Chautauqua Institution Preps For 2010 SeasonPosted by Richard Benedetto on Friday, March 26th, 2010 at 8:28am.
CHAUTAUQUA — The 2010 season at Chautauqua Institution is shaping up to be another excellent one.
So reports Mike Sullivan, director of Institution relations, who says preparations for the upcoming season are a combination of time-tested favorites and new and exciting twists.
The season will open with a reprise of Roger Rosenblatt and More Friends, a weeklong conversation and celebration of the literary arts.
‘‘He came a couple years ago and it was one of the most popular weeks we ever had,’’ Sullivan said about Rosenblatt.
Rosenblatt will present his upcoming book, ‘‘Making Toast: A Family Story,’’ a memoir of a family finding ways to cope with the loss of a daughter, wife and mother. Other speakers during a star-studded opening week of the Chautauqua season will include Jim Lehrer, Alice McDermott, Alan Alda, Anne Fadiman and Marsha Norman.
Week 2 will bring discussion of ‘‘The Ethics of Leadership’’ to the Institution, with speakers including New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks; University of Oklahoma President David Boren; Charleston, S.C., Mayor Joseph Riley; and Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey.
‘‘I think it’s going to be a great week, because as we’ve seen in terms of all the things that have gone on with Wall Street and the recession and a real crisis of leadership in a lot of ways, speaking about the ethics of leadership now is very timely and very important,’’ Sullivan said.Weeks 3 and 4 will be tied together, Sullivan said. The theme for Week 3 is ‘‘From Asia to the Middle East: Energy, Capital and Conflict’’ and Week 4 will be ‘‘Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons: The Right to Have and to Hold.’’
‘‘It’s two very timely topics, and we’ll have some people who are extremely interesting coming together in ways that are perhaps a little different,’’ Sullivan said.
Speakers will include Geoff Kemp, former director of the Middle East Arms Control Project; Aaron David Miller, adviser to six secretaries of state who helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process; Sam Nunn, former Georgia senator and co-chairman and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative; and Molly Williamson, scholar with the Middle East Institute.
Week 5, ‘‘Picture This: Photography,’’ will be a partnership between the Institution and the Eastman House and a collaboration with Kodak. Speakers will include famed photographer Steve McCurry, photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin, digital photography pioneer Steve Sasson and universe mapper Margaret Geller. In addition, Sullivan said, Kodak will have photos on display throughout the Chautauqua Institution grounds throughout the season.
‘‘Last year we had a great hit with some really large photographs spread throughout the grounds that National Geographic did,’’ Sullivan said. ‘‘This year, we’re going to be doing a similar thing with Kodak providing the photos for us, so that’s going to be another different twist on things here at the Institution.’’
‘‘Excellence In Public Education’’ will be the theme for Week 6. Speakers will include Barbara Bowman, one of the founders of the Erikson Institute; Jonathan Schnur, co-founder and chief executive of New Leaders for New Schools; and Mark Roosevelt, superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Week 7’s theme is ‘‘Sacred Spaces,’’ a theme that would seem to imply that it would focus solely upon holy locations. But that will not be the case, Sullivan said.
‘‘It’s going to be a week where we look at not only religious places, but other places that are considered sacred because they have an impact on the world at large,’’ Sullivan said.
In addition to Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker; and Bonnie Burnham, president and chief executive of the World Monuments Fund; Ken Burns will visit Chautauqua during Week 7. Burns, who gave an evening talk during the 2009 Chautauqua season, will visit for a morning lecture this season in addition to a repeat evening performance. In addition, Sullivan said, Burns will spend some personal time on the grounds this summer.
‘‘We’re excited about him coming,’’ Sullivan said. ‘‘He’s kind of fallen in love with Chautauqua — he’s bringing his family and is going to spend quite a bit of time here.’’
In Week 8, the theme will be ‘‘Powering The Future,’’ a theme which Sullivan said is another timely one. Speakers during the week will include Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030; Habib Dagher, founding director of AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center; Thomas Peterson, founder of Center for Climate Strategies; and Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board.
Sullivan said that Chautauqua Institution is also hoping to work with Chautauqua County officials to collaborate on efforts they are making to work on alternative power measures.
‘‘We’re talking about working with some of the people with the county, who have their Power Conference in the fall,’’ Sullivan said. ‘‘We want to tie some things together with them to capitalize on the great work that they are doing.’’
Week 9 will be themed ‘‘The Supreme Court,’’ with speakers including Elizabeth Magill, a former Supreme Court clerk; Lisa Blatt, head of appellate and Supreme Court practice at Washington, D.C., law firm Arnold and Porter; Theodore Olson, a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher; and Barry Friedman, vice dean and professor of law at New York University School of Law.
On top of all the lecturers, Chautauqua Institution is once again bringing in a fabulous assortment of popular entertainment including The Boys In Concert, Tim Conway, Mark Russell, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dion, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, Ken Burns, Salman Rushdie, Loretta LaRoche, and Gretchen Wilson.
The Institution will also offer its opera performances throughout the season, including a rare performance with the Symphony Orchestra in the Amphitheater on July 17.
‘‘It will be a great way for people who maybe aren’t as familiar to come, in the relaxed atmosphere of the Amphitheater, to bring the kids and everybody else and experience what a complete and great opera is,’’ Sullivan said of the evening.
All told, Sullivan said, Chautauqua Institution is expecting to have another top season this year despite concerns within the economy — continuing a trend the Institution saw in the 2009 season.
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