Press Release

Illinois Humanities seeks applicants for the new roster of Roads Scholars

Chicago– Illinois Humanities invites Illinois authors, artists, educators and cultural practitioners to apply to join the 2018-2020 edition of its Road Scholars Speakers Bureau.

Established in 1997, the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau enables Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state.  It also gives local nonprofit organizations opportunities to present substantial cultural programs to their communities for a modest fee.

“The Illinois Humanities Road Scholars program is a vital part of Illinois’ cultural landscape,” said Matt Meacham, a program manager with Illinois Humanities.  “Libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, and civic groups in communities of all sizes from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River host Road Scholars presentations, and they consistently express enthusiasm for them.”

Proposed presentations addressing any subject matter within the humanities will be considered. Illinois Humanities defines the humanities broadly as “the examination of what it means to be human through the interpretation and discussion of all forms of thought, interest, and expression.”

The humanities encompass such disciplines as literature, history, philosophy, folklore, religious studies, and the histories and theories of the arts.  Illinois Humanities is especially interested in applying the knowledge and methods associated with those disciplines to address issues of current importance in public policy, media and journalism, the economy, and the arts.

Proposed presentations in any format will be considered.  Proposals for presentations that have strong potential to involve audiences in constructive conversation or community engagement would be particularly appropriate.

Additionally, Illinois Humanities wishes to include on the coming season’s roster approximately eight to ten presentations that will address issues related to the criminal justice system and its impacts upon the culture of Illinois and the lives of Illinoisans in conjunction with the organization’s Envisioning Justice initiative

Approximately thirty proposed presentations will be chosen for inclusion in the 2018-2020 roster. Representatives of Illinois Humanities and allied organizations will make the selections based on criteria such as the suitability of the proposed content,  format for various audiences throughout Illinois, applicants’ communication skills,  knowledge of the subject matter and geographic distribution.

The application form, which includes complete information about the application process, is available at

The application deadline is Aug. 18 by 5 p.m.

For more information please contact Matt Meacham at or (618) 468-5580.