Elk River

Lecture Series

Elk River Arts & Lectures hosts a spring and fall series each year featuring authors, speakers, artists and other professionals who work in the classroom with local students and give free public lectures. Click the links below for upcoming and past series.

This Season’s Lectures

September 22, 2022

Francine Spang-Willis

Francine D. Spang-Willis is an oral historian and educator based in Bozeman. She is of Cheyenne, Pawnee, and settler descent.

October 6, 2022

Stephanie Land

Bestselling author, journalist, and economic justice advocate Stephanie Land is the author of Maid.


October 27, 2022

Nick Flynn

Writer, playwright, and poet Nick Flynn has published twelve books.  

About Elk River’s

Lecture Series

Each school year, our lecture series hosts four to six writers, artists, and innovative thinkers who might not otherwise come to Park County. These presenters spend time working with students at Park High School, then give free public lectures. Over the past eight years, we have hosted three dozen lecturers of both regional and national prominence, representing a broad range of genres, including poets, novelists, science writers, memoirists, journalists, visual artists, and historians.

We have brought in people like Pulitzer-winning novelist Richard Powers, who talked with Park High students about writing before giving an evening lecture ruminating on climate change; historian Megan Kate Nelson, whose most recent book examines the complex context that led to the founding of Yellowstone National Park; and Clemson University professor Drew Lanham, an African-American ornithologist who writes about the relationship between race and conservation, and who connected with students over their shared love for hunting.

Our goal is to enrich the lives of Park County students and residents with educational, entertaining and edifying opportunities. We offer exciting programs to open our community to new voices and ideas, while we showcase the talent our home ground has nurtured.

lecturer testimonials

“I have rarely enjoyed doing a public event more than I enjoyed reading for Elk River Arts and Lectures.  Livingston supplied a circle of fascinating and accomplished artists, a keen and appreciative audience, and oh — that view!  Something very special is going on just north of Yellowstone, and I was grateful for the chance to experience it.”

-April 2022 Lecture Series guest, Pulitzer-winning novelist Richard Powers

“Elk River Arts and Lectures serves a vital role in our Greater Yellowstone community, including Bozeman and Billings, by creating a space for intellectual and artistic expression and fostering a culture of connection, curiosity, and joy.  I am grateful to be a part of Elk River’s circle, and excited to see how they continue to enrich and galvanize our friends and neighbors.  Every community should be so fortunate to have the sacred space that ERAL provides, as it engages and includes everyone, and keeps hope alive.”

-May 2022 Lecture Series guest, educator Dr. Shane Doyle

“It was an honor to share the stage with Shane Doyle, and to have such a receptive and enthusiastic audience. The event was really amazing — ideal, really.” 

-May 2022 Lecture Series guest, writer Dr. Megan Kate Nelson 

Past Series

Spring 2022

Richard Powers, Shane Doyle,  Megan Kate Nelson

Fall 2021

Joy Williams, Sandra Phillips

Fall 2019

Shann Ray

Spring 2019

CMarie Fuhrman

Fall 2018

Debra Magpie Earling, David McCumber

Spring 2018

J. Drew Lanham, Doug Ammons

Fall 2017

Gretel Ehrlich, Bernard Quetchenbach

Spring 2017

Ambrin Masood, Greg Klyman

Fall 2016

Mark Mykleby, Jacqueline Rieder Hud, Timothy Tate

Spring 2016

Paul Zarzyski, Laura Pritchett, Russell Rowland

Fall 2015

Nina McConigley, Saif Alsaegh, Annick Smith

Spring 2015

ML Smoker, Gary Ferguson, Pete Fromm

Fall 2014

David Barsamian, Mary Clearman Blew, Kim Zupan

Spring 2014

Henry Real Bird, Joshua Phillips, Deanne Stillman

Fall 2013

Pam Houston, William Pitt Root, Pamela Uschuk, Scott Carrier