Speakers Bureau

Discover the humanities one-on-one in South Dakota.

Apply to host a Speakers Bureau program.

A slate of more than 80 speakers with the SDHC's Speakers Bureau offers a depth of topics that groups across South Dakota can bring to their communities. The Council supports nearly 150 Speakers Bureau events annually, across a range of humanities-related subjects.

The benefit in this program lies in the ease in which a group can bring humanities programming to the community up to three times each year.

In 2016 SDHC celebrated excellence through book festival readings, food demonstrations, beer tastings and literary exhibits. Cultural partnerships brought 13 Pulitzer Prize winners in letters, journalism and composition to
the state to explore civil unrest, the sounds of the ocean, and the costs of war. SDHC quenched cultural thirst, reaching 47,299 people in 72 communities. More than 5,000 third graders met the author of the free book they received.

Each speaker offers a specialized program, and many speakers offer multiple programs. Some presentations are specific to the South Dakota and Northern Plains experiences, while others explore greater themes of society and the human experience. 

Get started

Any non-profit organization is eligible to apply to host a scholar from the Speakers Bureau.

  1. Contact a scholar directly from the Speakers Bureau list
  2. Set a date for the event. Allow a minimum of 45 minutes per presentation.
  3. Apply to host a Speakers Bureau scholar with the $50 application fee 4-6 weeks before the program. 
  4. Promote your event. Thank the SDHC and NEH. Consult our promotional tips.
  5. Complete the evaluation form

Organizations may apply for three Speakers' Bureau programs per SDHC fiscal year (Nov. 1 - Oct. 31).If a single program includes more than one South Dakota Humanities Council speaker, each speaker will count toward the limit. For example, if an organization hosts one program featuring two SDHC speakers, the organization is eligible to host one more program during that fiscal year. The $50 fee applies per speaker/application.

Eligibility & Requirements

All non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. The applicant organization does not need to be located in South Dakota, but the program must take place within the state.

Typical applicants include libraries, museums, historical sites, historical societies, parks, tribal entities, K-12 schools, colleges and universities as well as community center and agencies that are open to the public.

The SDHC expects: 

  • A minimum audience of 35 people for public presentations (20 for reading programs).
  • The presentation hosted at a facility with comfortable accommodations.
  • The program will be approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.
  • A good faith effort in promoting the event beyond the organization's members. The council provides tools to help groups promote their SDHC-supported events.
  • Acknowledgment of the council's sponsorship. 

Programs & Events

9:00 am | Aberdeen Elementary Schools
7:00 pm | K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library
9:00 am | Aberdeen Elementary Schools
12:00 pm | St Thomas More Social Hall
9:00 am | Lake Area Technical Institute