Call for Applications: Humanities Washington 2015-16 Speakers Bureau

Submission/Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 25, 2014 (All day)

Humanities Washington is seeking applications from qualified individuals interested in serving as presenters for its 2015-16 statewide Speakers Bureau program. The deadline for the application is April 25, 2014.

The Speakers Bureau is one of Humanities Washington’s oldest and most popular programs. A roster of cultural experts and scholars provide low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn, and engage in conversation.

These diverse and engaging speakers cover a variety of topics, including popular culture, photography, architecture, literature, food, film, and history. Speakers are carefully selected based on their subject-matter expertise and ability to offer fascinating content and insight on the topics presented.  Humanities Washington, in keeping with its mission to spark conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, selects speakers who can engage communities in conversations that will deepen people’s understanding of the topics presented and broaden the audience’s perspectives.

Humanities Washington seeks speakers with the following qualifications:

  • Strong expertise in the subject matter on which they are presenting, substantiated by an advanced degree in the subject (M.A. or higher) or evidence of scholarship or knowledge gathered through other training.
  • Demonstrated success in working with public audiences
  • Ability to work well with culturally, economically and geographically diverse audiences
  • Interest in – and ability and willingness to – travel to communities across the state.

Speakers who are selected will be asked to:

  • Agree to make between five and ten presentations during each program year (at mutually agreed-upon times with host organizations)
  • Attend a one-day speaker orientation in August, 2014 (specific date T.B.D.)
  • Participate in three meetings/conference calls annually with the program manager and the other speakers
  • Provide their own mode of transportation (travel costs are reimbursed by the host organization)
  • Reach out to potential host organizations to generate interest in their presentation
  • Work collaboratively with Humanities Washington to generate interest in the Speakers Bureau
  • Encourage dialogue and conversation among program attendees. (Facilitation training will be included in the Speaker Orientation)
  • Limit their presentation to roughly 60 minutes in length (We expect the majority of the time to be dedicated to a thought-provoking conversation with the audience on the presentation’s topic)
  • Offer the approved presentation exclusively as part of the Speakers Bureau program for the duration of their contract with Humanities Washington


Selected speakers are engaged as contract employees of Humanities Washington and will receive an honorarium of $300 per presentation. Travel costs are the host organization’s responsibility, and negotiated in advance with the speakers.

Presentation Topics

Humanities Washington seeks speakers from a wide range of backgrounds covering a variety of humanities-based topics. Presentations must be relevant or of interest to the people of Washington state. Below are examples of presentation categories that have been well-received by local audiences and/or are sought by Humanities Washington:

  • State and national history
  • Racial and ethnic history and/or culture
  • Migration and immigration to/within Washington state
  • Native American history and culture
  • Civil and human rights
  • Exploration of the complexity and history of modern social issues
  • Politics and citizenship
  • Environment and presentations focusing on the importance of “place.”
  • Interfaith, inter-community and/or inter-generational dialogue
  • Topics illuminating the intersection between humanities and the sciences
  • Storytelling and musical presentations that assist in illuminating aforementioned topics

Read more and apply here.