Town Hall 2021 Lecture Series Update

Ronan Farrow, Chris Christie, Tony Dungy Among Notable Speakers at RCLA Town Hall 2021 Lecture Series


SARASOTA, FL – Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and Super Bowl-winning NFL coach Tony Dungy are among the five distinguished speakers who will appear at the 2021 Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series.

“Our lineup for this 41st annual lecture series presents a diverse set of speakers who will discuss a range of perspectives about our world today,” says Ashley Brown, chair of the 2021 Town Hall series, which is presented by the Ringling College Library Association (RCLA) in Sarasota. “Their insights will bring new illumination to a number of social institutions, from politics to the legal system to pop culture.”

“We’re proud of the contributions our lecture series continues to make both to Ringling students and the community at large,” says Stephanie Grosskreutz, RCLA executive director. “Proceeds from the series benefit the Alfred R. Goldstein Library, which opened in 2017, as well as funding student scholarships. Since the series began, RCLA has gifted more than $11 million to Ringling College.

RCLA’S 2021 Town Hall Lecture Series will begin on Monday, January 18, with a talk by Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor who served as governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018. A Newark native, Christie built his political reputation as a moderate Republican in a largely Democratic state. He briefly ran for President in 2016 and in 2017 was named chair of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Christie joined ABC News as a network contributor in January 2018. His book, Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics, was published in January 2019.

On Monday, February 1, Tony Dungy will speak about his storied career as an NFL coach, broadcaster, and mentor. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach from 1996 to 2001, Dungy later joined the Indianapolis Colts and in 2007 he became the first African American head coach to win a Super Bowl. In 2016, he was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After 31 seasons patrolling an NFL sideline, Dungy retired from coaching and now provides color commentary on FOOTBALL NIGHT IN A MERICA ON NBC.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ronan Farrow, whose investigative journalism for The New Yorker helped to spark Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse scandal and the #MeToo movement, will speak on Monday, February 15. The son of actor Mia Farrow and filmmaker Woody Allen (from whom he is estranged), Farrow is a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Yale Law School. His 2019 book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, recounts his experiences reporting the Weinstein abuses, including Weinstein’s far-reaching efforts pressuring media outlets to “kill” the story.

On Monday, March 1, Karen Gordon Mills will appear on the Town Hall stage. She served as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 until August 2013 and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School focusing on U.S. Competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Wrapping up the 2021 series on Monday, March 15, Canadian photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist Paul Nicklen will discuss his 25-year career documenting the planet’s natural beauty. An assignment photographer for National Geographic, Nicklen grew up among the Inuit communities of Canada’s Arctic and has been studying and documenting polar regions since 1995. He is the co-founder of SeaLegacy, which raises awareness of ocean conservation through visual storytelling. His latest book, Born to Ice, was published in 2018.

All five lectures will be presented at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, 777 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Morning lectures begin at 10:30 a.m. and evening talks begin at 7:30 p.m.  Call 941-309-5100 to become an RCLA member and subscribe to the 2021 Town Hall Lecture Series.  Subscription sales will open in July.