Press Release

Curious, Passionate, Intellectual, Charismatic Illinoisans Sought For Statewide Speaker Series

CHICAGO, IL- March 27, 2013— Musicians, professors, story-tellers, historians, actors, and others are being called once again to share their passion with Illinoisans statewide.  

The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is now accepting applications through April 30 to become part of the 2013-14 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 to 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. 

“Every community deserves high quality educational programming, and thanks to the IHC, program directors and attendees throughout Illinois have told me how much Miles’s album and jazz has meant to them,” mentioned Jose Sandoval, who was a first time Road Scholar in 2012-2013 with his concert program, Kind of Blue: A Tribute to Miles Davis. “Being a Road Scholar Speaker has allowed me to introduce a new audience to the magic of Miles.” 

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 from an audience the same curiosity that gravitated them to the subject. 

“[Audiences] have been eager to learn, and I’m equally eager to teach about a subject that I’ve studied for the past thirteen years,” said Jon Austin, another first time Road Scholar, who presented the program, Civil War Field Embalming: A Demonstration of Period Technique. “Road Scholars allows me to engage in that free exchange of information, and with this experience, I’m encouraged to develop other topics to propose for future speaker rosters.” 

Programs may cover any topic, in any format, as long as it is addressed from the perspective of the humanities.

 “We hope to encourage not only scholars to apply, but also people with interesting hobbies that have grown into something more serious,” says Mallory Laurel, the IHC’s coordinator for the program. “This informal expertise embodies the passion many of us have for the humanities, to tap into our natural curiosity and share and inspire that same feeling among Illinoisans across the state.   

Applications for the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau will be accepted April 1-30, 2013. 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 on a yearly basis, during which they present up to 5 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 ext. 239, 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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