CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302



Vermont Humanities Council Announces New Speakers Bureau Featuring Seventeen New Programs


Lectures and Living History Presentations for Nonprofits in Vermont



Montpelier, VT ~ Viking myths, digital storytelling, Vermont gun makers and the Civil War, and classic films of the 1950s are some of the new topics coming to Vermont audiences this year through the Vermont Humanities Council and its 2013 Speakers Bureau Catalogue. The ninth edition of VHC’s catalogue offers ninety-six programs, including seventeen living history presentations and 79 lectures—all free and open to the public.


VHC’s Speakers Bureau brings humanities lectures and presentations to communities statewide. By underwriting the cost of the speakers, VHC offers nonprofit organizations an easy, inexpensive way to host quality lectures and living history presentations in Vermont communities. The program, in existence since 1978, drew more than 5,400 people to more than 150 events last year, taking place in libraries and other community centers in over ninety Vermont towns.


The 2013 edition of the catalogue represents the first complete update since 2010, and features offerings that bring new insights to literature, philosophy, art, Vermont history, and other topics.


“Our speakers are selected for the quality of their research, their ability to communicate their topic dynamically, and their enthusiasm for connecting to other people with like-minded interests,” said VHC Community Programs Director Mark Fitzsimmons.


“Talks by this outstanding group of writers, scholars, actors, artists, and practitioners are thought-provoking and dynamic, but never out of reach for a general interest audience,” Fitzsimmons said. “One of the things we hear regularly from both local host organizations and participants is how responsive speakers are to the interests and concerns of their listeners.”


The catalogue offers both History Alive (living history) presentations and lectures.


History Alive performances, by scholar-actors in period dress, bring historical figures to life—such as Eleanor Roosevelt and John Quincy Adams—through well-researched and well-acted characters. Four new programs will premiere in 2013, including portrayals of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott and pioneering photographer Margaret Bourke-White.


Lectures offer scholarship on a wide range of subjects, including art, global affairs, music appreciation, Vermont history, and more. All Speakers Bureau events afford opportunity for discussion.


In 2013, the Speakers Bureau adds thirteen new lectures. Some of these include “Classic Films of the 1950s” with film expert Rick Winston; “Anne Frank’s Neighbors: What Did They Do?” with writer and facilitator Mary Fillmore; “Colonial Meetinghouses of New England” with photographer Paul Wainwright; “Digital Storytelling and Human Lives” with teacher, writer, and futurist Bryan Alexander; “Freemasons, Unitarians, and the Founding of the University of Vermont” with historian and UVM professor Vince Feeney; and “Arming the Union: Vermont Gunmakers and the Technology That Shaped America” with historian and museum curator Carrie Brown. To view all new programs in the 2013 catalogue, visit the Speakers Bureau page at


Any nonprofit organization in Vermont may apply to the Speakers Bureau program and may host up to two events per year. The booking fee is $75 for each event. VHC underwrites the speaker cost; the hosting organization is responsible for additional costs, such as mileage reimbursement, when applicable. To learn more about the VHC Speakers Bureau, contact Max Matthews at 802.262.2626 x304 or visit


The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.


For more information about the Vermont Humanities Council, email [log in to unmask], call 802.262.2626, or visit