Press Release

New Speakers & Topics for Humanities Speaker Series; Organizations Statewide Invited to Host

CHICAGO, IL- July 31, 2012— Starting today, some of Illinois’ most fascinating historians, story tellers, scholars, musicians and more, are ready to debut their newest programs in your corner of Illinois.   

The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) has announced a brand new roster of 28 speakers and topics, ready to present to organizations statewide who are seeking affordable, entertaining, and thought-provoking humanities events for their communities. The speakers, hailing from 16 different towns and cities across Illinois, will be presenting topics in history, culture, literature, music, politics, law, science, and many more. A sample of the 28 programs being offered this year: 

  • Civil War Field Embalming: A Demonstration of Period Technique
  • The Next Year that Almost Was: Chicago, Baseball, and 1977
  • Before Title IX: Women Athletes in Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Myths, Types, and Stereotypes: Latinos in Hollywood  

Since 1996, the IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has been deploying speakers to present to audiences all over the state. For nonprofit organizations with small budgets, bringing any kind of programming to their community can be difficult. The Road Scholars program changes that, without sacrificing quality for affordability.   

“The Road Scholars program is one of the very best outreach programs in the Midwest,” mentions Chris Vallillo, a veteran Road Scholar speaker. “It is a rare situation of win, win, where small presenters are given the ability to present high caliber programming to underserved audiences”.  

The IHC hopes to pique people’s interest in programs by tapping into their natural curiosity. “Our hope is that after a program, you’ll want to go home, Google what you’ve just learned about and spend a couple of hours in the ‘rabbit hole’,” says Mallory Laurel, the IHC’s coordinator for the program. “The contagious passion our speakers have for their topics is what makes this new roster so dynamic and appealing. We don’t need to change lives; we just want our audiences to feel curious again.”  

Nonprofit organizations that are interested in hosting a Road Scholars speaker should visit, or contact Mallory Laurel, Program Coordinator, at (312) 422-5585, or by email at for directions on how to apply. There is a $75 processing fee for each speaking engagement requested. The IHC pays the honorarium and expenses for the speaker. Examples of eligible nonprofit organizations include—but are not limited to—historical societies, libraries, senior centers, museums, community colleges, professional groups, and community organizations.  

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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