About The Forum

The Forum: What We Do

We are a subscription series, producing five programs each year. The biggest and most influential names in the world have taken the stage at The Richmond Forum, creating lifetime memories for our subscribers: past U.S. presidents, sitting heads of state, leaders from the sciences, arts, business, and more.

The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization.


The Richmond Forum brings leaders from the world stage to our stage in Richmond—to expand horizons, stimulate conversation, and inspire our community.


Our programs and outreach efforts impact over 4,500 subscribers and 1,100 students per year. We bring together Richmonders of all ages who take pride in being members of a thriving RVA community.

Influential Names, Inspiring Evenings

Over 200 distinguished individuals have participated in The Forum since its inception in 1987. Past alumni include names like Clinton, Bush, Blair, Thatcher, Gorbachev, Kissinger, Reagan, Rice, Bernanke, Tutu, Netanyahu, Bhutto, Cronkite, Brokaw, Spielberg, Redford, Winfrey, Goodall, Buchwald, Asimov, and many more.

The longstanding and hard-earned reputation of The Richmond Forum precedes it and makes it possible for us to fulfill the first part of our mission statement: “To bring the leaders from the world stage to our stage in Richmond.” The second half of our mission talks about why we do this: “To expand horizons, stimulate conversation, and inspire our community.”

Beyond the part The Forum plays in bringing these speakers to Richmond, what makes each program so inspiring is the dedicated and passionate audience that attends. Richmond has a long history of supporting public speaker series, hosting lively discussions, staging marches and protests, and directly engaging with the difficult issues of the time. Our speakers are impressed the first moment they step on stage at the Altria Theater. “And all of these seats are going to be full tonight?” Executive Director Bill Chapman recalls in the foreword to the Forum’s 30th anniversary book The Forum Files. Yes, they are.

It’s a testament to Richmond that we are able to sustain such a beloved and critical institution to our community. It’s because of Richmond that we are able to say that The Forum is the largest nonprofit lecture series in America. And it’s thanks to Richmond that we are able to expand horizons, stimulate conversation, and inspire the community that we call home.

See our full list of Richmond Forum speaker alumni.

What Richmonders Say About The Richmond Forum:

The most significant community-wide intellectual event we have.
Nothing stimulates the mind like The Richmond Forum.
The Richmond Forum elevates the stature of the Richmond community to a world class stage of ideas, an epicenter of civil discussion, political thought, scientific advancement, and outstanding artistry.
The Richmond Forum is a wonderful series of programs. It always sparks such an interesting discussion on the way home. Many thanks!