The board of trustees and executive management team of New York’s historic Chautauqua Institution faced a crisis communications situation upon their decision to replace the community’s beloved but structurally-challenged 140-year-old 4,000-seat Amphitheater with a “renewed” building. Though numerous professional consultants and many in the community deemed the large and costly construction project necessary, many others inside and outside Chautauqua strongly objected, including some residents, preservationists and others. The matter was widely reported in the media, and the uproar was substantial and sustained. Over the course of several months Winuk Communications provided extensive crisis communications support to Chautauqua’s leadership, including strategic counsel, media relations support, writing services and more. The agency also provided counsel on board of directors transition issues, communications strategy on programmatic changes, and consultation on community outreach. Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre vacation and educational center located beside Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State. Approximately 7,500 people are in residence at Chautauqua on any given day during the summer season, and more than 142,000 people attend its scheduled public cultural and other events.