2 Seminars in Steamboat speakers announced | SteamboatToday.com

2 Seminars in Steamboat speakers announced

Season to feature David Leonhardt and Richard Murray

— The New York Times' Washington bureau chief and a political science professor from the University of Houston are the first confirmed speakers for Seminars at Steamboat's upcoming 10th season.

Seminars at Steamboat Chairwoman Kate Hawk said Monday the Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Leonhardt, and Richard Murray, holder of the Bob Lanier Chair in Urban Public Policy at the University of Houston, will travel to Steamboat Springs for the series that typically launches at the start of summer. Hawk expects the pair to be joined by at least two other yet-to-be announced speakers.

"Our ideal speaker is an expert on an important public policy issue who can see all sides of the issue and who has always wanted to come to Steamboat for a few days," Hawk said.

She said Leonhardt, who will speak about the economy, and Murray, who will discuss the 2012 presidential race and Colorado's importance as a swing state, easily fit that bill.

"Obviously, politics will be front and center because by the time (of the seminars) we will have two final (presidential) candidates and it will be a real race," Hawk said. "And the economy is at the top of everybody's list right now."

In their 10th anniversary year, seminar organizers are hoping to build off their successful ninth season that saw five speakers attract more than 2,500 people to the Strings Music Pavilion. Hawk said the upcoming seminars will remain free for audience members, and organizers are planning a special dinner for the series' 10th anniversary that will be attended by as many as two additional speakers. She added that Northwest Colorado's NPR station will rebroadcast the seminars.

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"It started small and now we basically fill the pavilion for every speaker," Hawk said. "It's a testimony to what the community is interested in and how people in Steamboat have a great deal of interest in events that are happening outside of town."

Hawk said the remaining speakers will be announced as early as next month. To learn more about Seminars at Steamboat, visit http://www.seminarsatsteamboat.com.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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