The Pennsylvania Chautauqua EST 1892 Pennsylvania Chautauqua 125th  

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.

Explore our website, check out our programming schedule, and come visit.

To support our mission please donate to the Foundation

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

Chautauqua Cares: A Newsletter Dedicated to the Health and Well-Being of Our Community

Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership
Chautauqua is joining the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership which is a collaborative effort of national, regional, state and local agencies, conservation organizations, outdoors enthusiasts, businesses, and citizens committed to improving Pennsylvania's communities, economy, and ecology by planting 10 million trees throughout the Commonwealth.
Click the logo to read more.

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.
$110 includes tax.
Click here to order online or call 717-964-3270. Checks payable to PA Chautauqua.

What Makes the PA Chautauqua Special?
Quiet Time

Chautauquans treasure the peace and tranquility of our community. For many residents, relaxing, reading, reflecting, and rocking on porches is the highlight of the summer. Neighborly consideration encourages that noisy outside projects be done September thru May, leaving the summer months and Sundays “quiet” for everyone’s enjoyment.
Did you know Chautauqua has a number of springs scattered throughout our grounds? One is by the tennis court pavilion and another is near the Porch and Pantry in the park area.
On a Saturday afternoon, volunteers cleaned out brush and overgrowth to reveal one of these springs. In addition, these folks and others (not pictured), planted ten redbud trees.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of our community. To find your place in helping, contact us HERE 
or call the office at 717-964-3270.
Pictured left to right:Don Kensinger, Lynne Davies, Sarah Minnich, Mike Sherman

Mt. Gretna "Strong at Home"
RAISED TO DATE! $11,935.86
The community came through big time!
The Mt. Gretna Community Volunteer Fire Company, has had to cancel numerous fundraisers. With a huge thank you for your generosity during our “Filling the Boot” campaign, we ask you to continue your support by looking for boots at various locations around Mount Gretna such as Mary Hernley's flower stand, The Hideaway and the Pizza Shop. 

Message from the President of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua
February 19, 2021
Dear Pennsylvania Chautauqua Stockholders and Friends of Soldiers Field,
I hope you are well and staying safe and healthy.  I’d like to bring a few updates to your attention regarding the 2021 Mount Gretna Art Show and Soldier’s Field.
2021 Mount Gretna Art Show Update:
Art Show Director Kerry Royer and the Art Show Committee are cautiously optimistic that we will have an Art Show this summer.  We remain committed to adhering to Pa Dept. of Health Guidelines regarding gathering limits, social distancing, and mask requirements in order to keep the residents and guests of our community safe. 
Currently, under Pa Dept. of Health Guidelines, restrictive capacity limits are in place.  However, we expect those numbers to change late spring with vaccine distribution.  It is likely there will still be restrictions on the number of people permitted so we are continuing to plan as we monitor those guidelines.  As a result of these restrictions, every person will have to be counted (patrons, artists, volunteers, Jigger Shop and Porch & Pantry employees, cleaning crews, etc.)  To comply with requirements, we will implement a system to count all patrons, regardless of age.
The Pa Chautauqua Board of Managers believes hosting the Art Show this summer is important for our community and is considering ways to manage costs in order to do so.  The 2021 show exhibitors will be invitation only from previously juried artists.  In 2019 we had 260 Artist booths; our current plan for 2021 is to allow for social distancing and host fewer artists. We will not host artists on Route 117. We are considering the reasonable placement of food vendors.  To adhere to capacity limitations, we are foregoing the Children’s Art Show with a goal of resuming this precious part of the show in 2022 
Due to the high volume of traffic in 2019, we plan to use satellite parking at Philhaven and bus patrons to the gate, adhering to social distancing requirements.
We are guardedly hopeful that health guidelines will allow for more robust attendance.  The Art Show Committee is meeting with Lebanon County Emergency Management, Cornwall and South Londonderry Police Departments and the Executive Secretary of the Pa Dept. of Health in a few weeks to discuss protocols to make further decisions.
Soldiers Field Update:
As I mentioned at our 2020 summer stockholders meeting, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) informed us they will only approve grant funds for 501c3 organizations.  Accordingly, if we want to receive the $350,000 grant for Soldiers Field, we need to transfer ownership of the land to the Pa Chautauqua Foundation. If the stockholders choose to approve this transfer and the Foundation receives the grant, the funds can be used to pay off the balance on the JBT loan and reimburse the money we borrowed from the Pa Chautauqua Association.  We will also be able to consider improvements on the land such as managing the drainage, creating accessible walking paths, and constructing an accessible walking bridge over the Conewago Creek. 
DCNR’s funding restrictions are not unusual.  As many of you know, when the Playhouse collapsed in 1996, the PA Chautauqua, as a 501c4, was not eligible to receive funds to rebuild the structure.  The Arts Council, a 501c3, stepped forward to raise funds to rebuild the Playhouse and has managed its operation since that time.  In 2001, the PA Chautauqua Foundation was established as a 501c3 to provide opportunities to financially support the PA Chautauqua.  Those of you who enjoy our Pa Chautauqua Summer Programs events in the Hall of Philosophy (or ZOOM) have been entirely supported by funds raised through the Pa Chautauqua Foundation’s Stewart Society, rather than annual assessments, for the past few years. 
A joint committee of the PA Chautauqua and the PA Chautauqua Foundation have been working together since September to explore options for transferring this land from the Association to the Foundation.   Our next step is to plan a number of informational zoom meetings with stockholders so we can share with you what we’ve learned, get your feedback, address your questions, and together make a plan to move forward with a decision.
Take care of yourselves and one another.
With kindest regards,
Lynne Davies
President, Pennsylvania Chautauqua

Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show
The Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show is scheduled for August 21,22, 2021
Check the Outdoor Art Show website frequently for updates
Hello Local Mount Gretna Puzzle People. In addition to our collectible Poster, we have 500 piece jigsaw puzzles of the 2020 Art Show Poster available for your stay at home days. Puzzles may be ordered: 1. online HERE 
2.  by stopping by the Visitors Center (Wednesday - Sunday from 11:30 - 3:30) 
3.  by stopping at the Borough Office (under the Post office
$25 check (tax is included) to Mount Gretna Art Show, PO Box 637, Mount Gretna, PA, 17064.


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