Speakers BureauTalks and Living History Presentations for Your Community
Guidelines and FAQs
Any nonprofit organization in Vermont may apply for up to three programs per year at a $75-per-program fee. VHC pays speakers directly. Some speakers request additional fees from the host, such as mileage reimbursement: these are noted in each catalog listing under “Additional Costs.”
Programs must be free and open to the public (except those held in correctional facilities) and accessible to those with disabilities. The host organization must comply with federal and state laws against discrimination on grounds of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
VHC may withhold or deny a program request if it conflicts with a similar program occurring in close proximity. Do not begin promoting an event until you receive notification from VHC approving the request.
What are the accessibility requirements?
Doorways and aisles must be wide enough for a wheelchair and must have space for a wheelchair to turn around. The building must have level access or a ramp. A temporary ramp is acceptable.
If there are public bathroom facilities in the building, an accessible bathroom is required. If parking spaces are provided, at least one must be a designated accessible parking space.
Auxiliary aids and services, such as an ASL interpreter, must be provided when requested prior to the event. VHC will cover the cost of such services, but the request should be received at least three weeks in advance of the program. Please contact us immediately if you receive such a request.
Can we collect donations for our organization at the event?
It is important that everyone has access to the program. This means allowing people to enter the building without stopping them at the door to request a donation. A sign may say “Donations Accepted,” but “Suggested Donation: $xx” is not permitted.
Can we record the program?
Anyone wishing to record audio or video of a Speakers Bureau presentation must receive permission from the speaker. If so, the host must announce in the introduction that the program will be recorded. The host must share a copy of the recording with VHC. Local media may also record a portion of the program for news coverage.
Can I book a speaker for my school class?
No. Although children and students enjoy most Speakers Bureau programs, these presentations are designed for adult audiences and must remain open to the general public. Educators are welcome to contact speakers from the catalog directly to inquire about classroom availability independent of VHC.
Can my for-profit company book a speaker, or can my nonprofit book more than three programs in one year?
For-profit companies, or nonprofits booking more than three programs in a year, will not be eligible for the subsidy but can participate by paying VHC a program fee of $300 for a talk or $400 for a living history program, plus any additional costs requested by the speaker.
Will VHC pay for a speaker not listed in the catalog?
No. VHC seeks to ensure the quality and content of each presentation. We can do this only by offering a limited number of speakers who we have carefully evaluated.
I’m a humanities scholar – how can I join the Speakers Bureau?
Contact us for more information on auditioning to join the roster.