Speakers in the Schools

The New York Council for the Humanities’ Speakers in the Schools program offers FREE top-notch lectures by a renowned and diverse group of scholars on a wide variety of humanities subjects to high school communities across New York State.

If your application is successful, the Council will cover all costs associated with the program, including the Speaker’s honorarium and travel expenses.

Commemorative Lectures

Explore the Council's list of lectures commemorating the anniversaries of:

How to apply to host a lecture

Select a Lecture/ Speaker
Browse lecture listings to find the right topic for your students, school community and curriculum.
Find a Lecture/Speaker >

Contact the Speaker to arrange a date and time
Directly contact the Speaker you have selected to establish a mutually agreed upon date and time for the lecture presentation.
Browse Speaker directory >

Apply to the Council
Once you have selected a lecture and confirmed a date and a time with the Speaker, submit the Speakers in the Schools application.
Apply >

Plan your event
As soon as you receive notice of Council approval, start planning your event, including pre- and post-lecture activities.
View Planning Tips >

Submit Follow-Up Evaluation
It is required to submit an online evaluation within three (3) weeks following your event.
Program Evaluation >

Need more information about Speakers in the Schools?
View answers to Frequently Asked Questions >


Speakers in the Schools is made possible by funding from the New York State Legislature.

The Council is proud to partner with the New York State Historical Association's New York State History Day to support the humanities and education in schools and cultural institutions statewide.

Map out a series in June on New York State History

Heritage Areas in New York State

Paul M. Bray
A new generation of parks, called "heritage areas," has taken shape in New York and across the nation in the last 30 years. How are they different from earlier generations of public parks? What do they say about our changing notions of ourselves in relation to the land, and our nation's history? This eye-opening look at the heritage area movement by one of its founders includes an overview of the two dozen heritage areas in New York State.

Cooling Mother Earth: New York's Footprint in Nature, Then and Now

Robert Spiegelman
A tour-de-force in words and images, "Cooling Mother Earth" connects the extraordinary twin legacies of New York's Indians and great forgotten Naturalists, to take us back to our roots and better confront our environmental future.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with an American History Topic

"Washington Crossing the Delaware": The Story Behind the Painting

Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan
This lecture provides an in-depth analysis of events culminating in Washington's pivotal victory at Trenton early in the morning of December 26, 1776, linked to Leutze's iconic painting.

Poking Fun: Political Puns and Social Satire in the Genre Paintings of William Sidney Mount

Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan
Subtle humor injected into scenes of country life by this world-renowned 19th century Long Island artist brought smiles to the lips of those in the know.