Chautauqua Institution Kicks Off Summer Season

Chautauqua's summer season kicks off this weekend, and the summer is jam packed with events.

From symphonies and quartets, to lectures and discussions, summer 2014 at Chautauqua Institution has a little bit of something for everyone.

The nine week season kicks off tomorrow night with an ABBA tribute band and continues next week with guests including Roger Rosenblatt and Tom Brokaw.

"There's a lifetime learning element. They don't sit on the beach with their feet up. They wanna learn things, they wanna apply things. So it's a very engaged community," says George Murphy from Chautauqua on visitors to Chautauqua.

A wide range of events gives summer visitors to Chautauqua the chance to experience what makes Chautaqua, and it's guests, so unique.

"It's like a learning experience all the way around, and a growth experience all the time," says full time resident Shirley Dort.

"When you come here to the plaza and you see kids throwing frisbee sand the dogs are running it's like you live in a small town," says summer resident Harriet Norden.

Guests will eventually be able to experience that small town feeling in a renovated ampitheater. A capital campaign plans to raise $98.3 million for the Institution, including updating the more than 100-year-old structure.

This summer also includes the debut of a new restaurant in the historic Athaneum Hotel.

Heirloom Restaurant strays from the hotel's traditional buffet meals and offers the chance for guests to gather for a casual dinner before events.

"It's an a la carte dining experience I feel like unlike anything in this area. We have chefs that have trained in New York City, some that have come from around the world," says Travis Bensink, executive chef of Heirloom.

Heirloom Restaurant has more than 300 reservations for their opening night.

There will be more than 2,000 public events at Chautauqua this summer, giving everyone plenty to do.

For a complete list of events, schedules and ticket information, check out

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