TOWN HALL Experience

2020 will mark the 40th Anniversary and installment of the TOWN HALL Lecture Series.  Over the past 40 years 200 speakers have participated in TOWN HALL.  Our presentations have included some of the most engaging, influential, entertaining and educational speakers in the world, which we welcomed to Sarasota to stimulate, inspire and inform EVERY season.

In an area known for its arts and culture, TOWN HALL is among the many assets and known for producing presentations that are innovative, compelling and often “one and only” events that can’t be seen anywhere else.  This rich history means our patrons have incredibly high expectations for each new season, and we do our best to bring in speakers who bring something unique and special to Sarasota.

Many times our speakers are controversial, but we strive to bring speakers whose subject will cause you to think and maybe even get excited about the topic, whether pro or con.  We have also observed that over the past 40 years, and especially most recently, discussing contrary opinions, mostly political, in normal voices feels like a lost art.  TOWN HALL helps us all embrace our experience in hearing what others think, whether we agree or not.  We are honored to be in a community where can we come together at events like this and experience countless new perspectives.   This is TOWN HALL!

TOWN HALL Frequently Asked Questions

Can I donate back my TOWN HALL Tickets?
Yes, should you like to donate your tickets for a tax credit, you must turn in your tickets to the office at least one week before the said lecture. Tickets can be mailed in or turned in to the office directly within the timeframe noted. At the end of the series, a tax letter will be sent to you, for your ticket gift donation.

Can someone else use my TOWN HALL ticket?
Yes, if you know in advance you will not be able to attend a presentation, you may gift your tickets to a friend or donate them back to RCLA for resale. Should you be traveling and need us to reprint your ticket to have available for pick up at will-call, please call the office two business days in advance and we will reprint and hold the tickets at will-call under the name you’ve requested. Please note, photo ID is requested to pick up tickets at will-call.

Are Individual Tickets available for TOWN HALL?
Primarily, tickets to TOWN HALL are sold as a subscription to the series. IF seats are available a prior to the start of the series, we will sell individual tickets. RCLA members will have online access to order individual tickets first, followed by the general public. Be sure to reach out to the office if you wish to join a waiting list for individual tickets.

When is will-call open for TOWN HALL ?
We open will-call at 9:30 a.m. for morning presentations and 6:30 p.m. for evening presentations. Please note, tickets requested for will-call pick up cannot be obtained any time other than presentation date. IF you would like to pick up TOWN HALL tickets prior to the lecture date, you must do so from the RCLA offices, please call in advance to make sure we are there to assist. Van Wezel box office cannot assist with TOWN HALL ticketing.

Is the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall handicap accessible?
Yes, but please note that the Van Wezel has limited ADA seating available. Requests are processed on a first-come basis.

  • The Van Wezel does not have a center aisle, and does not have wide aisles to allow for walkers or wheelchairs to be moved towards seating centrally located.
  • Requests for ADA and limited mobility seating must be made as early as possible. The TOWN HALL Lecture Series tends to sell-out, and seating on the aisles is a popular request. Please ensure you have reached out to the office about your needs.
  • All speakers are microphoned and a live image is projected on a large screen on stage. The Van Wezel has available hearing accessible devices–to be requested when one arrives.
  • For more information on the hall please visit:

How can I see the animations shown at the beginning of each presentation?
The student animations are so amazing and popular with our patrons, they are uploaded to this site after the presentation. Want to see more, visit:

Can I get an audiotape, videotape, or transcript of the talk?
By contract, we are strictly prohibited from distributing video, audio or written transcripts of any of our presentations.

Are cell phone photographs or videos allowed?

  • Video and flash cell phone photography is strictly prohibited during each speaker event.
  • Generally, non-flash photography is permissible at the start and end of each event, although this is subject to change on a per-event basis.
  • We kindly ask all subscribers to put their cell phones in “silent mode” during each event.

How are TOWN HALL Speakers selected?
TOWN HALL speakers are nominated and selected each year by the RCLA Board and Speaker Selection Committee made up of volunteers, sponsors and patrons. We are always interested in hearing about your interests. If you would like to submit an idea for a speaker, please send us an email to

TOWN HALL Event Details
The morning lectures begin at 10:30 a.m.
The evening lectures begin at 7:30 p.m.
Presentations are held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. General self-parking is free. Valet parking is available at $10.00 per car.