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Upcoming Meetings and Notices

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Chautauqua Board of Managers Meeting  

Wednesday, April 10th @ 7pm

Larry's Place

110 Brown Ave.
Mount Gretna

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Welcome to The Pennsylvania Chautauqua

 
The purpose and mission of The Pennsylvania Chautauqua shall be the advancement of literary, scientific, intellectual, physical and social welfare and the promotion of cultural and religious activity, recreation and entertainment. 
 
 
For over 125 years the Pennsylvania Chautauqua has been a quiet retreat where art, culture, spiritualism, nature and community come together.
 
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua is located in the borough of Mount Gretna, a small Victorian community founded in the late 1800’s as a summer resort. Initially the only way for residents to reach their cottages in the tree-covered rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania was to travel by train. Mount Gretna was a stop along the Cornwall Lebanon Railroad line that has since become the Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails. Our streets were footpaths until automobiles became the mode of travel. Many of the original cottages surround an open-air playhouse where numerous cultural events are held. Our quaint atmosphere attracts many visitors every summer for Gretna Music, the Original Mt. Gretna Cicada Music Festival, Gretna Theater, and the Mount Gretna Area Historical Society, a visit to the local ice cream shop and lake, or just a walk in the woods. While we enjoy our quiet winters, we welcome with open arms the visitors who come to experience the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, stroll the tree lined streets, admire the historical buildings and participate in the variety of programs we offer to fulfill our mission.
 

What Is A Chautauqua?

Chautauqua was founded as an outdoor educational experience for Sunday school teachers by John Heyl Vincent, a Methodist Minister and Lewis Miller, a local businessman on Lake Chautauqua, New York in 1874. The summer camp format proved to be popular with families - thus began The Chautauqua Institute. After its inception the movement spread rapidly through the United States, bringing education, culture, physical and religious activities as well as entertainment to rural America. There were over two hundred Chautauquas at the height of the movement. The advent of the automobile, the radio and movie theaters caused the demise of most of the Chautauquas.
 
Chautauqua today is organized around its four pillars:  Arts, Education, Religion, and Recreation.  Each area is woven into the schedules of the Chautauquas. 
 
If you are interested in learning more about the programming offered by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, view our Summer Programs.
 
You can learn more about Chautauquas by visiting one of the 17 existing Chautauquas that comprise the Chautauqua Trail and by visiting the following web site. http://www.chautauquatrail.com
 
  To support our mission please donate to the Pennsylvania Chautauqua Foundation
The Chautauqua Foundation operates within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Charitable donations are tax deductible. 
 
 
Pennsylvania Chautauqua Pole Banner
This decorative double-sided pole banner makes a nice addition to any cottage.
Finished size 23.75” x 51"
with double pockets.
$120 includes tax.
Click here to order online or call 717-964-3270.
Checks payable to PA Chautauqua.
 

2024 Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show Banner
 
 
 

Contact Info
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua
PO Box 637
Mount Gretna, PA 17064
 
General Inquiries: 717-964-3270
Hall of Philosophy Rental: 717-964-3270
Summer Programs: 717-964-1830
Worship Services: 717-737-8133 or 717-964-3050

Quick Links

Chautauqua Update Letter
February 2024
Dear Shareholders,
After too long of a pause, I’d like to bring you up to speed with a brief message on the state of our Chautauqua and a bit on “greater Mt Gretna”.
 
Let’s start with the arrival of the new fire engine so necessary in a woods filled with wood framed homes. We are happy to report the Chautauqua’s contribution to the Fire Department
in the last 12 months, including our art show donation, totaled approximately $30,000.
 
Our Art Show’s Gala raised $20,000 in support of the shows 50th anniversary celebration. Be prepared to see installations, new banners and more as part of this event.
 
The Foundation’s Soldiers Field project has nearly cleared the zoning hurdle and after consultations with engineers, construction will start later this year.
 
Rentals are full, projects such as the porch at the Hall of Philosophy and repairs or replacement to the handicapped accessibility at the Lodge aka the Porch & Pantry are underway. Repairs to the Boro/Chautauqua entrance are complete.
 
The exploration into preserving the woodlands at our southern border is moving forward. Appraisals are in place, and a survey contract has been submitted for review. Ground/surface
water investigations are underway. And alternative mechanisms to saving this land from being developed are being investigated.
 
We are truly fortunate to have an active and committed board and I am proud and privileged to lead this group.
 
Allan D. Feldman
President, Pennsylvania Chautauqua Board of Managers