2019 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. 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 21

Alice McDermott

“Remembrance of Things that Never Happened”
Sunday, July 21 • 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

Does a memoir contain more truth than a novel? Are the stories more accurate for purporting to be “real?” The celebrated writer ALICE MCDERMOTT thinks perhaps not. The author of eight novels, from her first, A BIGAMIST’S DAUGHTER, to her most recent, THE NINTH HOUR, McDermott is fascinated by the slippery nature of memory and by the kinship between memoir and fiction, particularly the much-in-vogue autobiographical fiction. She will talk about the differing forms, about memory and memoirs – including those of her late friend, the writer Frank McCourt – and about the fine art of making stuff up. 

Andrew Roberts

“Churchill: Walking with Destiny”
Sunday, July 21 • 5:30 – 6:30 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

We think we know Winston Churchill. There have been countless books, movies, and documentaries. But British historian ANDREW ROBERTS‘ recent biography makes the man come alive as never before. In a book that’s been called “The best single-volume biography of Churchill yet written,” Roberts traces the arc of Churchill’s life from boyhood through military service to leadership of his country in its darkest days. With prodigious, original research and deep insight, Roberts gives us a revelatory, multi-dimensional portrait. His Churchill is ambitious, witty, emotional, stubborn and gifted with a sense of his own destiny. Roberts will talk about the man and his life, and about the unique passions of the biographer.


Monday, July 22

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus – Chamber Singers

I Raise My Voice
Monday, July 22 • 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

Come hear 19 young women from the famed ensemble, the Chamber Singers of the LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S CHORUS in a joyful, inspiring program of song and recitation. Hailing from Los Angeles County, the ensemble of 16-18 year olds will sing about and speak to the deepest themes: love, compassion, family and the dreams of young women. Started in 1986 to provide music and choral education to young people of diverse backgrounds, the LACC has enchanted audiences, not just in Southern California, but all over the world. Now, under the direction of new artistic director FERNANDO MALVAR-RUIZ, they will raise their voices on the Pavilion stage.

Mitch Landrieu

“E Pluribus Unum: How a Divided America Can Win the Future by Finding Common Ground”
Monday, July 22 • 5:30 – 6:30 PM, Sun Valley Pavilion Lawn

An inspiring, no-nonsense leader and social justice champion, MITCH LANDRIEU stepped up at a time when New Orleans was struggling. Mayor from 2010-2018, he will share stories about this once-descending city and his efforts to put NOLA on the map as a great American comeback story. It is a story of people coming together across the lines that typically divide us to find common ground. Using one of our nation’s founding mottos E Pluribus Unum as a rallying cry, Landrieu also discusses his recent experiences in helping chart a path forward for the country in today’s environment, in which we find ourselves divided by race, class and politics.