Program overview

Since 1997, our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has invited Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state. It also enables local nonprofit organizations – including libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, civic groups, and many others – to present free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest fee.

Our current roster features speakers hailing from 20 different towns and cities across Illinois who offer presentations on topics in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, theater, film, music, politics, and other subjects that pique one’s curiosity and surprise the intellect. The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.

Whether you’re an organization interested in hosting a Road Scholars presentation or a potential speaker, we invite you to let your curiosity wander and learn more about the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau.

NOTE: Because of numerous recent requests for Road Scholars presentations involving long-distance travel, the number of Road Scholars events that we can approve for the remainder of this fiscal year is limited. Please contact Matt Meacham, program coordinator, at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (312) 422-5589 before making arrangements for any Road Scholars events to be held before October 31, 2015.

How to Become a Speaker

The next opportunity to apply to join the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars roster will be in late February or March 2016. To stay informed, please join our e-mail list.

How to Host a Road Scholars Speakers Bureau Event

Please read each of the following entries carefully to ensure that your organization completes the process successfully from beginning to end. If you have questions or would like assistance at any point in the process, please contact Matt Meacham at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (312) 422-5589.

NOTE: Because of numerous recent requests for Road Scholars presentations involving long-distance travel, the number of Road Scholars events that we can approve for the remainder of this fiscal year is limited.  Please contact Matt Meacham at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (312) 422-5589 before beginning to make arrangements for any Road Scholars events to be held before October 31, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions

2014-2015 Roster of Presentations

NOTE: Because of numerous requests for Road Scholars presentations involving long-distance travel, the number of Road Scholars events that we can approve for the remainder of this fiscal year is limited.  Please contact Matt Meacham, program coordinator, at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (312) 422-5589 before making arrangements for any Road Scholars events to be held before October 31, 2015.