Rochester, N.Y., July 23, 2010—Chautauqua Institution is partnering with Eastman Kodak Company and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film for a week unlike any other offered in the Institution’s history — exploring the world of photography with world-renowned speakers, interactive exhibits and activities, and an onsite social media center designed to share the experience with the world.
Week Five of Chautauqua’s nine-week 2010 Season, taking place July 25 through 31, is themed “Picture This: Photography” and will examine photography through a variety of lenses: technology, art, social development, journalism, ethics and how the medium captures our imagination.
In planning the week, Kodak and George Eastman House have provided expertise and made available resources that ensure those taking part in the Chautauqua programs will leave with an enriched understanding of the history, relevance and future of the medium.
“We set out to create for Chautauquans an opportunity to engage in this topic at both a personal level and a much larger scale, from telling one’s personal story in old family photographs to using technology to map our endless universe,” said Chautauqua President Tom Becker. That engagement will be found throughout the grounds during Week Five and beyond the traditional Chautauqua program.
Eastman House has assisted Chautauqua with the selection of the week’s morning and afternoon speakers, Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle author, and professionals for Master Classes offered through the Special Studies program.
Confirmed speakers for Week Five include celebrated photojournalists Ed Kashi and National Geographic’s Steve McCurry; space photographer Margaret Geller; Kodak retiree and digital-camera inventor Steve Sasson, and James Colton, photo editor for Sports Illustrated, among others. Vanity Fair’s David Friend will present his book Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11 as the week’s Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle author, and award-winning photographers Ross Whitaker and Jeff Dunas will share their expertise through Chautauqua’s Special Studies courses.
Forty-four photographs from the George Eastman House collection, chosen to demonstrate the power of photography, will be on display all season throughout the Institution grounds in the outdoor frames provided by the National Geographic Museum.
Those attending afternoon lectures at the Hall of Philosophy will be provided with KODAK Gallery Photobooks featuring speaker biographies and photographs. And everyone on the grounds during the week will be invited to participate in a Chautauqua-themed photo scavenger hunt.
The first floor of Chautauqua’s Hultquist Center will become headquarters for Kodak and George Eastman House. Inside, visitors will discover historic cameras and photo equipment on display and try out Kodak’s latest imaging products. Kodak’s award-winning social media team will also call Hultquist home for the week, conducting video interviews and providing daily updates via its social media channels, including 1000Words blog, Twitter, YouTube and other channels to expand the reach of the week’s content worldwide.
By broadcasting the work of Chautauqua beyond the gates, such online presence is intended to foster a dialogue about photography, prompted by the morning and afternoon lectures, that is unprecedented.
“Photography is constantly evolving, and Kodak has always been proud to be at the heart of it,” said Tom Hoehn, Kodak’s Director of Interactive and Web Marketing and a longtime Chautauquan. “At no point in history has imaging technology been available to so many people in the world. From a citizen journalist sharing an international incident to a new parent sharing a picture of their first child, barriers to connect are evaporating.”
Hoehn added that Kodak’s rich heritage in sharing and storytelling “connects perfectly with what Chautauqua is all about.”
Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George Eastman House, plus curator of the outdoor photographic show and a longtime Chautauquan, said the opportunity to work with Chautauqua and Kodak fosters the museum’s mission to engage conversations and understanding about the image in our time.
“Photography introduced the need for visual literacy in the 19th century,” said Bannon. “Its technology—its multiple faces—require our careful understanding of the diverse social spaces and the various cultures that it informs.”
“We are constantly bombarded by the photograph. We constantly use it and almost unconsciously make them,” he added. “The camera in our cell phone is always with us to help us focus and decipher the world. We need, in turn, to better focus and decipher it.”
For more information about Week Five’s “Picture This: Photography” at Chautauqua Institution, please visit www.ciweb.org.
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ABOUT GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE
George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, established in 1947 on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman, is the world’s oldest museum of photography. It houses an unparalleled collection of photography, motion pictures, cameras and technology, and literature of these fields of study. The museum offers graduate programs in photograph and motion picture preservation. Learn more at eastmanhouse.org
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
The Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to lifelong learning. Based on the four pillars of Art, Education, Religion and Recreation, Chautauqua’s programs aim to renew the spirit, stimulate the mind, value the arts, and promote physical well-being. It has performance venues, hotel, golf, tennis and educational and recreational facilities.
For nine weeks each year, from late June through late August, the Institution offers a rich blend of arts, a variety of programming and recreational activities. Its educational mission is continued during the rest of the year with programs for older adults such as Elderhostels and other learning opportunities. More information is available at www.ciweb.org