resources for the event should be requested on the Resource Request Form.
- c. A Communications Request Form, included in the Resource Request Form, for each unique program, if applicable.
Requests that meet the above criteria will be reviewed on a rolling basis and approvals and denials will be communicated within four weeks of submission, though our goal is within two weeks. Please do not assume that a request has been processed until the organization receives a written communication explicitly approving or denying the request.
2. Safety & Security
Community groups utilizing Institution venues and other properties must publicize all events as following all safety and security protocols, such as bag and weapons policies, the Institution follows at that venue. However, community groups are not responsible for enforcement of such protocols. The Institution’s Security Working Group (SWG) will assess the risk level of community group events and the Institution will provide enforcement as it deems necessary. The SWG will create preliminary risk assessments at least two weeks prior to the event, but due to the changing nature of risk may deem an event higher risk and take additional measures at any time up to and including the time of the event or program. The Institution may request additional information or documentation pertaining to liability depending on the nature of the event and reserves the right to cancel a community group program in its venue or other property if it reasonably determines the risk level has increased to such a degree that the program cannot be safely offered.
Community groups who wish to implement more security measures than those the SWG deems reasonable should contact the Director of Organizational Safety & Security, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
3. Chautauqua Institution Owned Facilities/Spaces
Use of Institution-owned facilities and access to spaces maintained by the Institution such as parks and plazas is at the discretion of Chautauqua Institution. There are a limited number of open buildings and meeting rooms available based on crew capacity and hours of operation. Please keep in mind that an empty building does not necessarily mean an available building.
Please also keep in mind that some facilities were built, donated and/or endowed for the purpose of supporting particular activities or groups, and the Institution’s arrangements for use of those spaces will favor those groups and activities. For example, Alumni Hall is officially known as the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall, and it has always been used for programs related to the literary arts. Smith Wilkes Hall was specifically given to the Institution in 1924 to serve as headquarters for the Chautauqua Bird, Tree and Garden Club, which it does to this day.
Further, please note that this policy does not pertain to the Athenaeum Hotel or its owned/operated facilities. All arrangements for Hotel facilities must be made with Hotel events staff and are subject to Athenaeum Hotel Company policies and pricing.
Entrance fees may not be charged for attendance at events held in Institution-owned buildings or on Institution-owned properties without advance written permission from the Chief Financial Officer or Executive Vice President. Fees for services or goods provided may be charged, and voluntary contributions upon entrance may be solicited as long as that solicitation was described in the Program Plan.
Although the Institution strongly favors use of existing facilities, the Institution will occasionally consider requests by community groups to erect temporary tents on Institution property for special events. If approved, the community group will be responsible for procuring the tent and having it set up and broken down. All tent approvals will require the community group to sign a contract with the Institution outlining liabilities and responsibilities of each party. Shorter durations are more likely to receive approval and in no case will a tent be approved to stay up longer than five days.
4. Chautauqua Institution Owned Housing
Requests for access to the limited space that exists in Institution-owned housing during the Summer Assembly for a group’s speakers, performers or other guests are subject to the following parameters:
- a. Chautauqua Institution guests, faculty, students and staff are prioritized in the use of Institution-owned accommodations.
- b. Requests for accommodations made after March 15 cannot be approved unless exceptional circumstances apply and are successfully articulated in writing to the Program Office’s Housing Coordinator at HousingCHQ@chq.org at least two weeks prior to the start of the requested stay. Granting of such requests is at the discretion of the Housing Coordinator and based on availability and staffing resources.
- c. Accommodations are subject to the same cancellation fee policy as other venues (see Section 8 below).
- d. Please note that space in the Athenaeum Hotel should be booked through the hotel directly.
5. Marketing & Communications Channels
The Chautauqua Institution logo and the logos of its related organizations (i.e., Chautauqua Theatre Company, Chautauqua Health & Fitness, CHQ Assembly, etc.) may be used only upon review and approval of all materials to be associated with the logo, and only with the written permission of the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications/Chief Brand Officer or their designee.
At the discretion of the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications/Chief Brand Officer or their designee, Chautauqua can, but is not obligated to, post about a program or share a link on the Chautauqua website, electronic billboards and/or social media. All posted or advertised content must align with and reflect Chautauqua Institution’s mission, values and brand.
Advertisements or other submissions to The Chautauquan Daily should be coordinated directly with the Daily staff and will be printed at the discretion of the Daily staff, who may deny printing based on mission, values or brand misalignment or lack of space.
Inclusion in the weekly program calendar insert in the Daily is available for all approved programs. Please note that Institution programs and community group programs may be printed on separate inserts.
Due to crew and equipment limitations, Chautauqua Institution cannot provide live streaming or digital archiving services for community group programs.
Due to limited staff capacity, we ask that groups make every effort to design and publicize programs utilizing the resources available through their members and outside vendors. Design assistance requested from Institution staff after April 1 prior to the season in which the materials will be distributed may not be possible to fulfill. Staff prioritizes Institution program needs, which generally increase dramatically each spring. The April 1 deadline does not apply to purchased ads placed in the Daily. Please consult the Daily advertising rate sheet for more information on prices and publication deadlines.
6. Mailing/Printing Services
For materials greater than 1000 pieces
Please use an outside vendor. The Office Services and Equipment Administrator can provide you with some guidance on which local businesses to use.
For materials under 1000 pieces
Community groups may have any access that is legally permissible to Chautauqua Institution’s mailing services, including use of the Institution’s non-profit postage rate if permissible.
Institution staff in the Office Services Department will assist in printing materials for community group events that are fully edited and ready to replicate. Printing requests must be submitted to the Office Services Department at least one week prior to the date needed. Chautauqua Institution department needs will be prioritized for service and we therefore cannot guarantee timely service for community groups, especially during the Summer Assembly Season. Organizations are strongly encouraged to make their requests outside of the Summer Assembly Season.
Institution staff do not provide inserting or folding services for mailings containing four or more pieces per envelope.
Due to liability concerns, only pre-approved Chautauqua Institution staff may operate Institution vehicles, including golf carts. Non-staff members of the community may not operate Institution vehicles at any time.
ALL FEES FOR APPROVED PROGRAMS ARE DUE 30 DAYS AFTER APPROVAL. This allows staff to confidently hire and schedule team members and obtain equipment necessary to best serve community needs.
The fees described below help offset the rising labor costs for the Institution and ensure proper staffing for events, as well as purchase, maintain and upgrade audio-visual equipment.
Rental fees are $25 per hour. Staff will offer pricing of all approved events at the time of approval as long as a Resource Request Form has been submitted for the event. Crew hours may be limited based on capacity, union rules, legal requirements, and other restrictions. For example, some crew members must be paid for a minimum number of hours every day they work, even if they do not actually work all those hours and must receive a minimum number of breaks/days off during the week. When approving or denying crew support, cost efficient scheduling of team members will be paramount to the decision.
Equipment: A list of standard equipment is Attached as Appendix A. If an event requires audio-visual support that a venue does not have on hand as standard equipment, Institution production staff will make every effort to provide additional equipment. If the Institution does not own the requested additional equipment, or all of its equipment is already booked, production staff will work with a community group to attempt to find an alternative solution, including outside rentals. This may incur an additional fee, which will depend on the type of equipment needed. Prices for additional equipment the Institution currently owns are included in the Resource Request Form. The form should request all equipment needed for a program.
Fee Waivers: No fees will be charged for events that are co-sponsored by an Institution Department. Co- sponsorship requires written approval via the Resource Request Form by the Department Vice President. Co-sponsorship must be secured before Program Plans are submitted and is appropriate when a program or event supplements and/or complements staff’s ability to deliver Chautauqua’s mission and its stated strategic goals and when the program or event is one staff would consider implementing as an Institution program but for capacity or resource limitations. For example, our small Religion Department cannot oversee multiple worship services and therefore it co-sponsors worship services that are run largely by denominational houses and other community groups.
Cancellation: A cancellation fee of $25 will apply if bookings are cancelled less than one week prior to the start of the program, event, or meeting, including cancellations due to events outside the control of community groups such as weather or presenter illness. For cancellations made at least one week prior to the start, refunds will be issued of all pre-paid expenses except refunds for crew hours will not be refunded if the crew has already been scheduled to work the event.
9. Gate and Parking Pass Processing
Gate and parking passes for speakers, vendors and other individuals coming onto the grounds during the Summer Assembly Season are the financial and administrative responsibility of the community members who invite those individuals to the grounds, except complimentary passes will be issued for presenters of co-sponsored programs. Please process gate passes through the Ticket Office, not through department staff. To avoid delays in processing due to high volumes during the Summer Assembly Season, gate passes should be processed prior to the Summer Assembly Season to the extent possible. For processing during season, please visit the Ticket Office at least one week prior to the first day of a program.
List of Standard Equipment by Venue
Hall of Philosophy
1 – Lectern
1 – Wireless Handheld Mic
1 – Wireless Lapel Mic
1 – Wired Mic
2 – Mic Stands
1 – Audio Connection for iPhone, Tablet, or PC
4 – Chairs
4 – Music Stands
1 – Piano
Smith Wilkes Hall
1 – Lectern
1 – Wireless Handheld Mic
1 – Wireless Lapel Mic
1 – Wired Mic
2 – Mic Stands
1 – Audio Connection for iPhone, Tablet, or PC
4 – Chairs
2 – Stools
2 – Music Stands
1 – Piano
1 – Projector and Screen