Saturday, April 22, 2017

2017-2018 Speakers Announced! [SOLD OUT]

Following intermission at the April 22nd Richmond Forum program with actor and director Ron Howard, subscribers got their first look at the big names who will take the stage at the nationally recognized forum during the 2017–2018 season. The Richmond Forum's 32nd season will kick off in November with an address by President Barack Obama.

The 44th President of the United States will join the ranks of Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, who have all appeared at the venerable series, along with many other world leaders. President Obama will deliver an address and participate in a Q&A.

"President Obama is, by far, the speaker most requested by our subscribers for next season," commented Forum Executive Director Bill Chapman. "We are extremely proud to be able to announce that President Obama will be coming to The Richmond Forum so soon after leaving office."

Glenn Close
Glenn Close
In January 2018, award-winning stage, television, and movie actress Glenn Close will come to The Richmond Forum. She is expected to discuss the characters in her life, both those she has inhabited in her powerful roles as an actress and those in her personal life. Known for her infamously psychotic character in the movie Fatal Attraction, Close has also become a leading advocate for public conversation about mental illness following the revelation that her sister suffered from mental illness for many years, unknown to her own family.

Peter Diamandis
Peter Diamandis
In February, technology entrepreneur and founder of the X-Prize Foundation, Peter Diamandis, will discuss artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic technology and other advances that are changing our world at an exponential rate. Diamandis is also co-founder of Singularity University with Ray Kurzweil, and co-founder of Human Longevity, Inc., Planetary Resources, and other ventures. Diamandis is known for saying, "The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself."

Samantha Power
Ambassador Samantha Power
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power will address The Forum in March, delivering a speech entitled "Why America Can't Afford to Look Away." Power is a leading voice internationally for principled American engagement in the world, global cooperation, and human rights. Prior to becoming the youngest-ever U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Power was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, war correspondent, and Harvard professor.

Joe Scarborough
Joe Scarborough
The season will conclude in April with an appearance by MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from Florida. Scarborough will bring his signature off-the-cuff commentary to the Forum stage, offering a dynamic and fast-paced perspective on the political and media landscape and the headlines of the day.

For over 30 seasons, The Richmond Forum has been bringing leaders from the world stage to our stage in Richmond—to expand horizons, stimulate conversation and inspire our community. With 4,500 attendees at each program, The Richmond Forum is the largest and most-respected non-profit speaker series in America, able to attract some of the biggest names in the world to its stage year after year.

Past Forum speakers have included filmmaker Steven Spielberg; former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; Robert Redford; Archbishop Desmund Tutu; Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson; Anderson Cooper; B.B. King; Alan Alda; Mexican President Vicente Fox; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; former Secretaries of State Albright, Baker, Powell, and Rice; and three former U.S. Presidents: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Current subscribers have until May 27th to renew their subscriptions for next season. Seats not purchased by current subscribers by the deadline will go on sale to the public through a lottery. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a season subscriber can learn more here.

[Update: The 2017-2018 Season is sold out.]

The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. All programs are held at the Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Forum Open Wins Best In Show Award

The animated video that has opened each Richmond Forum program this season recently received "Best in Show" honors at The Richmond Show, an annual awards show presented by the Advertising Club of Richmond. The video won top honors in the Production category. The two-minute open is a collaboration between Richmond's Cream Studio (animation) and Carlos Chafin of In Your Ear who composed the music. The script was written by Richmond Forum executive director Bill Chapman and the narration is provided by Forum attendee, and a member of the Cream Studio team, Dave Swain.

"We are very proud of this piece and very thankful for the tremendously creative and generous talents that we have here in Richmond and right in our Forum audience," said Chapman. "We are so pleased to see this video win such a well-deserved award!"

Watch the video and read more about how it all came together.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Congratulations to this year's Richmond Forum Scholars!

Front row: Morgan Canaan, Douglas S. Freeman - Center for Leadership, Government & Global Economics; Iram Amir, The Steward School; and Julia Gibson, Douglas S. Freeman - Center for Leadership, Government & Global Economics. Back row: Pablo Gomez Garcia, James River High School, and Fuller Wise, St. Christopher's School.

Our Scholars were chosen from a very impressive pool of high school juniors from around the region who submitted applications, essays, and recommendations. Finalists were chosen for personal interviews.

The new class Scholars got right to work at the November program, helping us behind the scenes. Given our tiny staff of three, our Scholars play essential roles in keeping everything running smoothly and taking good care of our speakers.

Learn more about our Richmond Forum Scholar program here.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016-2017 Programs Announced!


A sold-out audience at Saturday night's Richmond Forum program with Russell Wilson and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. also got their first look at the big names that will take the stage at the nationally recognized series for the 2016–2017 season.

Nate Parker
The Richmond Forum's 31st season will kick off in November 2016 with one of the fastest-rising new directors in Hollywood, Nate Parker. Parker's new film, The Birth of a Nation, swept the awards at the Sundance Film Festival in January and broke festival records when the worldwide distribution rights were immediately purchased for $17.5 million. The film, scheduled for theatrical release on October 7, 2016, and already being discussed as an Oscar contender, portrays the life of Nat Turner and the 1831 slave rebellion he led in Southampton County, Virginia. At The Richmond Forum, Parker will discuss why, as a Virginia native, he needed to tell this story and how he believes it to be relevant to the ongoing black struggle for justice and equality today. Parker wrote, directed, and plays the title role in the film.

Meacham & Goodwin
The Forum's January 2017 program will take place the evening following the inauguration of our next U.S. President. To provide a long view of America's "new" presidents, historians Jon Meacham and Doris Kearns Goodwin will return to The Forum. The evening's discussion will include a look at past inaugural addresses, the fabled "first 100 days," and the transition from campaigner to Oval Office occupant. Steve Inskeep, host of NPR's Morning Edition will moderate the discussion.

Tippett
In February, Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and 2013 National Humanities Medal recipient Krista Tippett will deliver a speech titled Becoming Wise. Tippett's radio program, On Being, is heard on 365 public radio stations across the U.S. and the podcast version of the program received 21 million downloads in 2015. Tippett thoughtfully delves into the mysteries of human existence in conversations about faith, spirituality, ethics, and moral wisdom with scientists, theologians, poets, activists, and others. At The Forum, Tippett will distill the insights gleaned from these conversations about what it means to be human and spiritual.

Barak & ElBaradei
In March, The Richmond Forum will welcome two distinguished leaders from the Middle East for a frank discussion of regional current events and the prospects and roadblocks to peace. Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister and, more recently, Defense Minister, will engage in a first-ever public discussion with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a leading figure in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. The evening's conversation will be moderated by longtime Middle East reporter and foreign policy analyst Robin Wright.

The April 2017 Forum program will be announced at a later date.

For 30 seasons, The Richmond Forum has been bringing leaders from the world stage to our stage in Richmond—to expand horizons, stimulate conversation and inspire our community. With 4,500 attendees at each program, The Richmond Forum is the largest and most-respected speaker series in America.

Past Forum speakers have included filmmaker Steven Spielberg, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Robert Redford, Archbishop Desmund Tutu, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anderson Cooper, B.B. King, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Secretaries of State Albright, Baker, Powell, and Rice, and three former U.S. Presidents: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Current subscribers have until May 7th to renew their subscriptions for next season. Any seats not renewed will go on sale to the public through a lottery. Learn more about becoming a Richmond Forum subscriber.

The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. All programs are held at the Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Readers Respond to "The Forum Files"

Since the release of "The Forum Files" on November 21st, we've enjoyed seeing the reviews come in from Forum subscribers and other readers. Researched and written by award-winning author (and Forum subscriber) Ray McAllister, "The Forum Files" is a fascinating history of not only The Richmond Forum, but the tradition, going back to the 19th century, of bringing the world's most famous and accomplished people to Richmond to speak before large audiences. "The Forum Files" is filled with never-before-seen photos, speaker correspondence, and surprising behind-the-scenes stories.

What readers are saying!
"We are SO enjoying the book--it is even more phenomenal than we expected it to be! So good to read the history of the Forum before we started attending--30 years ago."
 
"I have learned so much. And even a few mysteries have been solved for me!"
 
"Beyond enjoying the amazing photos, I really got pulled into the story. Mr. McAllister has done a wonderful job."
 
"Who knew all this was going on behind the scenes at our forum?"
"It is terrific reading; a definite holiday coffee table book."
"I had a chance to look at the Forum book over the weekend. What wonderful memories are now preserved forever!"

"The book rocks. The Forum rocks!!"
 
"The Forum is my favorite Richmond activity and this just might be my favorite new Richmond book."
 
"My mother attended for years, and I can't wait to give her this book for Christmas. Thank you for doing this!"
"The Forum Files" is available online at www.theforumfiles.com or at the offices of The Richmond Forum. Books may also be ordered by phone at the number below.

6968 Forest Hill Avenue
Heritage Junction Office Park
At the corner of Forest Hill Avenue and Cherokee Road.
Our building actually faces Cherokee.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM
We will be closed December 24th - January 1st.
804-330-3993, ext. 301

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ray McAllister and The Richmond Forum Release "The Forum Files"

In a new book titled "The Forum Files: The Stories Behind The Richmond Forum," award-winning author and Forum subscriber Ray McAllister has captured the thirty-season history of America's largest non-profit lecture series. (Or is it forty-seven seasons?) Truth be told, the tradition of a large and vibrant lecture series is embedded in Richmond's history, going back to the 19th century when the Richmond Lyceum presented speakers of national and international renown in the rooftop garden of the then-new Jefferson Hotel.

The current Richmond Forum is the reincarnation of an earlier series, The Richmond Public Forum, which operated for seventeen seasons from 1964 to 1980...which was itself inspired by an even earlier Richmond Public Forum that presented speakers of national and international note in the auditorium of John Marshall High School.


For "The Forum Files," McAllister has pulled together the first comprehensive history of The Richmond Forum and each of its predecessor series, revealing the fascinating story of how the largest lecture series in America came to grow in mid-size Richmond, Virginia.

The book is also filled with behind-the-scenes stories, quotes from Forum speakers, and never-before-seen photographs and fascinating speaker correspondence from the Forum's files. In addition, McAllister conducted interviews with longtime Forum subscribers, founding volunteers, and speakers; and also culled the archives of The Richmond Times-Dispatch and area libraries for a treasure trove of images and information.
  • Learn how America's largest lecture series came to be here in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Explore the unique tradition of lecture series in Richmond, going back to the 19th century.
  • Find out how Peter Pan helped sound the death knell for an earlier Richmond Public Forum!
  • Find out what speaker paid a special and unheralded visit to Richmond's Arthur Ashe statue. 
  • Learn what speaker was The Forum's highest-paid ever.
  • Follow the story of Forum founder Ralph Krueger, whose vision, passion, and persistence drove the early days of The Richmond Forum.
  • Find out what our speakers have to say about their experiences at The Richmond Forum, including a special essay by Diana Nyad!
  • Oprah, Spielberg, Nader, Kissinger, Tutu, Sagan, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Redford, Bhutto, Bernanke, Netanyahu, Kuralt, Buchwald, ...the biggest names in the world are all in "The Forum Files."
"The Forum Files" is on sale now at www.richmondforum.org. Preview more of the book at www.theforumfiles.com.  The full-color, 164-page, hardbound book is just $38.95.

"The Forum Files" is published by The Richmond Forum. After production expenses, proceeds will benefit the Ralph Krueger Memorial Fund, supporting the student initiatives of The Richmond Forum.

The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization.





Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Richmond Forum Announces 2015-2016 Programs!

The 30th season of The Richmond Forum will feature actor Alan Alda; two-time Super Bowl quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson; Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of the PBS series Finding Your Roots; the former Prime Minister or Australia; and more!

The season will kick off in November with a presentation by famed political philosopher Michael Sandel. Sandel has been called "the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world" and a "rock star moralist." He's spoken to large audiences around the world—from the Sydney Opera House to an audience of 14,000 in an outdoor amphitheater in Korea—and his own classes are the most popular lectures offered at Harvard. Sandel will lead the Forum audience in an exploration and debate of the nature, obligations, and moral tensions of a democratic society.

Alan Alda
In January 2016, The Richmond Forum will welcome beloved actor Alan Alda to the stage. Best known for portraying Hawkeye Pierce on the long-running television series M*A*S*H, Alda has also been a writer, director, and science advocate over his 40-year career. He has won seven Emmys and six Golden Globes for his work. At The Richmond Forum, Alda will discuss his career and his surprising conclusion when contemplating the meaning of his own life.

James Balog
In February, famed adventurer, photographer, and filmmaker James Balog will address The Richmond Forum and present his dramatic images of the rapidly changing polar ice caps and ice sheets. Balog, who holds a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology, is the founder of the Extreme Ice Survey, the most wide-ranging, ground-based photographic study of glaciers ever conducted. His work has been the subject of the Emmy Award-winning film, Chasing Ice, a NOVA/PBS documentary, two books, and numerous magazine and newspaper features, including in National Geographic.

Former PM Julia Gillard
In March, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will join a long list of current and former world leaders who have traveled to Richmond to address The Richmond Forum, although none have travelled farther. Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia in 2010, becoming the first woman to hold that office. In 2012, Gillard gave a fiery speech on the floor of the Australian Parliament regarding the treatment of women in professional and public life. The speech soon went viral worldwide and became known as "the Misogyny Speech." At The Richmond Forum, Gillard will share her experiences and perspectives as a commanding woman on the world stage, as well as her view of the issues and challenges facing all world leaders today.

Russell Wilson with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In April, the series will close out with a very special homecoming program when native son and two-time Super Bowl quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson takes the stage for an exclusive conversation with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the host of the PBS genealogy series, Finding Your Roots. The program will be a discussion and discovery of the family legacy and influences that have made Wilson the man he is today and will include sports, genealogy, and Virginia and American history.

For 30 seasons, The Richmond Forum has been bringing leaders from the world stage to our stage in Richmond—to expand horizons, stimulate conversation and inspire our community. With 4,300 attendees at each program, The Richmond Forum is the largest and most-respected speaker series in America.

Past Forum speakers have included filmmaker Steven Spielberg, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Robert Redford, Archbishop Desmund Tutu, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anderson Cooper, B.B. King, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Secretaries of State Albright, Baker, Powell, and Rice, and three former U.S. Presidents: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Current subscribers have until May 23rd to renew their subscriptions for next season. Any seats not renewed will go on sale to the public through a lottery; click here to read the details.

The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. All programs are held at the Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia.