Press Release

Illinois Humanities Council Seeks Passionate Individuals for Statewide Speaker Series

CHICAGO, IL- April 26, 2012— Musicians, professors, story-tellers, historians, actors, and others are being invited by the Illinois Humanities Council to share their passion with Illinoisans statewide. 

The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will be opening applications during the month of May to be part of the next roster of speakers who will present at libraries, historical societies, museums, civic, community, and other public places across Illinois.

Since 1996, the IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has been deploying speakers to present to audiences all over the state. Road Scholars topics range from American culture and Illinois history, literature and sports. The program is a delight for both scholars, who are thoughtful and passionate about sharing what they know, and for non-profit organizations around Illinois, who for a small fee can give their community a memorable humanities program that will keep audiences returning for more.

“The Road Scholars program is one of the very best outreach programs in the Midwest,” mentions Chris Vallillo, current Road Scholar. “It is a rare situation of win, win, where small presenters are given the ability to present high caliber programming to underserved audiences”. Vallillo uses historic narratives, contemporary folk music, and period folk songs in his Road Scholars program, Abraham Lincoln in Song.

The IHC hopes to generate interest from not only scholars, but also those among the general public with a deep, palpable interest in a subject, who are eager to share and elicit the same curiosity that gravitated them to the subject to an audience. Said one Road Scholar, “I enjoy very much sharing my own expertise and passion with the public… I am always impressed by the depth of questions asked and the intense interest these folks show towards these topics. It is my best way to give something back to the community.” Programs may cover any topic, in any format, as long as it is addressed from the perspective of the humanities.

Applications for the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau will be accepted May 1-31, 2012, and forms and more detailed information are available through the IHC website, Speakers receive an honorarium, and if necessary, meals, lodging and mileage are reimbursed. IHC Road Scholars are contracted for 2 years, during which they present up to 8 times per year around the state of Illinois.
For more information on the program, or for organizations interested in hosting a speaker, please contact Mallory Laurel, Program Coordinator, at (312) 422-5585, or by email at    

About the Illinois Humanities Council  

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233 

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