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Chautauqua Mini-Reunion


Chautauqua Mini-Reunion

Write up by Anne Sinnot Moore*

Eleven classmates, plus four guests, met for all or part of the week beginning August 10 at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York.  The week-long sessions typically feature lectures and study and discussion groups based on an overall theme.  The themes for our week were "Shifting Global Power,” addressed by a different lecturer each morning in the large open-air amphitheater, and "The Power of Soft Power,” with various topics and speakers in the afternoon. In between and among all this are smaller discussion groups at various times of the day, again with eminent speakers and group discussion leaders, located in several of the small houses scattered about the property.  It seems overwhelming, and it can be, but one learns to choose and prioritize. 

The speakers included Robin Wright, foreign correspondent and contributing writer to The New Yorker and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kenneth R. Weinstein, President and CEO of the Hudson Institute and an expert on international trade policy; Joi Ito, until recently Director of the MIT Media Lab; Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist and co-founder of the activist anti-carbon and grassroots-climate-change movement, 350.organd Tarana J. Burke, co-founder of JustBe Inc., and founder of the MeToo Movement.  Featured in the afternoon were such eminent guests as Bill Moyers, Jonathan Pollack, Hardy Merriman, Heather McGhee, Andrew J. Bacevich, Simran Jeet Singh, and the list goes on.  We were treated to concerts by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the ensemble Pilobolus, and the strong and professional students at the Chautauqua School of Dance, as well as performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the four-piece folk-rock band Dawes.

In between and around all this, your classmates found time to get together and catch up with each other at a few breakfast tables on the Inn's porch looking out over Lake Chautauqua, again at the end of the afternoon for a wine break, and at a dinner shared either at the Inn or at one of the several small restaurants nearby.  Maya McGrath Pearcy and Hal hosted us in their rental cottage for drinks and "Messy Bessie!" A few of us came for the entire week.  Others came for a few days.  All agreed that it was a super experience and a wonderful way to spend quality time together. Participants were:

Maya McGrath Pearcy, Olwen Beach Busch, Jane Kentnor Dean, Mike Reese Horn, Ellie Zurn Hutt, Sally Blumberg Linden, Terry Larson Scheetz, Cecily Parke Sesler, Mimi Gorn Tausner, Mary Sayres Winants, and Anne Sinnott Moore.  

Maya and Anne have agreed to organize ourselves again for next summer - same place and almost the same time:  the week of August 8-15, 2020.  lt will be Week 7 of the Chautauqua season, themed "The Science of Us" and subtitled:

In the midst of robust debates about tribalism, isolation and bridging differences, this wide-ranging week explores how 21st-century science is disrupting our social and historical understandings of how "us" happens and who "we" are - as communities, demographies, families, nations and a human race.

See photo of participants below and on Home page right hand column. A very Happy group, indeed!!!

Mark next year's dates  on your calendar now, and plan to join us. 


 *Anne Sinnot Moore