How To Schedule Speakers

Important information about programs during COVID-19:

As organizations are beginning to think about scheduling Kentucky Chautauqua and Speakers Bureau programs, we want to make certain that you put the health and safety of our Chautauquans/Speakers and your audiences as the number one priority.

We have developed some procedures for in-person presentations to provide sponsoring organizations in making a decision whether to host in-person or virtual presentations.

Our Chautuaquans and Speakers are independent contractors and in control of their own schedules. When an organization is ready to book a program, the first step is to discuss your plans directly with the presenter.  You should first determine if you wish to hold in-person or virtual programs and discusss this decision with the speaker. Below are our guidelines for in-person programs. All guidelines must comply with the regulations outlined by the state at the time of your presentation.

Procedures for in-person programs:

The presenter will confirm booking dates in good faith to perform with the following stipulations:

  1. Audience members be appropriately spaced apart and wear face masks.
  2. Presenter will be set at least 6-10 feet away from the front row of the audience.
  3. Q&A will be limited to no longer than 15 minutes.
  4. There will be no meet-and-greet before or afterward the presentation (i.e. no handshaking, no photos with audience members, etc.)
  5. Presenter may decline any pre- or post-show socializing with sponsors or audience members until the pandemic is safely behind us
  6. Under most circumstances, the presenter will arrive to each performance already dressed in character, so as not to have to utilize a public bathroom, which is what many venues normally provide. Presenter will be wearing a face mask until it is time to perform (if a shield is requested and/or allowed, that will replace the mask during the performance).
  7. Under most circumstances the presenter will not be wearing a mask. However, the sponsor can request the presenter to wear a mask or plastic shield. If a microphone is provided, it should be cordless and the type that the presenter wears behind the ear. This way the sound will not be stifled by the mask or plastic shield.

The presenter will postpone the presentation prior to the event, if:

  • COVID-19 cases spike and/or are in high numbers in the community where the presentation will take place.
  • The presenter, or someone in their family, contracts with COVID-19 and/or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The Governor of Kentucky of CDC directs that "Healthy at Home" supersedes "Healthy at Work" parameters.


If any of these exceptions occur, we will rebook for a date when it is safe to do so.

Procedures for virtual presentations:

  1. Program will be booked as usual
  2. Site coordinator will set up the virtual link and communicate the link with the presenter 24 hours prior to the presentation.
  3. Link will be active for ½ hour prior to the presentation start time so the presenter has enough time to test the link, camera, and sound.
  4. Link will include the possibility of the presenter sharing his/her screen in order that they can show pictures or PowerPoint slides.
  5. Program coordinator will provide the speaker with a phone number to be used in case of technical difficulties.
  6. Speaker will do their normal presentation (recommended not to exceed 30 minutes) and then take questions from the audience.
  7. Site coordinator will either read questions that were written in the chat or will allow for live questions on the virtual link.
  8. At the end of the presentation, speaker will complete the normal cash request form.
Kentucky Humanities suggests sponsors utilize low-cost or free advertising/publicity means during this time in case the performance is postponed due to COVID-19 and has to be rescheduled at the last minute due to current conditions.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Program

  • Publicize your program effectively. Feel free to duplicate any materials from our catalog for use in your publicity efforts. (Program sponsors will receive a publicity kit.) A few publicity suggestions:
    • Send news releases to newspapers and broadcast stations
    • Send a newsletter announcing the program to members of your group
    • Post flyers in prominent community locations
  • Sponsors must acknowledge support from Kentucky Humanities and regional underwriters in all publicity materials and event programs. Printed credits should read, "This program was funded in part by Kentucky Humanities and [insert regional sponsors here]." (regional sponsors can be found at the bottom of this page.) The Kentucky Humanities logo will be supplied upon request and is available for download here.
  • Confirm more than once. One week before your program, call the presenter to review arrangements.
  • The presenter may have a long drive, so please put the Kentucky Chautauqua presentation before the business part of your agenda.
  • When you introduce your presenter, be sure to acknowledge the support of Kentucky Humanities and the regional underwriter(s) in your area.
  • Immediately after your program takes place, fill out the evaluation form and return it to Kentucky Humanities.
  • Kentucky Humanities will pay the presenter directly.
  • Following the performance you will receive information from Kentucky Humanities about writing thank you letters to our funders.

Steps to Schedule a Program

  1. Contact your selected Speakers Bureau member at least four weeks before your program to find out if he or she will be available to speak to your group. Please contact your speaker before contacting Kentucky Humanities. If you don't your program will not take place as you planned.
  2. Complete the booking form and return it to the Kentucky Humanities office, along with the appropriate booking fee, at least two weeks before your scheduled program. Call the Kentucky Humanities office, 859.257.5932, for information.
  3. Await notification from Kentucky Humanities that your program has been booked. You will receive a contract packet in the mail.
  4. Sign the contract and invoice and return them to Kentucky Humanities within two weeks of receipt. This is your contract with us.
  5. Send the confirmation form to your speaker. Kentucky Humanities will pay the presenter directly. Sponsors are responsible for lodging, if needed.
  6. Following the presentation, fill out the evaluation form provided and return the evaluation to Kentucky Humanities (206 East Maxwell Street, Lexington, KY 40508).

We recommend that you apply for these programs as soon as you can after August 1, to assure your choice of speaker and date. Reduced cost programs are available for booking until the funds run out. The Speakers' Bureau is one of our most popular programs.

To request a catalog and booking form, contact:

Kentucky Humanities at (859) 257-5932 or or at 206 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, KY 40508