Program overview

The processing of Road Scholar applications and vouchers will be halted for the holiday season through January 3, 2020. Regular processing will resume the week of January 6, 2020.

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.

2019-2020 Roster of Presentations

Below is a list of the current roster of presentation. Please note that programs denoted with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

Questions? Please contact Jenn Yoo via email or by phone at (312) 422-5585.

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. We are accepting applications for programs occurring in both the 2019 and 2020 calendar year. The same roster of Road Scholars and presentations are available in 2020.
If you have questions or would like assistance at any point in the process, please contact Jenn Yoo at or (312) 422-5585.

How to Become a Speaker

Eligibility and requirements to be a member of our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau are below. If you have questions, please contact Chris Guzaitis at

Frequently Asked Questions