Speakers Bureau

Overview: Discover the Humanities One-On-One in S.D.

A slate of 65 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.

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. 

!! Due to the coronavirus pandemic, SDHC's grant-sponsored programs will be virtual-only through the end of July, at which point we will reevaluate public safety concerns and decide if it is safe to hold in-person gatherings. Please contact us at info@sdhumanities.org with questions. !!


Program Host Info 


Any organization is eligible to apply. The applicant organization does not need to be located in South Dakota, but the program must take place within the state. Hosted programs should be free to attend with no compulsory admission/other fee imposed. 

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: 

  • The presentation be 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. 


Follow these "next steps" in applying to host a scholar from the Speakers Bureau.

  1. Contact a scholar directly. 
  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.

 (*No grants will be awarded without the accompanying fee. Sponsoring organizations should also have no "open" grants residing in our database. Open grants entail missing paperwork or grant fees from previously approved or completed programs.)

  1. Promote your event. Thank the SDHC and NEH. Consult our promotional tips.
  2. Complete the evaluation form

Organizations may apply for three Speakers' Bureau programs per SDHC fiscal year (Nov. 1 - Oct. 31). The $50 fee applies per program.

Prospective Scholar Info

Are you interested in applying to be part of the 2020 SDHC Speakers Bureau? 

To be included on the announcement for the 2020 call for applications, email deb@sdhumanities.org or call the SDHC office at 605-688-6113. Applications open October 31, 2019 and are due Dec. 15, 2019. The SDHC Program Committee will review applications in early January 2020, and the annual Program Catalog is released in February. Scholars will also be listed online. Click below to read more.