Press Release

Thirty-one Illinoisans Named to 2013-14 Road Scholars Speakers Bureau

CHICAGO, IL- August 29, 2013— Illinois is a state full of individuals and communities who are proud of their history, and with perpetually curious to learn new things. Starting today, thirty-one of Illinois’ most fascinating historians, story tellers, scholars, musicians and more are ready to answer this intellectual call all around the state. 

The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) has announced a brand new roster of 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 20 different towns and cities across Illinois, will be presenting topics in history, culture, literature, music, politics, law, science, and many more. 

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, the program offers the opportunity to bring high-quality humanities programming for an affordable $75 processing fee.    

The IHC hopes to tap into Illinois audiences’ natural curiosities through contemporary approaches to historical subjects. “All of our speakers were chosen because their topics are relevant in some way to the lives of people today,” says Mallory Laurel, the IHC’s coordinator for the program. “How are 19th century gospel hymns the basis for much of the music we listen to today? How can cemeteries build community? How do today’s blockbuster superhero films compare with the comics that spawned them in the 1940’s? Through the humanities, we can understand today’s world a little better, and these speakers are here to help us along the way.”

Nonprofit organizations that are interested in hosting a Road Scholars speaker should visit, or contact Mallory Laurel, Program Coordinator, at (312) 422-5585, ext. 239, or by email at for directions on how to apply. Examples of eligible nonprofit organizations include—but are not limited to—historical societies, libraries, senior centers, museums, community colleges, professional groups, and community organizations. 

The 2013-2014 Roster: 

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