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.

How to Become a Speaker

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 or (312) 422-5589.

Frequently Asked Questions

2016-2017 Roster of Presentations

We are pleased to announce that the following presentations are available to be scheduled between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017.

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