2018 Free Lawn Talks

FOUR evening Pavilion talks will be broadcast to the lawn and open to the public at no charge this year. Please see the schedule below.

You do NOT need to reserve spots in advance for Lawn Talks this year. Gates will open for access 30 minutes prior to the first talk each day. 

If you have any questions, please email tickets@svwc.com or call 208-726-5454.


  • Entry only permitted at Pavilion East Entrance or back of upper lawn next to SVWC tent.
  • Gates open at 3:30 PM. No early seating.
  • Seating on grass only. Please no high-backed chairs.
  • In the unlikely event that extreme weather necessitates a change in talk location, lawn access will not be available.

Sunday, July 22


“Creating Beauty, Revitalizing Cities”
Sunday, July 22 • 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

In the philosophy of award-winning architect JEANNE GANG, creating beauty and creating community are twin goals. Take a look at one of her signature buildings: the Aqua Tower in Chicago, its wavy white facade studded with terraces and atop the building the largest green roof in the city. Call it the ultimate humane skyscraper, a place where people come together with each other and with nature. Gang is also passionate about revitalizing cities and helping islands in the Caribbean rebuild in the face of devastating storms and climate change―goals shared by her friend SHAUN DONOVAN, who was Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2009-2014 and Chair of President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. After Gang shares her work with us, Donovan will join her for a hopeful and pragmatic conversation about making cities livable and inspiring for all.


“The Curious Travails of the Writing Life”
Sunday, July 22 • 5:30 – 6:30 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

Over the last half-century, celebrated British-American journalist and author SIMON WINCHESTER has roamed the globe. From Northern Ireland to Southeast Asia, from the Arctic to the Tropics, he has gathered material for his books on everything from Krakatoa to the Oxford English Dictionary. But along the way, he has had various scrapes and perilous encounters. With the sharp-eyed wit and charm of a born raconteur, Winchester will share tales of his travails from his imprisonment on Tierra del Fuego in 1984 to the saga of the King of Tonga’s shoes―and more.


Monday, July 23

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

“Shakespeare As You’ve Never Seen Him”
Monday, July 23 • 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

Get ready for literary mayhem and joy as THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY (ISC) puts on a never-been-seen-before and never-to-be-seen-again, fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece. Based on an audience suggestion for a title of a show that has never been written, founder BLAINE SWEN and his three colleagues ROSS BRYANT, BRENDAN DOWLING, and GREG HESS will take off, creating a full play from thin air right before your very eyes. Nothing has been planned, rehearsed or written down. This is improvisational theater at its most daring. The ISC, which has been performing its critically acclaimed show around the country since 2005, now takes the Pavilion stage!

Fareed Zakaria

“How Did This Happen? The Roots of the Populist Rebellion”
Monday, July 23 • 5:30 – 6:30 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

Join us for a talk by FAREED ZAKARIA, host of CNN’s flagship international affairs program Fareed Zakaria GPS, a Washington Post columnist, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, and the author of several books, including THE POST-AMERICAN WORLD.