Conversations With Exceptional Women

The inaugural Conversations With Exceptional Women event was held in 2015.

    The Alturas Institute, in partnership with The Community Library, has lined up the fifth annual Conversations with Exceptional Women conference for Thursday and Friday, Sept. 12-13, at the library.

    The yearly multiday event celebrates the achievements of women on the local, national and international levels. Movie stars, Olympic athletes, politicians, authors, academics, astronauts and businesswomen have all made appearances over the years, and the 2019 roster seeks to preserve the pattern.

    A dozen women have signed on, including eight-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, New York Times sports journalist Karen Crouse, “True Blood” and “Ray Donovan” actress Tara Buck and Naomi McDougall Jones, the newly appointed inaugural Hemingway House writer-in-residence.

    “We’ve got a great lineup, this year. It’s a pretty exciting group,” said event organizer David Adler, president of the Alturas Institute.

    This year’s event will focus on the theme “How Far We’ve Come,” which Adler said is meant to reflect upon the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. At the same time, however, the featured speakers will also touch upon how far each of them has come individually.

    Rather than a series of lectures, the event does truly take the form of conversations, both among the speakers and between the speakers and the audience.

    For many of the featured women, this event provides a unique and valuable opportunity.

    “For those of us who are drowning in testosterone in our day-to-day lives, events like this are the equivalent of a life preserver,” said Karen Crouse, who has risen to prominence in a traditionally male-dominated field. “They serve as powerful—and empowering—reminders that we aren’t alone in our struggles and challenges and triumphs.”

    Tickets for the two-day event are available online at for $125. Students can reserve seats for free by contacting Adler at or 208-313-6554.

The Alturas Institute recently confirmed that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg will take part in the 2020 Conversations With Exceptional Women event. Anticipating that those tickets will likely sell out at an accelerated pace, the institute is making a special offer to this year’s attendees. Anyone who buys a ticket for this year’s event will be given priority in purchasing tickets for the 2020 edition, when those go on sale.

    Learn more about the event and the women in the lineup at or Check back on next week’s arts section for an extended preview of the event, including interviews with some of the exceptional women.

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