Now entering its ninth season, the Frederick Speaker Series has been a tremendous success for the downtown Frederick community and beyond. The goal is to engage our community through enlightening discourse and meaningful topics.  As a result of the Series, Frederick’s reputation as an intellectual hub continues to grow, drawing audiences from D.C., Baltimore, and beyond.

From inspirational topics to sensational perspectives, you’ll find it all in the 2021-22 Frederick Speaker Series!

All Events will be ASL Interpreted.



Each Speaker also has a MEET & GREET opportunity associated with the performance, purchased in addition to the ticket to the Event itself.  For an additional $75, you can engage with these incredible Speakers for a photo opportunity, a signing opportunity (whenever possible), and light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. The proceeds of this Meet & Greet benefit children’s programming at Frederick County Public Libraries.



2021-22 SPEAKERS

P. J. O’Rourke

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 7:30 PM

Sponsored by:

Combining the skill and discipline of an investigative reporter with a comedian’s sense of the absurd and the stupid, political humorist P.J. O’Rourke covers current events like no other. Known as a hard-bitten, cigar-smoking conservative, he in fact bashes all political persuasions. O’Rourke proves himself a savvy guide to national and global affairs. His razor sharp insights never fail to inform and entertain audiences.


Michael Pollan

Thursday, October 14, 2021 | 7:30 PM

Sponsored by:

Bestselling author and journalist Michael Pollan has spent 30 years writing about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the environment. He’s been a New York Times bestselling author and a contributing writer to many publications. Chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (2010), Pollan is also a professor and lectures widely on food, agriculture, and health. Due to the COVID-19 concerns, the Meet and Greet portion for this event has been canceled.


Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, February 6, 2022 | 3:00 PM

In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators. Her essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current events and the media – as well as pet peeves including tourists, baggage-claim areas, after-shave lotion, adults who roller skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan. The New York Times Book Review calls Lebowitz an “important humorist in the classic tradition.”


Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Thursday, March 24, 2022 | 7:30 PM

Sponsored by:

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one of the United States’ most influential cultural critics and is both an eloquent commentator and formidable intellectual force on multicultural and African American issues. He is a literary critic, professor, historian, Emmy Award winning filmmaker, and public intellectual who serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.


Chris Wallace

Saturday, April 9, 2022 | 7:30 PM

Sponsored by:

As one of the country’s most seasoned and respected journalists, Chris Wallace draws from his decades at the news desk to deliver valuable insight and perspective on an America with Joe Biden in the White House and a changed Congressional landscape. With an expert’s eye and a historian’s perspective, Wallace breaks down the day’s headlines with the clarity and distinction that have established him as a go-to source for the most important political observations.


Soledad O’Brien

Thursday, June 23, 2022 | 7:30 PM

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist, who founded Soledad O’Brien Productions, a multi-platform media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories on a range of social issues. She anchors and produces the Hearst TV political magazine program Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien and is a correspondent for HBO Real Sports. She is also host of the Quake Media podcast Very Opinionated with Soledad O’Brien.


These distinguished guests will join the likes of past speakers that include Neil Gaiman, George Takei, Bill Nye, Bob Woodward, Temple Grandin, Dr. Michio Kaku, Cal Ripken Jr., General Colin Powell, Tom Brokaw, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Laverne Cox, LeVar Burton, Bryan Stevenson, Dr. Bennett Omalu, Ronan Farrow, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Henry Winkler, Ted Koppel, Marlee Matlin, Elizabeth Smart, Dave Barry, and Mitch Albom.

Frederick Speaker Series Sponsors

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