Speakers Series

floodlecture.JPGThe Moses Lake Museum & Art Center’s Speakers Series brings you the best in historic and special interest presentations from speakers across Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Watch for book signings and special discounts on all books in the Museum Store during select programs.

All programs are FREE admission. 

The Speakers Series is made possible through the generosity of our members, donations and the support of local program partners and the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau.

Know of an excellent speaker? Would your organization like to share quality cultural programming with our community?

Contact the museum by email and share your ideas, we’d love to hear from you.

Upcoming Speaker Series Programs

portrait of manThe Art of Rebellion: Social Justice and Chicana/Chicano Visual Arts with Jake Prendez

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation in Partnership with the Moses Lake Public Library/North Central Washington Libraries

July 26, 2023 at 6 p.m.

How has art has been used to mobilize communities and disseminate messages of social justice? Is art just a commodity that is only accessible to the elite? How has the idea of “art for the people” shifted the way we look at art?

In this talk, Chicano artist Jake Prendez traces the history of social justice art, from the rise of Mexican muralism to its influence on American artwork from the civil rights era and the modern era. Explore how the means of production and new technologies made art accessible worldwide, and join Prendez as he deconstructs his own artwork to show how it relates to this greater narrative.

Jake Prendez (he/him) is a renowned Chicano artist, and the owner and co-director of the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery in Seattle. His work is an amalgamation of his life experiences—a representation of his Chicano background and a reflection of his time living in both Seattle and Los Angeles.

portrait of womanUmoja (Unity): Sustaining African Cultural Arts with Afua Kouyaté

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation

August 3, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Explore the depth and significance of African culture, from its communal philosophies to its lively song and dance. In this interactive talk—part presentation and part performance—artist Afua Kouyaté shares pieces of African culture and folkloric traditions like the Nguzo Saba, or “seven principles,” of Kwanzaa, which include values like umoja (unity), ujima (collective responsibility), and nia (purpose).

Using the seven principles as a framework, Kouyaté tells the story of her life and of Africa’s rich culture to inspire you to root deeper through your own culture. In this talk, infused with cultural artifacts, music, and dance, Kouyaté brings people together through the sharing and celebration of cultural arts and traditions.

Afua Kouyaté (she/her) is a performing and teaching artist who specializes in cultural arts leadership with an emphasis on therapeutic engagement. She is the co-founder of Kouyaté Arts, an organization dedicated to the arts, music, dance, culture, and life of the people of West Africa. As the executive director of Adefua Cultural Education Workshop, she is dedicated to community and viewed as a leader in the cultural arts sector.

Kouyaté lives in Seattle.

portrait of manThis is the End: How Movies Prepared Us for the Pandemic with Robert Horton

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation

August 10, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Great city streets emptied of people; a population panicked; misinformation in the air. If some of our experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic seemed familiar, it might be because the movies already imagined them. Whether the cause is environmental factors (The Day After Tomorrow, Snowpiercer, Contagion), nuclear disaster (On the Beach), or unexplained doomsday (Midnight Sky, Children of Men), film has explored what it looks like when the “Big One” hits—and how we might react.

In this talk illustrated with clips, Robert Horton looks at the eerie imagery of apocalyptic movies, and how these films foreshadowed our responses during the pandemic: the extremes of divisiveness and community-building, the loneliness of isolation, and the tantalizing possibility of starting over again—but maybe doing it better this time.

Robert Horton (he/him), a member of the National Society of Film Critics, was the longtime film reviewer for the Seattle Weekly, Everett Herald, and KUOW. His books include a critical study of Frankenstein. He has been a Fulbright specialist, a Smithsonian Journeys speaker, and an instructor at Seattle University and the Architectural Association in London. He now hosts the radio program, The Music and the Movies.

Horton lives on Vashon.

portrait of womanWhat Laughter Tells Us: Asian Americans, Comedy, and Belonging with Michelle Liu

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation

August 24, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Laughter shapes the way we listen to each other, and can be a signal of who belongs—and who doesn’t.

While everyone finds different things funny, we all have experienced laughter. And what we find funny shapes how we interconnect. Through clips of Asian American stand-up comedians, Professor Michelle Liu explores how humor can change the patterns of belonging that everyone in the United States has inherited.

When we want to learn about the past, we turn to history books. When we want to learn about how the past continues to live within us, we can turn to humor. Join Liu for a conversation about why laughing matters.

Michelle Liu (she/her) is a professor of English and the associate director of writing programs at the University of Washington. She specializes in writing and exploring ideas about identity, history, emotion, and storytelling. She has taught for nearly 20 years with the goal of helping people interconnect their hearts, minds, and experiences in their learning. She earned her PhD in American Studies from Yale University.

Liu lives in Seattle.

portrait of manHip-Hop and It Don’t Stop with King Khazm

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation

August 31, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Hip-hop culture and its founding principles are often misunderstood due to its commodification and exploitation by corporate interests and mainstream media. Few know its humble roots as a tool to unify, uplift, and amplify voices, particularly for youth of color.

Join artist and activist King Khazm as he explores the art, history, philosophy, and ethics of hip-hop—an international phenomenon and billion-dollar industry whose legacy is centered in community empowerment, cultural exchange, and resilience. Khazm shows how hip-hop is much more than just a genre of music; it has the capacity to challenge the status quo, address systemic oppression, and provide opportunities for the development of life skills, civic engagement, and global connections.

Khazm “King Khazm” Kogita (he/him) is a multifaceted artist, producer, and community organizer. He has been engaged in art and community service for over 25 years. He is the executive director of 206 Zulu and serves on several boards including 4Culture, the Seattle Disability Commission, and The Here & Now Project.

Khazm lives in Seattle.  

portrait of manAtomic Washington: Our Nuclear Past, Present, and Future with Steve Olson

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation

September 7, 2023 at 6 p.m.

At the center of every nuclear weapon in the United States is a small pit of radioactive material manufactured at a top-secret facility in Eastern Washington, a facility which today remains the most radiologically contaminated site in the Western hemisphere.

But Washington State’s role in the nuclear era ranges far beyond the construction, operation, and ongoing cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. Today, Washington has two operating nuclear reactors, one of which provides us with ten percent of our electricity. Radioactive substances are used in our state to cure diseases, build airplanes, detect pollutants, and power smoke detectors. Further, Naval Base Kitsap has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons deployed anywhere in the country.

Drawing from history, science, and popular culture, author Steve Olson reveals the many influences of nuclear materials on Washington State, and the many ways in which our state has been a pioneer in the atomic age.

Steve Olson (he/him) is a writer who most recently authored The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age. His books have been nominated in several local and national book awards. Since 1979, he has been a consultant writer for the National Academy of Sciences, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and other national scientific organizations.

Raised in Eastern Washington, Olson now lives in Seattle.


Humanities Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to opening minds and bridging divides by creating spaces to explore different perspectives. 

Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Washington Secretary of State, the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University, and generous private donors, Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau presenters visit all corners of the state. We would encourage you to visit their website – www.humanities.org -- to find other events like this one. 

man sitting outdoors next to a wagon wearing a hat playing the guitar. Hank Cramer: Folk Music of the Pacific Northwest

A Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau Presentation

September 15, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Hank Cramer is a national-touring folksinger from the Pacific Northwest, best known for his booming bass voice, wry humor, and smooth flat-picking on a vintage guitar. 

He sings a huge repertoire of traditional and contemporary folksongs that cover the spectrum from Celtic to Appalachian to miners’ ballads to sea-shanties to cowboy songs. Those songs square up with Hank’s life experiences: at one time or another, he has been an underground miner, wrangler for a high-country outfitter, an Army ”Green Beret,” and shantyman on a square-rigged sailing ship. 

Hank writes many of his own songs but also interprets ballads by such favorite writers as Bill Staines, John Stewart, Ian Tyson, Chuck Pyle, and James Keelaghan. When not on the road performing, Hank lives on a ranch in Washington’s Methow Valley with his wife Kit and their many critters.