Press Release

Illinois’ Top Historians, Storytellers and Musicians Announced, Ready to Travel State

CHICAGO, IL- September 16, 2014— Twenty-five fun, educational and very affordable humanities programs, presented by some of Illinois’ most talented historians, story tellers, scholars and musicians, have been announced and are now open for hire for eager Illinois communities big and small.

The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), has announced a brand new roster of speakers and topics. Organizations seeking affordable, entertaining, and thought-provoking humanities events for their communities are encouraged to apply. The speakers hail from 20 different towns and cities across Illinois and will discuss topics in history, culture, literature, music, politics, law, science, and many other fields.

Since 1996, the IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has provided speakers to present programs to audiences all over the state. , Road Scholars offers nonprofit organizations with small budgets the opportunity to share high-quality humanities programming with their communities for an affordable $75 processing fee.

The IHC hopes these engaging and educational programs, which have both historical and contemporary significance, will pique the curiosity of Illinois. “The topics of these Road Scholars programs are fascinating and also relevant to the lives of people today,” says Matt Meacham, the IHC’s coordinator for the program. “How did the groundbreaking films of the sixties influence the films we see today? Can the archaeological record help us to predict future floods and earthquakes? How is Illinois’ French history represented through music? Through the humanities, we can understand today’s world a little better, and these speakers will help us to do so.”

Presence Health has provided funding for the upcoming year’s Road Scholars programming.  The largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, Presence Health encompasses 12 hospitals and numerous other facilities in various regions of the state and seeks to contribute holistically to the health of the communities it serves.

“We’re grateful to Presence Health for its generosity, and we look forward to expanding our Road Scholars roster in the coming months with subject matter reflecting the system’s interests,” Meacham commented.

Nonprofit organizations that are interested in hosting a Road Scholars speaker should visit, or contact Matt Meacham at (312) 422-5589 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 2014-2015 Roster:

About the Illinois Humanities Council 

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, with a mission to strengthen society by fueling inquiry and conversation about the ideas and works that shape our culture. 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) 422-5587