Staff Blogger: Allyson Lane, Development Assistant

mauriocourt-jeanneLeading up to #GivingTuesday (on Nov. 29), we’re taking you behind-the-scenes at Lakeside to show you what it takes to deliver exceptional programming and events, maintain our historic buildings and care for our beautiful grounds year after year.

Education is the basis of the Chautauqua experience, expanding our minds and shining light onto new perspectives and opportunities. With increased knowledge, we empower ourselves and each other to achieve tasks that we never knew were possible.

Lifelong learning is important to living a fulfilled life and to our well-being. As we challenge our minds during Lakeside’s Chautauqua Lecture Series, educational activities and off-site field trips each summer, we learn new ideas that broaden our world.

“Education was the founding pillar of the Chautauqua Movement in the late 1800s,” said Mauriocourt, who works year-round to plan diverse programs nurturing mind, body and spirit. “There’s nothing more critical than education.”

At Lakeside, you can experience an in-depth exploration of the world, arts, foreign affairs, culture, science and the environment through more than 80 Chautauqua Lecture Series programs. Special Education Workshops, weekly Foreign Affairs Forums, a handful of Symphony Pre-Concert Talks and several community education programs are also offered.

The process of finding new lecturers and educational programs each summer is ultimately a group effort. It begins with recommendations from the Education Advisory Team and lecture attendees, word of mouth from previous lecturers, and independent research on possible topics, as well as receiving proposals from speakers who want to visit Lakeside.

Once Mauriocourt has the speakers in mind, there’s a long process and a lot of detailed discussions that take place to organize 11 weeks of themed lectures.

Additionally, Mauriocourt works with several community groups, such as the Lakeside Heritage Society, Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society, Lakeside Women’s Club, Herb Study, The Fine Print bookstore and more, to promote their educational programs throughout the summer.

The planning process is not over once the schedule is set though. Throughout the off-season, Mauriocourt works with each speaker to collect lecture descriptions, bios, recommended readings and photos to help create content for the website, booklets, press releases and the Lakesider newspaper.

She’s also working simultaneously to secure venues, reserve accommodations and prepare welcome packets for each speaker. The lecturers and experts are sometimes first-time Lakesiders, so it’s important to provide them with a warm welcome and thorough information.

When the day of the program finally arrives, the lecture room is set up, speakers are greeted and Mauriocourt ensures everything runs smoothly.

Each summer, the Lakeside mission comes alive as more than 10,000 Lakesiders gather to explore new ideas and grow intellectually through these education opportunities.

“Lakeside is a place full of opportunity—whether that is to rest, retreat, reconnect or recover,” she said. “Each individual decides what opportunities he or she will take advantage of to grow as a person.”

When you visit Lakeside next summer, check out the wonderful educational programs Mauriocourt has planned. For more information about the Education Department, visit

To help celebrate #GivingTuesday, become a VIP Supporter by giving to an area of Lakeside that you are passionate about. Gifts of all sizes are deeply valued. Make an online donation today or on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Call (419) 798-5396 to give a gift over the phone or make a check payable to the ‘Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation,’ Attn: #GivingTuesday, 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside, Ohio 43440 with ‘#GivingTuesday’ in the memo line.