Chris Singer organizes the Idyllwild Community Center Speaker Series Photo by JP Crumrine
Chris Singer organizes the Idyllwild Community Center Speaker Series
Photo by JP Crumrine

The Idyllwild Community Center Speaker Series has become a local institution, whose arrival each fall is eagerly anticipated. For nearly a decade, the sponsors have scouted the region to find and then to bring interesting and unusual information or ideas to the Hill.

One of these stalwarts has been Chris Singer, who returned to this function last year, after a brief respite.

But his year, she has taken a different tactic to organizing the series.

“People are always telling me about interesting people right here in our midst that would be wonderful speakers,” Singer said. Consequently, the theme of the 2015 Speaker Series is “Fascinating Locals Right Here In Our Backyard!”

Kathy Keane, a local biological consultant, was the September speaker and Carol Martin is next week’s speaker (see story on page 12.)

Other locals whom Singer has scheduled include Pam Jordan, president of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation, Dr. John Laundré, assistant director of the University of California, Riverside’s James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve, and later in the spring, Walter Parks, a governor on the board of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation. In all, Singer has planned seven different speakers this year and all from the Hill.

Singer had arranged the Speaker Series for several years prior to 2014 and this year. “I love meeting the people and having them tell me what they’re passionate about,” Singer affirmed. Doing the research, such as reviewing the line-ups at regional museums, travel and long-distance calls, was often time consuming, resulted in a varied and captivating series.

But she admitted, “It’s easier getting the local speakers. I just talk to people in town and ask, ‘Who do you know that’s fascinating?’”

This year, there is no grant to provide an honorarium to the speakers. Nevertheless, Singer continues to donate each of them two nights at her Inn.

Owning and managing three inn properties takes a lot of her time, yet Singer still gives generously to town events, such as the Speaker Series. With the speakers scheduled, she is now turning her attention to the Annual Halloween Carnival, which fills downtown after the Halloween Parade.