Frederick Speaker Series

About the Frederick Speaker Series

Now celebrating its sixth year, the celebrated Frederick Speaker Series aims to bring intellectually stimulating speakers and inspiring leaders to the Frederick community. World-class speakers will engage with our audiences, illuminating current events, culture, politics, and science.


Purchase the meet-and-greet option for an opportunity to meet your favorite speaker at a private reception following their presentation, for an additional $75.00 per ticket. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these receptions will benefit children’s programs at Frederick County Public Libraries. Limit of 100 meet-and-greets available per speaker. Meet-and-greets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 301.600.2828 or during online checkout. Passes will be mailed to purchaser for all online purchases. 

Dr. Temple Grandin

Accomplished autistic author and leading animal welfare expert

Thursday, January 18, 2018 | 3pm & 7:30pm 

Diagnosed with autism as a child, Dr. Temple Grandin did not speak until she was nearly four years old. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Though life was hard, her formative years gave way to studies in animal science and a career in the livestock industry. Today, half of the cattle in the United States are handled in facilities she designed. She has consulted with organizations like McDonald’s on animal welfare guidelines, and has received numerous prestigious awards, in addition to a 2011 TIME Magazine “100 Most Influential People” designation. She has authored multiple bestselling books, including “The Way I See It” and “Thinking in Pictures.” In 2010, an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning HBO movie was made about her life and career. A past board member for the Autism Society of America, she travels the globe lecturing to parents and teachers on her experiences with autism. Now, Dr. Grandin takes the stage to share her story of perseverance and the power of “differently-abled brains.” Learn more


Ted Koppel

Legendary anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline”

Thursday, February 22, 2018 | 7:30pm

With a career that spans over half a century, Ted Koppel is recognized around the world as one of the most trusted and revered voices on current events and issues of global importance. A member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Koppel’s iconic career spans both radio and television and includes every major professional recognition, including eight George Peabody Awards, 11 duPont-Columbia Awards (television’s equivalent of the Pulitzer) and 42 Emmys. He is best known for his role as anchor and managing editor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” which defined excellence in television news reporting, interviewing, and analysis over the past 35 years. Today, Koppel serves as a news analyst for NPR and a contributing columnist for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and is a Senior Contributor to “The CBS Sunday Morning Show.” His New York Times bestseller “Lights Out” examines a threat unique to our time: cyber-catastrophe. With his trademark wisdom, wit, and warmth, Koppel takes the stage to share his observations on the state of the U.S. and the world, providing unmatched analysis of the important foreign policy and political headlines of the day — and, of course, the people behind the scenes. Learn more


Mitch Albom

Bestselling author, columnist, and radio host

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 7:30pm

Mitch Albom is an internationally-renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. From “Tuesdays with Morrie” to “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” his books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, have been published in 45 languages, and have been made into Emmy award-winning television movies. A columnist for The Detroit Free Press since 1985 and a panelist on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters,” Albom has been named the #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) thirteen times. In June 2010 he received the APSE Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement, and in June 2013 he was inducted into the Sportswriters Hall of Fame. Now, this gifted writer weaves personal stories and anecdotes with a captivating message about the potential in all of us for a giving, meaningful life. Learn more


Rita Moreno

Award-winning singer, dancer, and actress

Friday, April 6, 2018 | 7:30pm

Octogenarian Rita Moreno remains one of the busiest actresses, singers, and dancers in show business. With star-making turns in “West Side Story,” “The Ritz,” and “The Electric Company” under her belt, the entertainment icon belongs to an elite group of only eight living performers to have won all four of the industry’s most prestigious awards: the Emmy, GRAMMY®, Oscar, and Tony. A Kennedy Center honoree for lifetime contributions to American culture and a recipient of the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom, Moreno represents the intersection of selfless service and professional achievement. Appearing in Frederick for the first time, the feisty entertainer brings a sense of humor and wealth of personal stories to the stage, exploring the value of diversity, the power of language, and getting older without getting old. Learn more


Mark Ruffalo

Actor, director, & climate change activist

Thursday, May 10, 2018 | 7:30pm

Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Emmy nominee Mark Ruffalo is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors, best known for his roles in “Spotlight,” “Infinitely Polar Bear,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Normal Heart,” “Begin Again,” “Now You See Me,” and “The Kids are Alright.” His role as Bruce Banner – better known as ‘The Hulk’ – in Marvel’s “The Avengers” and subsequent sequels has endeared him to audiences of all ages. He has been seen on and off-Broadway, most recently in Arthur Miller’s critically-acclaimed play “The Price.” Ruffalo made his directorial debut in 2011 with “Sympathy for Delicious,” which won the Special Jury Prize for dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival. When not acting or directing, Ruffalo advocates for addressing climate change and increasing renewable energy. He co-founded Water Defense to raise awareness about energy extraction impact on water and public health, and helped launch The Solutions Project to help share the feasibility of renewable energy. A regular contributor to The Guardian and The Huffington Post, Ruffalo has received the Global Green Millennium Award for Environmental Leadership and the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Award. He was named one of Time Magazine’s “People Who Mattered” in 2011, and received The Big Fish Award from Riverkeeper in 2013. Learn more

2018 Frederick Speaker Series Sponsors

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