New Virtual Roster!

Note: We are no longer accepting in-person presentations for the rest of this calendar year (2020). However, we are still accepting virtual presentation applications. Last day to apply for the 2020 season is Saturday, November 15. The next virtual roster will be announced on January 1, 2021.

During these uncertain times, the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has created a virtual roster to adapt to our current situation. If you are an organization interested in hosting a virtual presentation, see the presentations available on our virtual roster below.

If you are already scheduled for a Road Scholars presentation this year and would like to change your in-person presentation to a virtual program, you can contact your speaker to update. If your speaker is not offering a virtual presentation, please contact us and we can work with you.

The in-person roster can also be found on this page, if you are interested in scheduling presentations for later this year.

Also, if your organization is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us and we will waive the $75 application fee – making this program entirely free to your organization and members of your community.

If you have any questions, email Jenn Yoo at jennifer.yoo@ilhumanities.org.

Program overview

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.

2020 Roster of Virtual Presentations

Note: We are no longer accepting in-person presentations for the rest of this calendar year (2020). However, we are still accepting virtual presentation applications. The next virtual roster will be announced on January 1, 2021.

Below is a list of presentation being offered virtually. All the presenters on this list are currently available to offer virtual presentations. An exclamation point (!) denotes that the presentation can be offered in Spanish.

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

2019-2020 Roster of Presentations

Below is a list of the current roster of presentation. An exclamation point (!) denotes that the presentation can be offered in Spanish. Please note that programs denoted with an asterisk (*) are no longer available to be offered in-person, however, please check the virtual roster to see if the speaker is available to offer the same presentation as a live stream event.

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 the 2020 calendar year. A new roster of Road Scholars for 2021 and 2022 will be available in January of 2021.
If you have questions or would like assistance at any point in the process, please contact Jenn Yoo at jennifer.yoo@ilhumanities.org 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 Jenn Yoo at jenn.yoo@ilhumanities.org.

Frequently Asked Questions