Kroemer, Lomax and Tse join Chautauqua Wawasee’s Board of Directors.

We are proud to announce, that in January 2024, Karen Kroemer, Erin Lomax, and Carmen Tse joined Chautauqua Wawasee’s Board of Directors.

Karen Kroemer is retired from a career in educational, non-profit, media, and corporate positions. She has served on six non-profit boards of directors in Northern Indiana and Indianapolis. Karen also portrays the nativity angel in Chautauqua Wawasee’s annual Old-Fashioned Christmas.


Erin Lomax designs online learning programs and has developed and led educational programs at various organizations including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Erin is an expert on Manatees and has also written four books.

Carmen Tse is a C.P.A. who has led financial management teams with many private and public companies in Northern Indiana. She has also served as an advisor or board member to six other non-profit organizations, primarily in the arts. Carmen also sings soprano in her church choir.

The current members of Chautauqua Wawasee’s Board of Directors are:
Melissa Buesching
Shelly Judy
Mark Knecht
Karen Kroemer
Larry Lane
Erin Lomax
Mary Moretto
Judy Pursley
Kip Schumm
Ann Strong
Carmen Tse

Chautauqua’s Annual Fundraising Campaign A Success

Chautauqua Wawasee’s once-a-year annual fundraising campaign concluded successfully on January 8. “Due to the generous contributions of Syracuse and Wawasee residents, we blew over the top of our 2024 goal”, a grateful Mark Knecht shared. “Grant funding and donations are the lifeblood of our ability to offer life-enriching programs, most of them free to attend”.

Chautauqua Wawasee develops and sponsors programs in support of the four Chautauqua “pillars”: Arts, Education, Faith, and Recreation. “Our goal is to make Syracuse and the region a great place to visit, work, live, and raise a family” cited Mark Knecht, the organization’s president. “As a non-profit organization, our annual campaign is a significant and critical component of our financial budget.”

Among the programs donations support are the: Purdue Varsity Glee Club on March 1, Taps Across the Water at Dusk on May 26, Patriotic Speaker series featuring Ben Franklin on June 30, Pawasee Dog Parade on June 22, Stories of the Miami Peoples on September 7, Famous Hoosier series featuring John Wooden July 13, Old Fashioned Christmas, and twelve other programs. The majority of Chautauqua programs are offered at no cost to attend, so the support provided by the annual campaign makes these programs possible. Our team of 60+ volunteers is also a key element of our success in 2023.

Chautauqua Wawasee was founded in 2014 to provide the “Chautauqua Experience” for the Syracuse and Northern Indiana region. As a 501c(3) non-profit organization, grants and donations are the primary sources of revenue to support and provide programming.

We are thrilled to announce the 2024 Chautauqua Wawasee event calendar! This year’s lineup is packed with exciting events and activities that are sure to delight all ages. From live music performances and theatrical productions to educational lectures and workshops, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Our team has worked tirelessly to curate a diverse and inclusive schedule that highlights the talents and interests of our local community. So mark your calendars and join us for another year of fun, learning, and community building with your friends at Chautauqua Wawasee!


During WACF’s Earth Day event in May, we focused on the Monarch butterfly with the help of Cindy Gackenheimer of Flutterby Gardens from Claypool and Kay Pylant from Leesburg.  We want to inform you of a few future events that are a must if you are serious about growing a garden that attracts pollinators.

Cindy will host her annual Butterfly Extravaganza on August 5, from 4-6 p.m.  She can be contacted at (574) 453-8390 for further details.  Kay will also host a number of “How to Save our Pollinators” sessions during June and July.  Kay can be contacted at (913) 638-6502.  You can find and watch short videos where Cindy and Kay discuss Monarchs on the Chautauqua Wawasee YouTube channel by pressing here.





During April, we hosted a three-part series on the past, present and future of Religion presented by Dr. Michael Spath, executive director of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace. These well-attended presentations were held in the Jennings Auditorium at the Greencroft Community in Goshen – the first time we hosted an event outside of Syracuse.

You can watch a replay of each presentation on the Chautauqua Wawasee YouTube channel by pressing HERE.

During the first session, Dr. Spath explained how during the Paleolithic period our ancient ancestors associated women with the mystery of creation.
Blood was the basis of clanship. Through birth, women were transmitters of the clan’s blood and its spirit. Menstrual blood was used to fertilize fields in the Spring and used in healing. Women were responsible for the harvest because they knew the mystery of creation. They were the personified symbol of all life – the embodiment of all nature and the generative powers of the Earth including the cycle of fertility, creation, growth, preservation, and death. Mother Earth.

During the second session, Dr. Spath explained many of the common themes found in the religions developed during the axial age (800-200 BCE).
With urbanization, power shifted from the priest and king to the marketplace with greater social inequality and economic exploitation. In addition, Iron Age wars created chaos. In response to these trends, religions began to call people to seek higher community goals and inward reality. Cooperative behaviors (compassion and charity), sexual behaviors (chastity and monogamy), economic behaviors (condemnation of conspicuous consumption and greed) and parenting behaviors (investment in children) originated during the axial age. Humans were also becoming self-conscious. Increased urbanization led to a crisis of individuation – no longer members of a clan, we became individuals who coexist in an urban setting with people from different backgrounds

This led to:

  • a crisis of morality – no longer shared norms, we have to negotiate new norms
    among diverse crowds with a focus on ethics, empathy, and individual rights;
  •  a crisis of meaning – the individual must look inward to answer the questions of
    purpose and meaning; and
  • a crisis of mortality – without the presence of tribal ancestors, when the unique
    individual dies, what happens next?

During the third session, Dr. Spath discussed the future of religion in these post-modern times as people are looking for new narratives.  Pre-modern thought considered religion as science and myth as fact and history with a focus on tribal consciousness. Modern thought shifted to individualized consciousness in response to the Enlightenment and modern science. With increased globalization, Post-Modern thought embraces pluralism, multiculturalism and diversity, with a heightened Earth consciousness.

Will religion’s new story be a story of human dignity and compassion, a story embracing all sentient beings as sacred, a story of awe, and a story that celebrates our love affair with our mother, the Earth?

Again, you can watch a replay of each presentation on the Chautauqua Wawasee YouTube channel by pressing HERE.

Reading List for April Faith Series.

On April 13, 20 and 27, Chautauqua-Wawasee is hosting Michael Spath who will lead a three-part series consisting of:
Religion Before Adam and Eve
The Creation of Modern Religion: Where Our Faith and Values Were Born
Religion Present & Future: What It Means to be Human.


John E. Pfeiffer, The Creative Explosion: An Inquiry into the Origins of Art and Religion.
Robert Bellah, Religion In Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age.
Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation. 
Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Devin Van Lue BSU Singers

Local Ball State University Singer Devin Van Lue shares his love of music.
By Devin Van Lue

My musical background began at Syracuse Elementary School with my music mentor, Kris Stump. Mrs. Stump offered me the role of a mouse in Wawasee High School’s production of “Cinderella.” From then on, I was involved with Wawasee Performing Arts as a lighting and sound operator, backstage crew, ensemble, and in leading roles. My most memorable role was playing Prince Eric in our production of “The Little Mermaid” this past spring. Mrs. Stump offered me the opportunity to play in Wawasee High Schools’ Marching Band. I played in the front ensemble, marched in the percussion battery, and served as a drum major for three years. I also played percussion and saxophone for Pep Band and Concert Band. In my freshman year, I auditioned for Vocal Motion, Wawasee’s top show choir. Music was a large part of my education at Wawasee, but It wasn’t all I did. I was also a member of the Key Club, Student Council, Drama Club, The International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Boy Scouts, and Relay for Life. Being a part of all these programs made me into the man that I am today. I thoroughly enjoyed every program I was involved in. The programs gave me inspiration for choosing my future career as a music educator. These groups allowed me to grow as a leader and a student which tremendously prepared me for college.

When I first toured Ball State University, I heard of the Ball State University Singers, and I was excited to audition this past spring. I did not receive the chance to be in show choir all the way through high school, so I knew that this was something I wanted to do. The audition process was super easy but also intimidating. This past April, we were asked to prepare two songs, one upbeat and one slow. We sang our pieces in front of the director and all previous cast members. Following the singing portion of our audition, we then learned a dance with the dance captains and had to perform the song with choreography. My voice teacher, Shannon Rose, also attended my auditions and greatly helped me prepare for this. It wasn’t until June 16th that I learned I was a member of the Ball State University Singers. I was so excited to make this group because I knew it was going to be my favorite part of college. The director sent out an email to all the members that made the group that day. I was thrilled to get the news and I couldn’t wait to share it with my family and friends.

 The Ball State University Singers is currently in its 59th cast and is recognized as Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors singing songs of faith, hope, laughter, and love. These four pillars make up the foundation of the Ball State University Singers and our directors encourage us to follow these pillars in our everyday life. We as singers are expected to rehearse at least twice a week for several hours. We travel all over the state to run clinics with high school show choirs and we perform for Ball State and other community events. We prepare music with our theme of faith, hope, laughter, and love throughout the entire year. We will learn our music and the choreography that goes with it. All the music we prepare stays in our repertoire leading up to our annual Spectacular performance in April.

I was extremely blessed to be a part of this amazing cast. BSU Singers has transformed my college experience into an amazing one. I am honored to be able to represent the talent at Wawasee at a collegiate level. I plan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in vocal and instrumental music education. I choose this degree because of my true passion for music and the amazing educators that got me to this point. Kris Stump, Shannon Rose, Connie Meadows, and Toni Pawlicki taught and trained me into the performer that I am today and for that, I am truly grateful. I could not have received this opportunity without their love and support. Being a member of the BSU Singers has given me more passion for pursuing this degree because of the amount of joy that is spread through this group. From a glee club member to an audience, everyone is in for a spectacular show. There is a treat for everyone throughout the entire performance sharing our faith, hope, laughter, and love. Here at Ball State, I was instantly surrounded by loving people pursuing their dreams. This made getting adjusted to college much easier. Along with the Ball State University Singers, I also participate in Concert Choir and Cardinal Chorus. These programs train us in an exciting way to be a performer of skill and consistency. During our performance, our audience will be thrilled with all sorts of music ranging from pop to musical theater. Following our performance, the glee club will be outside the auditorium to meet and greet. We would love to share with you more information on the group and future performances. I could not be where I am today without the support of my amazing community. We hope you enjoy the performance.


*Reprinted with the permission of the Mail-Journal.

Chautauqua Wawasee celebrates 130 years of the Oakwood Park tradition.

For the past 12 years, Chautauqua Wawasee has offered life-enriching programs while continuing the 130-year Oakwood Park tradition. In 1893, Oakwood Park became a permanent camp meeting ground when purchased by the Indiana Conference of the Evangelical Church, succeeded by the Evangelical United Brethren Church and later the United Methodist Church. James S. Hook, the author of Oakwood’s First Century 1893-1993, said that the history of Oakwood Park is about “lives changed, lives enriched, vows made, relationships developed, dreams encouraged, hopes renewed, prayers said and the spiritual experienced.”

With the philanthropic commitment of Howard Brembeck, in 1993 the Oakwood Foundation received Oakwood Park’s hotel and other properties. The Foundation continued Oakwood Park’s long tradition as a recreational, cultural, and spiritual retreat center. Falling upon difficult financial times, the Foundation was placed into receivership from which the hotel and other properties were sold. During this time, the Oakwood Park tradition began its third life with the creation of Chautauqua Wawasee.

Lake Wawasee resident Ann Strong Wade was familiar with the Chautauqua Institution in New York, which also started as a Methodist church camp in 1874 and has its own traditions based upon four pillars (arts, education, religion, and recreation). At this time, Ann envisioned the possibility of having a Chautauqua-like organization in Syracuse and founded Chautauqua Wawasee. After three years of planning with the support of the receiver, Ann’s vision became a reality in 2011, with 14 events held over two weekends. In 2014, Chautauqua Wawasee was merged with the Oakwood Foundation as an independent non-profit organization. Ann has served on the organization’s board of directors since then.

Ann Strong Wade

Over the past 12 years, Chautauqua Wawasee has hosted or participated in over 120 programs. Events are based upon the four Chautauqua pillars with a mission to help make Syracuse and the region a great place to visit, live, work and raise a family. Chautauqua Wawasee adds new programs every year, reviews participant’s feedback, and maintains favorite past events including core programs such as the Oakwood Fine Art Festival, Patriotic Speaker series and Patriotic Pops concert, local history series, and Old-Fashioned Christmas.

The following is a list of all events over the past 12 years:

7/1 Children’s choir, balloon glow
7/2 Balloon race, flotilla run, Wawasee Days speaker, Ft. Wayne Philharmonic
7/3 Worship service, community picnic, Reimagining America program
7/16 Wawasee Days speaker, music performance
7/17 Worship service, Reimagining America program, campfire/sing along

7/19 Artistic evenings – Larry Rudolech
7/21 Hobby shop for children
7/21 The Ground Up – Jack Elam
7/22 Neighbors in our World series, Quaker religion – Jim McAdams
7/26 Artistic evenings – Douglas Grant
7/28 Hobby shop for children
7/28 Show N Tell
7/29 Neighbors in our World series, Amish faith – Susan Miller

7/21 Grassroots peacemaking in the Middle East from a Christian perspective-John Lapp
7/28 Muslim-Christian dialogue – Amir J. Tamir Rasheed & Dr. Terry Anderson, facilitated by Dr. L Michael Spath
8/4 How people of different faiths can work together for the common good – Dr. Kent Millard

5/30 Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Experience
6/28 Art Blast
6/28 Ft. Wayne Philharmonic Patriotic Pops Concert
7/4 Flotilla Road Race
7/7-7/11 Chautauqua Week
7/7 Past, present & preservation adventure, two-piano recital with dynamic duo Marianne Tobias and Anita Cast.
7/8 Peace pole project, Creative Fish, finding peace while searching for God – Rev. John Denson, Lunch & lecture with Ron Manahan, Knitting 101, Jazz performance with Kevin Piekarski & Dave Latchaw.
7/9 Building for tomorrow – George Srour, lunch & lecture – Dr. Welling Hall, Felted Flowers with Michelle, Sons of Bill outdoor concert
7/10 Peace pole project, Creative Fish (part 2), Is peace possible – R. Scott Appleby, Lunch & lecture Jim Brennaman, needle fleeting with Michelle, The Schmidts & First Love performance
7/11 Interfaith lecture, the religious scientific dialogue: how to debate ideas, Frank Levinson, Nate Bosch, Brian Murphy, Past, Present & preservation adventure Lillypad cruise – part 2
7/11-13 Paint Out
7/12 Tour Des Lakes Cycling
7/26 Hope Floats – Cardboard Boat Regatta
9/6 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival
10/11 OAKtoberfest

4/23 The promise and peril of human enhancement: will technology put an end to disability?
5/22 Josh Kaufman in concert
6/16 Learn what motivates and gives you meaning: the power of archetypes
7/5 Ft. Wayne Philharmonic concert
7/11 Tour des Lakes Cycling Adventure

7/23 Chautauqua on the Lawn: Multicultural musical experience with saxophonist George Wolfe & pianist James Helton
8/15 Holly Combs: Don’t label me!
9/12 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival
10/3 OAKtoberfest
10/11-13 Finding spiritual gold in the second half of life with Kaye Lindauer

4/15 Purdue Varsity Glee Club performance
5/27 Wine, Cheese & Chocolate experience
6/28 Ft. Wayne Philharmonic concert
7/4 Flotilla Road Race
7/9 Tour des Lakes
8/27 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival

4/10-15 RemedyLive schooled tour
5/15-20 Family series week
6/2 Wine, Cheese & Chocolate experience
6/5-8 Teen Comedy Improv camp
7/2 Ft. Wayne Philharmonic pops concert
7/4 Flotilla road race
7/6-7 iPhone photography seminar
8/26 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival
10/13 Purdue Varsity Glee Club
10/15 Lillypad Fall Color Tour
10/15-19 Chautauqua week
11/7 1 st Annual Chautauqua celebration

4/16 Bruised reeds & smoldering wicks – Chris Haughee
6/27 Ft. Wayne Philharmonic Patriotic concert
6/30 Oakwood SummerFest
7/13-15 Plein air painting
8/24 Art festival – wine reception
8/25 Oakwood fine arts festival
9/7-9 1 st annual Wawasee jazz party
10/1 Celebrate Chautauqua banquet
10/19 Funny & Alone – Bobby Bones
10/20 You’re not alone – Becky Savage

1/25 Winter Carnival Dance.
1/25-6 Winter Carnival

3/15 Zumba Party Oakwood Banquet Hall
3/15 Preventing Loss -Drug Prevention Program to Four High Schools convocations.
5/23 LillyPad Wawasee Cruise.
6/22 Oakwood Fine Arts Festival
6/15 Patriotic Pops Concert
9/5 Algonquin inhabitants of Indiana’s Forest – Joe Krom
9/6 Prehistory of northeast Indiana and the Midwest – Steve Hart
9/7 J.P. Dolan Native American Collection – Jamie Clemons, Ann Garceau, Jeff Mesaros
10/15 LillyPad Fall Color Tour
11/15 Being Mortal book discussion – Atul Gawande
11/30 Old-fashioned Christmas

1/24 The Book of Joy book discussion
2/8 Gardening in the face of a changing climate
2/20 Chair yoga for seniors
6/28 Patriotic pops concert (canceled due to covid)
7/30 Enhanced fitness for seniors with Parkview Y (canceled)
7/31 Historical “Then and Now” Lake Wawasee cruise
8/15 Oakwood fine arts festival
8/26 Mapping Indiana’s suffrage history
8/29 Woman’s suffrage centennial ice cream social
9/3 Elm bark canoe construction
9/4 Native American artifacts (weapons, tools & more)
9/5 Legends, lore & legacies of Northeast Indians
9/5 Hoosier suffragists who raised a ruckus
10/10 Lake Wawasee “Did you know?” fall cruise
10/23 Purdue Varsity Glee Club (canceled)
10/27 Fall prevention with Parkview Health (canceled)
11/28 Old Fashioned Christmas (canceled)

4/24 Gardening in the face of a changing climate – John Edgerton
5/1 WACF’s earth day
5/20 Historical Lake Wawasee cruise
5/30 Taps across the water
6/12 Oakwood Wawasee fine arts festival
6/27 Chautauqua patriot’s day: Abraham Lincoln talk
6/27 Chautauqua patriot’s day: Ft. Wayne Philharmonic pops concert
7/15 Lake fun
8/7 Chautauqua lakes film festival
9/2 Native American history of Northern Indiana
9/3 Kosciusko County: Paleo to Potawatomi
9/4 Native American history

10/6 Resurrection Peacemaking: Are we bold enough? – Cliff Kindy
10/7 “Then & Now” Lake Wawasee historical cruise
11/27 Old-fashioned Christmas

4/22 Purdue Varsity Glee Club
4/30 WACF earth day
5/19 Lake Wawasee “points of interest” historical cruise
5/29 Taps across the water as dusk
6/26 Patriot’s Day talk-Thomas Jefferson
6/26 Patriot’s Day pops concert – Ft. Wayne Philharmonic
8/6 Family fun film festival
9/1 Using maps to unlock the past
9/2 Reenacting Richard Stone’s journal
9/3 Northern Indiana history
9/27-29 Chautauqua trails annual meeting
9/28 Kindy workshop
9/29 Lake Wawasee “Then & Now” historical cruise
11/26 Old-fashioned Christmas

Yes, there was a Huge Turnout for Old Fashioned Christmas! And oh what a night! The weather was perfect so families turned out in throngs for the 3 rd annual event that starts the Christmas season. Families began arriving at 5:30 to enjoy Christmas music, receive a glow stick, a program with activity map, and take pictures with holiday characters such as Frosty, Gingerbread Man, Grinch, Toy Soldier, elves, and others. None of the activities were available to enjoy until after the Big Tree lighting. So, anticipation was high for a visit with Santa for children, pictures at the family fun photo booth, listening to “The Night Before Christmas” read by an elf, visiting the live reindeer, and taking the horse-drawn wagon ride around the park. The live nativity had both reverent observers and those who came up to observe the baby Jesus closely. The Chapel was a warm refuge to hear the Bible reading of the true Christmas Story. And like every year, cookies, hot cocoa and s’mores were consumed by the warmth of a fire pit.

And there were some changes this year. The most obvious was the 20×40 foot stage that was loaned by the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce. This enabled two musical groups, The Chain Gang and Winona Lake Brass Quintet, to be more visible and to be heard. Phil Metcalf again served as the Master of Ceremonies. Another new element was the t-shirt toss by the Grinch (Tami Schumm) who threw out twenty green Chautauqua Wawasee kids t-shirts from the stage to screaming children. Also new was the wagon ride, which replaced the sleigh ride. Due to its large capacity, more peoplewere able to enjoy the ride pulled by two horses. But what about the lighting of the 70-foot tree? Anticipation was high as 6:15 approached for the lighting and countdown. Oakwood Resort owners, Dr. Rex Parent and his wife Connie, had the honor this year to lead the countdown with the entire crowd joining in: ten, nine, eight….one, MERRY CHRISTMAS…and the huge tree sprang to colorful life as everyone sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas, We Wish You a Merry Christmas…and Happy New Year.

Chautauqua-Wawasee organizes Old Fashioned Christmas as a free gift to the community with active participation from the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, Syracuse Parks Department, Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, Wawasee Property Owners Association, Rotary, Oakwood Resort, Nappanee Chamber of Commerce, Wawasee High School Tech Department. Kip Schumm is the Program Manager who orchestrates the huge effort in recruiting vendors, 70+ volunteers, and partners. And thanks to these businesses who contributed: Jasper Plastics, Bass Audiology, The Papers Inc., Los Toritos Mexican Restaurant, Man Cave Brewing, Pickwick Theater, Colbin Tool Co. and WPOA.

Five Things You Should Know About Chautauqua-Wawasee

The Mail-Journal recently sat down with Mark Knecht, the President of Chautauqua-Wawasee, to talk about their organization and future plans.

Mail-Journal: What do you want readers to know about Chautauqua?

Knecht: Well, a lot of people don’t know who we are and what we do, so that would be a good place to start.

Mail-Journal: Ok, let’s start with that.

Knecht: Our primary goal is to help make Syracuse and the region a great place to visit, work, live and raise a family. We try to do this by offering unique programs consistent with the four Chautauqua pillars: Arts, Education, Faith and Recreation.

Mail-Journal: That’s a very broad scope. How do you decide on programming with the pillars?

Knecht: Yes, it is very broad. So, we try to pick specific voids no one else is providing. For example, we have a Patriotic Speaker series around July 4. We brought an Abe Lincoln re-enactor one year, Thomas Jefferson this year and next year it will be Abagail Adams and Martha Washington. We’re excited!

Mail-Journal: Does Chautauqua-Wawasee do this all on its own?

Knecht: No. our goal is always to partner with another organization or two or sometimes more. As an example, for our Old Fashioned Christmas program, we team with the Town of Syracuse, the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, Syracuse Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Oakwood Resort and Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation. It’s a huge effort led by Kip Schumm. Nearly 1,000 people attended in 2021. It’s always best to work as a team.

Mail-Journal: That makes sense. Looking back on 2022, what are you particularly proud of?

Knecht: Oh, that’s a tough one. The Fine Arts Festival is very successful. But I’d say I heard more comments about “Taps Across the Water at Dusk” program than any other program. We still have some areas on the three lakes where people have come out to listen, and couldn’t hear it. We’ve got to work on that again next year…The wind is a big factor affecting how far sound travels.

Mail-Journal: What kind of programs do you have in the Faith Pillar?

Knecht: This year Cliff Kindy is conducting a workshop around the question “what if Christians were as passionate about peace as warfighters are about war”. Cliff is an amazing person who lives his faith. He’s traveled to dangerous trouble spots around the world with Christian Peacekeeper Teams and will share some of his stories and experiences on September 28 as part of the National Chautauqua Conference meetings.

Mail-Journal: What’s that all about?

Knecht: We will be hosting the National Conference of North American Chautauqua organizations at the end of September. Chautauqua-Wawasee is one of 19 independent Chautauqua organizations. We all get together once a year to share ideas and learn from each other. This is the first time the National Conference is being held here in Syracuse.

Mail-Journal: How does Chautauqua-Wawasee function, since most of its programs are free to attend?

Knecht: 95% of the work is done by volunteers…Chautauqua’s and the partners we team with. We want as many people as possible to have access to our programs, so making them free to attend works best. Our funding comes from the Howard and Myra Brembeck Foundation, Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Harkless Foundation, Lilly Foundation and from donations received during our annual fundraising campaign.

Mail-Journal: How do people learn about the programs and events you offer?

Knecht: We publish an e-newsletter called “Five Things You Should Know” …five times a year. It’s a quick read. Our website, is always up-to-date, and we regularly post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Thank you to The Mail-Journal for allowing us to post this article.