Apply by August 15: State Bicentennial edition of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau!

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

In recognition of the upcoming Bicentennial of Illinois statehood in 2018, Illinois Humanities, in partnership with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, seeks proposals for a special edition of its Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster devoted to significant topics and themes in Illinois history and culture.

Proposed presentations in any format, addressing any aspect of the history or culture of our state – from Native American tribes to contemporary African immigrant communities; from Civil War generals to post-World War II Republican Congresswomen; from patchwork quilting to skyscraper design; from coal mines to sub-atomic particle accelerators – will be considered. Proposals for presentations that situate their specific subject matter within broader contexts of the Illinois’s history or culture and explain how it has contributed distinctively to life in our state would be especially appropriate.

Approximately thirty proposed presentations will be chosen for inclusion. Representatives of Illinois Humanities, the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library will make the selections based on such criteria as the suitability of the proposed content and format for various audiences throughout Illinois, applicants’ communication skills and knowledge of the subject matter, and geographic distribution. Some degree of preference will be given to presenters who were included on the roster for the 2016-17 Road Scholars season, which was partially suspended because of the consequences of the state budget crisis. Nonetheless, any Illinois resident is welcome to apply, regardless of whether she or he has any prior affiliation with the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau.

The presentations selected for the roster will be available to non-profit organizations throughout Illinois, as Road Scholars presentations normally are. Additionally, the Illinois Bicentennial Commission plans to organize several special events at educational institutions and/or historically significant locations throughout the state during which selected presentations from this roster will be featured. The Commission also hopes to make an audio or video recording of at least one iteration of each presentation on the roster for archival purposes and for potential broadcast, online streaming, etc.

To apply, please complete the online application by August 15, 2017, at 6 PM.  Please note that applicants are asked to submit a brief video sample that they consider indicative of their ability to communicate with audiences.  The technical quality of the video does not need to be high; videos recorded with smartphones or other easily accessible technology are perfectly acceptable.  Instructions for submitting the video sample appear on the application form.

Program overview

IMPORTANT: Because of the after-effects of the now-concluded state budget impasse, we regretfully cannot accept requests from organizations that wish to host Road Scholars Speakers Bureau presentations prior to November 30, 2017. The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau will resume operation in December 2017 with a special yearlong season focusing on Illinois history and culture in observance of our State Bicentennial. The roster for the Bicentennial season will be available in Fall 2017. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if your organization is interested in hosting one of the presentations on the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster that was assembled for the 2016-17 season, shown below, you are welcome to contact the presenter individually and make arrangements with her or him independently of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Meacham, program manager, at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (618) 468-5580.

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 Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster typically features speakers hailing from many different communities 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.

How to Become a Speaker

How to Host a Road Scholars Speakers Bureau Event

IMPORTANT: Because of the after-effects of the now-concluded state budget impasse, we regretfully cannot accept requests from organizations that wish to host Road Scholars Speakers Bureau presentations prior to November 30, 2017. The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau will resume operation in December 2017 with a special yearlong season focusing on Illinois history and culture in observance of our State Bicentennial. The roster for the Bicentennial season will be available in Fall 2017. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if your organization is interested in hosting one of the presentations on the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster that was assembled for the 2016-17 season, shown below, you are welcome to contact the presenter individually and make arrangements with her or him independently of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Meacham, program manager, at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (618) 468-5580.

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 (618) 468-5580.

Frequently Asked Questions

2016-2017 Roster of Presentations

IMPORTANT: Because of the after-effects of the now-concluded state budget impasse, we regretfully cannot accept requests from organizations that wish to host Road Scholars Speakers Bureau presentations prior to November 30, 2017. The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau will resume operation in December 2017 with a special yearlong season focusing on Illinois history and culture in observance of our State Bicentennial. The roster for the Bicentennial season will be available in Fall 2017. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if your organization is interested in hosting one of the presentations on the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster that was assembled for the 2016-17 season, shown below, you are welcome to contact the presenter individually and make arrangements with her or him independently of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Meacham, program manager, at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (618) 468-5580.

Please read “How to Host a Road Scholars Speakers Bureau Event” and “Frequently Asked Questions” above before booking a Road Scholar.