Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A final recap of Chautauqua

Alas, my summer in Chautauqua is over. I left the grounds for the season on Sunday. What an amazing season it was. I met some great people, attended some very memorable events and lectures and soaked up the warm summer sun (when it wasn't raining). Here we go… (Click on images throughout for larger versions.)

The Chautauquan Daily
Let's face it. Without the Daily, I would not have been in Chautauqua for the summer. Matt, the editor, and Ray, the production manager, made my time there in CHQ fantastic and gave me the creative freedom to come up with some wonderful front pages (seen above).

Where else would one of my photos run as a skybox photo on the front page? As you can see in the photo below, we were treated to a wonderful display of nature's power Sunday, August 9. My friends and I commented that it seemed like aliens had arrived to Earth, "War of the Worlds" style. Or better yet, the clouds were throwing a huge disco party and we, the spectators, were invited.
Matt enjoyed the photos so much, he wanted to run one in the paper. Take a look at all of the photos here.

Working at the Daily gave us interns a great inside look at Chautauqua Institution. From the very beginning we got to chat with Tom Becker, president, and other higher-ups. We had access to them, which was pretty awesome.

Another great experience was meeting former Daily reporter Nancy Gibbs, now editor at large for TIME magazine. She began at the Daily to make her summers more interesting, she told us when she stopped by July 27. She called it "fantastic training for every number of things."


10:45 Lecture
The Amphitheater is the place to be weekday mornings at 10:45. The lecture platform is what Chautauqua is known for. Over the course of the nine-week season, we heard from visionaries like NASA's Kobie Boykins and Daniel Pink, author of "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future." Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel saw a packed Amp of more than 5,500 attendees to his lecture. Actors Matthew Modine and Beth Grant brought very different, yet comparable experiences to the stage.


Great entertainment
After work, evening programming provided us interns with great opportunities to see theatre, opera and a slew of other options. We enjoyed Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performances and ballet on multiple occasions. During special engagements we saw Cirque Sublime, Jason Alexander (who did not go over too well with the family crowd), an ABBA tribute band, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, historian David McCullough, among many, many others.


Conclusion
Overall, despite the sometimes cold and dreary weather, my summer spent in Chautauqua was a memorable one that I will not soon forget thanks to great friends and colleagues, intellectually stimulating lectures and some very entertaining events — "Mamma Mia!" Thanks for following my adventures in Chautauqua, N.Y.

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