Film star Geena Davis and famed broadcaster Bob Schieffer will be among the next crop of Yakima Town Hall Speaker Series speakers, joining travel writer Doug Lansky and human rights activist Arn Chorn-Pond.
The 2013-14 series begins Oct. 2 with Davis, who in addition to starring in films such as “Thelma & Louise” and “Beetlejuice” is a member of Mensa, the high-IQ society. She is also an accomplished archer, having competed in the sport at the 1999 U.S. Olympic Trials, where she finished 24th out of 300 competitors. Davis has long been an activist on gender-equality issues and in 2007 founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Her accolades as an actress include a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Accidental Tourist” and a 2006 Golden Globe for best actress in a television series.
Lansky, who is the season’s second speaker on Nov. 13, is known as much for his personality as his wide-ranging adventures. An author of several travel books as well as articles for magazines such as National Geographic and Esquire, Lansky has test-driven Ferraris in Italy and swum with dolphins off the coast of New Zealand. And he’s described all of it with what the Library Journal calls a combination of “Dave Barry’s style of humor with Tim Cahill’s taste for adventure.”
Chorn-Pond, the third speaker set for March 12, 2014, is a musician, music preservationist and human rights activist who survived the Kmer Rouge Killing Fields in Cambodia. Sent to a work camp as a child, he survived by playing flute for the guards before fleeing captivity in 1979. He was adopted by a U.S. minister and educated in America, using that education to help those in his homeland. He founded the Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development in 1993 and Cambodian Living Arts in 1998.
Schieffer is a titan of public affairs broadcasting, having served as Saturday “CBS” Evening News anchor from 1976 to 1996 and moderator of Sunday network news staple “Face The Nation” since 1991. He moderated presidential debates in 2004, 2008 and 2012, has won six Emmys and was named the National Press Foundation’s Broadcaster of the Year in 2002. He will conclude the season April 30, 2014.
Tickets, which cover the entire series, are on sale for $85.