Town Hall returns

By Gabi Moore

The Lansing Town Hall series will launch its 56th season of lectures and luncheons to benefit the Lansing Symphony Orchestra on Monday, Oct. 19. This year’s lectures will feature notable personalities from the worlds of news, writing and Hollywood, in an effort to raise funds for the orchestra and bring entertaining speakers to Lansing.

The series was founded in 1953 to raise money for the orchestra. Today it operates as an independent nonprofit organization. Jean Dietrich, Town Hall’s spokeswoman, said the program is committed to raising funds for the orchestra and enriching the lives of locals. “We try to bring programs that will invigorate people’s lives,” she said. “We want to make the people of Lansing get into something different they might not even think about hearing these speakers. We’re one of the few town halls left in Michigan. We try to just appeal to the people, and instead of everyday life, give them something different, something to inspire them and make them feel good.”

Catherine Guarino, spokeswoman for the Lansing Symphony, said the Lansing Town Hall series generated $15,000 for the orchestra last season.

The first lecturer this season is author and personal finance columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, whose writing has appeared in Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, The New York Sun and The Washington Post. Through her columns and two books, Quinn advises on how to handle money in difficult economic conditions.

“She’s just somebody who’s good to make you think about managing your money, especially in today’s economy,” said Sally Dunstan, president of the Town Hall series. “I think she will be a value and inspiration to a lot of people in our audience.”

Other speakers include Anthony Heald (Nov. 9), an actor and Michigan State University alumnus best known for his role in “ The Silence of the Lambs;” Amy Robach (April 12), a correspondent and occasional anchor on NBC’s Today Show; and Tom Santopiertro (May 10), an author and biographer who also spent many years managing Broadway shows.

The first lecture is at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at The Causeway Bay Hotel, 6820 S. Cedar St., Lansing. Series tickets are $130 for lunch and lectures, $70 for lectures only. Individual lecture tickets are $25, individual lunch tickets are $15. (517) 332-3729.