Dear Mt. Gretna Community:
As we say goodbye to fall, we thank all of you for a wonderful summer season of music, theater, arts, education, spirituality, nature and community.
In late May, we welcomed each other back for the summer at the Mount Gretna Arts Council’s Summer Premiere held in the Hall of Philosophy. With Gretna Theater, we traveled the world in 80 days and wriggled our hips with Elvis, The Original Mount Gretna Cicada Music Festival took us back to the 70s with the Electric Light Orchestra, Gretna Music transported us to South Africa with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and brought three Grammy award winners (with 18 Grammys among them!) to our Playhouse. The Tabernacle gave us Barbra Streisand and the Beatles, ending the season with over 1,000 in attendance to enjoy some Motown. The Historical Society hosted over 2,500 visitors this Summer, eager to learn about our community. The Visitors Center helped over 3,000 visitors with pamphlets, directions and advice and had many children spend magical moments in the Fairy Garden looking for Fiona. We continue to benefit from the Mt. Gretna School of Art, now in its tenth year and operating year-round, adding some focused classes for adults seeking college-level art instruction. Music from religious services wafted through the air on Sunday mornings, joining our birds in song. And our 48th annual Outdoor Art Show, showcasing both artists and our forested community, was spectacular.
We enjoyed book reviews and lectures on topics from prison reform to Greek mythology. We went on bird walks and an architecture walk, we blew bubbles thanks to the Big Bubble Bonanza, we rode our bikes in the Fourth of July parade, multiple generations sang along with Mr. Music courtesy of Gretna Music and Chautauqua Summer Programs, we played tennis, stretched ourselves with yoga on the porch, learned to knit for Worldwide Knit in Public Day, and still found time for a little Mahjong. As we headed to our porches, we picked up some reading material at the library or maybe from one of our little neighborhood libraries where the book selection changes almost every day.
How did all of this and so much more happen? It happened because of you. As you might imagine, a tiny community like Mount Gretna can only accomplish these extraordinary events with committed volunteers – lots and lots of volunteers contributing over 10,000 hours annually, as well as financially supporting our more than 90 Summer Program offerings.
We extend an enormous THANK YOU to Gretna Music, Gretna Theatre and The Original Mount Gretna Cicada Music Festival for making our Playhouse come alive with music and song, with laughter and wonder, carrying us to other times and places. It is such a privilege to host all of you and we are proud to call you our partners. We thank Campmeeting for the Heritage Festival and Larry McKenna for all of the music and the Bible Festival Committee for the deep, thoughtful discourse that emerges from the Tabernacle. Our thanks to the Heights for making their Community Building available to the School of Art. Thanks to the Historical Society for opening your doors to educate us on Mount Gretna, past and present. And to all of those who ensure a vibrant series of Summer Programs to educate and enlighten us.
Because of you, Mount Gretna continues to be a thriving Chautauqua community and a unique, magical place.
We look forward to seeing you in 2023.
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua Board of Managers
Allan Feldman, President
Mary Ellen Kiehne