Artist Don Kimes thrives after a devastating flood, turning disaster into opportunity both in his studio and as Artistic Director of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution. His ability to bounce back after this life-altering tragedy is truly inspiring.
And if you’ve never visited Chautauqua, NY, it should most definitely be put on your bucket list. Not only is that part of Western New York gorgeous, with all of the lakes and country living, but the history of Chautauqua is rich with culture and education:
Chautauqua was founded in 1874 by inventor Lewis Miller and Methodist Bishop John Heyl Vincent as a teaching camp for Sunday school teachers. The teachers would disembark at Palestine Park, and begin a course of Bible study that used the Park to teach of the geography of the Holy Land. The Institution has operated each summer since then, gradually expanding its season length and program offerings in the arts, education, religion and recreation. It offers educational activities to the public during the season, with public events including popular entertainment, theater, symphony, ballet, opera and visual arts exhibitions.
The Institution’s biggest impact, though, was felt in the decades after its founding:
Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Named after Chautauqua Lake where the first was held, Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America”.
This profile of Don Kimes not only tells his remarkable story but also features images from the Chautauqua campus. Stop by and visit if you can. There are lectures every day, musical performances every night, and clean country living all summer long!