Dear Lakesiders,

As the Lakeside community approaches a momentous 146 th Chautauqua season, we have much to share with you. To prepare you for an exciting summer at Lakeside, we want to give you a glimpse of what’s new this year, bring you up to speed on our next steps related to implementing the approved Master Plan, and offer some ways you can get involved this summer.

You're invited to share Lakeside with your friends and family. Encourage them to sign up for our 2019 Calendar of Events brochure and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.
What's New

Throughout the entire community-driven Master Planning process, and while conducting our recent Programming Assessment, we’ve received insightful feedback from you on how to improve the Lakeside experience for all. We’ve been listening and have taken action in significant ways to make this summer at Lakeside one to remember. The following are just a few highlights you can expect when you return to Lakeside’s beautiful grounds:  
  • The Lakeside Symphony Orchestra is vital to the Lakeside experience. Last year, we auditioned five guest conductors to lead the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra. This summer, we welcome a new, dynamic Music Director & Conductor, Daniel Meyer, to the Hoover Auditorium stage. Daniel was selected as the #1 candidate by the Lakeside community, Lakeside staff and members of the orchestra. He’ll be infusing the repertoire with fresh and engaging music to elevate your symphony experience. This summer’s concert series will provide audiences with five classical music performances, one Pops concert and, for the first time ever, two youth matinee concerts. Please visit to view the summer concert series and sign up for our discounted subscription to orchestra concerts. As well, please welcome Daniel, his wife, Mary Persin, and their 5-year-old son, Leo, to Lakeside Chautauqua.

  • Lifelong learning experiences are evolving. The community has endorsed featuring more noted authors and speakers as part of the Hoover Auditorium lineup. As a result, we will host even more evening speakers this summer, including Wm. Paul Young, Canadian author of the #1 New York Times best-selling book, The Shack (June 25); Michael Roizen, MD, award-winning author and Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic (July 9); Columbus Zoo Animals with Suzi Rapp, Vice President of Animal Programs at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium (July 17); and CBS Emmy-Award winning broadcast journalist, Steve Hartman (July 23). The Chautauqua Lecture Series will be restructured, with lectures held Monday-Thursday mornings from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Themes include Artificial Intelligence (July1-3), Guns, Kids & the Media (July 8-9), A Garden Journey (July 15-16) and The Appalachian Trail (Aug. 14-15). The afternoon lecture timeslot will now give way to a variety of programs that focus on varied learning styles and won’t be restricted to the 1:30-3 p.m. timeslot. 

  • Lakeside to begin implementing the first phase of Lakeside’s new Performing Arts Institute. This program, brought to the forefront by the Master Plan and Programming Assessment, will provide high caliber music and performing arts instruction to a diverse student population studying music, theatre, production and arts management. The programming will be geared toward enrichment and self-study, as well as the advancement of a professional career in the performing arts industry. This summer, the vocal music phase of the Institute begins with a new format to the Chautauqua Choral Festival, the introduction of a Chautauqua Vocal Workshop and August Choral Experience, a new Christian Music Retreat, and private instruction lessons.

  • Recreation clinics are taking shape with Wimbledon and U.S. Open Pickleball pros, and all are encouraged to take part in programming at the new sports courts in Bettinger Park. We’re excited to welcome former Wimbledon Champion JoAnne Russell to Lakeside in June to lead a Tennis Clinic at the Williams Tennis Campus. And back by popular demand, Simone Jardim will return to Lakeside in July to lead extended pickleball events, including a clinic, private and group lessons, and a destination camp. Also, with the construction of the new basketball, sand volleyball and multi-purpose courts in Bettinger Park, expect a lineup of clinics for all ages. As a special treat for our youth, Ohio State University’s Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Holtmann will lead a huddle for youth in early August.

As you return to Lakeside this summer, you and your family will also experience the first wave of Master Plan projects across the grounds. They include:
  • New Pickleball Campus
  • Restoration of & improvements to the Steele Memorial Bandstand/Gazebo
  • Renovation & expansion of the sports courts in Bettinger Park
  • New restaurant in South Lakeside, Lago Coastal Café
  • Route 163 beautification & Campground landscape improvements
We’re excited to welcome you back for a transformational season at Lakeside. If you haven’t already planned your visit, book a hotel room or cottage today. More families than ever are booking multiple trips to Lakeside this summer because of the caliber of entertainment and diverse Chautauqua programs being offered. Don’t miss out.
Master Plan Next Steps
As we march toward our 150 th Anniversary celebration in 2023, we must continue to ensure that future generations experience Lakeside in transformative ways. As a result of feedback from Lakesiders, board and staff will be focusing their collective efforts on five primary strategic fronts between now and 2023. These Master Plan initiatives will require significant planning. Studies will need to be conducted, multiple-year plans will need to be developed, and collaboration will need to shape these visions into reality. They are the following:
Housing – A workgroup has been formed to study ways we can increase housing options, especially since more and more cottages are coming off the rental market. We're looking selectively at smaller footprints across the grounds to build out additional housing, as well as some creative ways to achieve our goal. You’ll be hearing more about this in the coming months and years. 

Infrastructure – Lakeside is working with Korda/Nemeth Engineering, one of our Master Plan development partners, to study and plan for the replacement of Lakeside’s 10+ miles of paved roadway. Work will continue through the summer, and we hope to share some initial findings at a Community Forum over Labor Day weekend, as well as at future Lakeside Property Owners Association meetings. This will be a multi-year effort with no construction before 2020, at the earliest. Below are some of the deliverables of the study for this longer term initiative:

  1. Summary report of existing conditions, proposed improvements, alternatives & recommendations
  2. Public & private utilities disposition, including relocation and/or burial
  3. Lighting layouts & fixture selections
  4. Typical street sections & materials
  5. Typical intersection plans
  6. On-street parking configurations, curbs & crosswalks
  7. Major & typical traffic sign locations 
  8. Phased construction recommendations including budget costs

Lakefront – During the Master Planning process, Lakesiders told us that the lakefront is one of the top three projects we should focus on. A workgroup has been formed to study the lakefront, solicit additional feedback from a broad base of Lakeside stakeholders, explore options and make final recommendations. One of the primary goals of the workgroup is to address the erosion problem we’ve been experiencing on our western shoreline as a result of frequent and powerful nor’easter storms. As a result, we will need to conduct a hydrology study to address this issue, as well as water stagnation problems we experience in the swimming zone each summer. We will also determine if we need to further fortify our dock. Complementing these areas of focus, we'll also be conducting an examination of the water-based services we provide today and what should be added or modified in the future. 

Rt. 163 Front Door to Lakeside – This is one of the top three projects Lakesiders defined as a priority. Lakeside Chautauqua is collaborating with the Lakeside Heritage Society and our cottage rental companies to further develop South Lakeside by building a new and visible Welcome Center combined with a new history Museum and Archives. This is an exciting opportunity to establish an aesthetically pleasing and functional front door to the community. We envision this combined facility serving the broader community by becoming a first stop for those exploring the peninsula and its historic attractions. It will help give the Heritage Society much greater visibility within the township and county and better position it as a resource for not only the history of Lakeside and the Chautauqua Movement, but also the history of the Marblehead Peninsula (Civil War, Maritime and the Firelands District). We have discussed this project with Lake Erie Shores & Islands, and they have expressed interest in partnering with Lakeside, given the rich history of the area we archive. On a functional note, we envision this facility being the primary location for gate and auto pass sales and cottage rentals, eliminating the need for our guests to drive and park downtown to pick up keys before driving to their rental property. This will help ease much of the congestion we experience downtown and make it a much smoother guest process.
Schoolhouse, Cultural Arts Campus & Hoover Stage House – Of the top three projects Lakesiders expressed a desire to see, the restoration of the Lakeside Schoolhouse was deemed #1. We heard clearly that it's time to put that building back into production as a revenue-producing venue, repurposed for music education in support of an expanded performing arts program. Many voiced that the Schoolhouse, and the space surrounding the building, is the perfect location for students of all ages to be inspired by world-class artists and teachers to develop performance skills and a higher level of artistry, both technically and spiritually.
The old Lakeside Schoolhouse has 10,000 sq. ft. of space
and is in great shape structurally.

As a result, Lakeside has budgeted monies for a formal study of the Schoolhouse this summer. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued and sent to four architectural firms known for their strong focus on historic preservation. Staff awarded the study to Columbus-based Schooley Caldwell, one of our initial partners in the development of the Master Plan. They have extensive experience with this type of historic restoration and have developed many performing arts spaces across the state and nation.

Inside the Schoolhouse
Original blueprint of Hoover Auditorium and Stage House

Hoover Auditorium Stage House
In addition, we must consider Hoover Auditorium, specifically the stage house, which is a vital area supporting Lakeside’s current performing arts program. The country was entering the Great Depression when Hoover Auditorium was being constructed and the stage house was built more as a temporary facility given lack of money to complete it as originally envisioned.

The temporary stage house continues to exist today – after 90 years of serving the Lakeside community. The resourcefulness of staff has allowed Hoover to operate in this temporary setting, despite the many challenges it has created in its nine decades of history. However, recent disintegration of sections of the proscenium arch because of water damage, needed upgrades in electrical systems, and other major work required have reached a point where we can no longer apply band aids. Because of the acute imitations of our stage house, it's now affecting the kinds of performances we can attract. In fact, we're experiencing more and more groups that will not play our venue because of these limitations. It's time for us to consider building a new stage house to support Arts, Religious Life and other community programs. We see a linkage between the needs at Hoover and the desire to restore the Schoolhouse, both supporting our current and future performing arts program, which includes the re-energized Lakeside Symphony Orchestra. It makes sense for us to consider both facilities as we plan for the future. We are in the process of issuing an RFP for this project.   

To grow and enhance Lakeside’s performing arts program, a team of industry experts is also being assembled to develop a plan for programming that will work in tandem with the teams reviewing the buildings and infrastructure. This group will begin working on specific program plans centered on performance arts education that is new, innovative and provides avenues for areas of study that are currently not being offered at Lakeside. The group will also analyze the changing industry trends in performing arts and entertainment so that Lakeside can further capitalize on these opportunities. 
Get Involved
We want to gather the community’s insight as we dive further into planning for the Schoolhouse and Hoover Stage House. For this reason, we’re opening the Lakeside Schoolhouse and Backstage Hoover this summer for behind-the-scenes tours. Community participation is important, so save the date for the following:

Lakeside Schoolhouse Tours: 
• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, July 1
• 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 10
• 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13
• 9-11 a.m. Friday, July 19

Visit for more information.

Hoover Stage House tours:
• 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday, July 8
• 12-2 p.m. Tuesday, July 9
• 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, July 16
• 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesday, July 23

Visit for more information.
In addition to the tours, two Community Forums have been planned:
• Saturday, May 25
• Saturday, Aug. 31

Regional community and government leaders are realizing the momentum established at Lakeside over the last five years and share our enthusiasm related to Lakeside’s future. We’re a 146-year-old community and institution evolving in an intentional and purposeful way. Recen tly, and the The Plain Dealer highlighted our master plan and vision for the future of Lakeside , impacting generations to come. 

In closing, thank you for your financial support and dedication to Lakeside Chautauqua and its future. These are exciting times, and we received much affirmation that we're on the right track given feedback we have received at the 12 Lakeside Gatherings held this spring across three states. 

Community participation is critical, and we thank you for being a part of planning for our future. We look forward to seeing you this Chautauqua season.
In the spirit of Chautauqua,
Kevin Sibbring
Lakeside Chautauqua, President/CEO
Lakeside Chautauqua
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