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Beacon Hill Village

74 Joy Street
Boston, MA 02114
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HomeConversation With... Resource Library


Beacon Hill Village presents leaders in a relaxed and conversational format. With expertise in a variety of disciplines --science, technology, medicine sports, politics, current events, the arts, pop culture and more—our speakers our always informative and entertaining. 

Conversations With…has presented more than 100 speakers since 2009 with ongoing support from: 


february 2023

Conversations With... Boston City Councilor Kenzie Bok   

Boston City Councilor Kenzie Bok, who represents the West End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Kenmore, Mission Hill and parts of Allston will join us to discuss the challenges and opportunities which Boston will face in 2023.  What are possible solutions? Where are things going well? How can you get involved in city government if you should wish to?

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


January 2023

Conversations With... Jen Mergel   

Jen Mergel is a cultural leader, curator, and educator passionate about connections—between art and people, ideas and impact, vision and service. For over 20 years, she has promoted inclusive engagement with contemporary art in museums, on campuses, and in the public realm. She has developed nationally newsworthy exhibitions, talks, and programs in her leadership roles at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Association of Art Museum Curators, Voices in Contemporary Art, and most recently Olmsted Now. Boston-born and based, she is fiercely committed to championing culture makers, history keepers, and change agents who deepen social and spatial justice, locally and globally. She is driven to initiate, innovate and collaborate on projects that foster community curiosity, connective capital and cultural equity through the intersection of the arts with a wide range of disciplines. As of November 2021, she is the inaugural Director of Experience and Cultural Partnerships for Boston's Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


December 2022

Conversations With... Blair Payson   

The Space Needle is Seattle’s defining icon and was a monument to an era of technological optimism when it was built in 1962. With the building at roughly 50 years old, the Space Needle owners embarked on a renovation to dramatically improve the visitor experience and building systems to carry the building through for 50 more years – hence the project name, The Century Project. In presenting the story of the renovation, Blair will share the story behind the creation of the Space Needle in the 1960’s, the era of optimism it reflected and how the renovation celebrated and built on that heritage. From development of the world’s first revolving glass floor to supporting a construction project 500’ in the air, the Space Needle story from 1962 to today is a remarkably rich creative, historical and technological story that Blair looks forward to sharing.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


November 2022

Conversations With... Judy Foreman   

Join members of BHV for a discussion with local author and journalist Judy Foreman about her debut novel, CRISPR’d: A Medical Thriller.  Judy Foreman uses her decades of writing medical columns and science stories for The Boston Globe to take readers on a wild, all-too-plausible-ride into the future, featuring the cutting edge gene-editing technology: CRISPR.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


october 2022

 Conversations With... Ken Gloss   

Kenneth Gloss, proprietor of the internationally known Brattle Book Shop in Boston’s Downtown Crossing section, will give a hybrid presentation on Thursday, October 27, 5:30 pm at King’s Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon St, Boston. Ken will discuss the value of old and rare books. Ken, a rare book specialist and appraiser who is frequently seen on national TV, will talk in part about the history of his historic bookshop (, which goes back to circa 1825. He is a second-generation owner. Ken will discuss growing up in the book business, show some of his favorite finds while enjoying “the thrill of the hunt,” and explain how he appraises books and manuscripts. He has many fascinating anecdotes to share about private and institutional collecting as well as guidelines for building and maintaining a significant collection. There is also a Q&A session at the conclusion of his talk. Following the talk and question-and-answer session, Ken will give free verbal appraisals of books participants have on hand or will do so at his shop in Boston at a later scheduled date. This program is presented as part of Beacon Hill Village’s “Conversations with...” series with support from Cambridge Trust.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


June 2022

Conversations With... Kevin Kenny of Wolf Hollow   

Wolf Hollow is a State and Federally licensed 501c3 nonprofit gray wolf sanctuary and educational facility located in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Their mission is the preservation of the wolf in the wild through education and exposure. They host the public on Saturdays and Sundays for educational tours and presentations and they host schools for field trips throughout the week.

Wolf Hollow hopes that through their presentations and tours that they can help debunk much of the misinformation surrounding wolves and, with any luck, create some advocates for the protection of wolves in the wild.

Kevin Kenny is the Operations Manager for Wolf Hollow. Joining as a volunteer in 2013, Kevin was hired on as Wolf Hollow's first employee in 2018 after graduating from Salem State University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Environmental Science.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


may 2022

Conversations With... Tito SantosSilva    

Francisco "Tito" SantosSilva knows all about urban violence. 

As a young man growing up in Brockton, his educational and professional journey was almost derailed by street violence which took the life of a close friend. 

Since completing his education, he has worked to help young people from underserved communities reach their potential, including work with the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services supporting incarcerated young adults. 

Now he is meeting another immense challenge as the Executive Director of Boston Uncornered, which seeks, as its name suggests, to help gan-involved Boston youth find their way from a street corner to college instead of to prison. 

Hear about Boston Uncornered's inspiring work, and learn how you might help.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


APril 2022

Conversations With... Bill Wilson    

Bill Wilson is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Birds & Beans coffee. With the help of three other families and support from Scott Weidensaul, Bridget Stutchbury, and Kenn Kaufman, they launched their company in 2008 to save the Smithsonian 'Bird Friendly®' shade grown coffee certification.
Half of the people in the US have a cup of coffee every day, but few understand the environmental impact of coffee.  Even fewer prioritize origin and know how coffee farming affects people, farms, forests, and birds all over the world.

Today Birds & Beans is an established Bird Friendly Coffee destination. our success has come from our loyal, conscientious customers and our dedicated partners. At Birds & Beans Coffee, we believe humanity will flourish if we are simply more friendly - to each other and to the natural world around us. We strongly support our certifications and give back 5% from every bag of coffee sold to our conservation partners. Birds & Beans is the only coffee brand in the USA that is 100% certified Smithsonian shade grown Bird Friendly®, USDA Organic and Fair Trade. Every bean in every bag helps to save birds, tropical forests, family farmers and their workers. local rural economies, and the Earth we all share.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.


March 2022

Conversations With... Mike Zoob on the Evolution of Road Scholar    

Fifty years ago, older adults were rarely viewed as a "marketing opportunity." As we all know, that has changed: Just witness the flyers that stuff our mailboxes heralding investment opportunities and so-called paradise retirement communities.

For better or worse, Road Scholar, formerly known as Elderhostel, and its residential educational adventures, helped change the view of older adults. Once thought of as rocking-chair-bound, mildly-addled, non-inquisitive beings who were counting their declining days, older Americans are now viewed as actively engaged - both physically and mentally - in all aspects of society. 

Road Scholar's story has been quite a saga: From the 200 adventuresome souls who took a chance on the company's inaugural offering in 1975, Road Scholar now has more than 120,000 annual participants across all 50 states and more than 150 countries

Click the link above for a recording of the event.



Conversations With... Imari Paris Jeffries    

Imari Paris Jeffries is Executive Director of King Boston, a nonprofit organization founded through The Boston Foundation in 2020 working to establish a 22-foot memorial sculpture, "The Embrace," on the Common next year. The memorial will pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King and their work to further racial and economic justice here in Boston. Since embarking on this flagship project, King Boston has greatly expanded its scope, and is now developing a 25,000-square-foot research-oriented Center for Economic Justice in Roxbury, as well as Embrace Ideas, a weeklong festival that engages the community in anti-racist discourse through the arts and humanities.

At this next installment of BHV's speaker series "Conversations With..." Imari Paris Jeffries will speak about his vision for King Boston, the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and what it's like to lead a new nonprofit during the pandemic. He will also describe how "The Embrace" and other core King Boston projects are progressing, and, more broadly, offer his take on both the progress and remaining challenges to addressing systemic inequities and furthering racial and economic justice here in Boston and beyond.

Imari was recently named one of Boston's most Influential Bostonians by Boston Magazine and the Boston Business  Journals Power 50. He is a three-time graduate of UMass Boston and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. through UMass Boston's Higher Education Program. An Army veteran, Imari served from 1991-1996. He currently lives in Hyde Park with his family.

Click the link above for a recording of the event.

January 2022

Conversations With... Matthew Wilding    

Matthew Wilding is the Director of Visitor Experience & Content Development at Revolutionary Spaces. In this position, he oversees the development and implementation of educational and general visitor experiences for audiences of all ages. Previous to arriving at Revolutionary Spaces, he served as Director of Visitor Experience & Program Development at the Edward Kennedy Institute for the US Senate. Matt studied history at Suffolk University and UMass-Boston and has also held director-level positions at the Freedom Trail Foundation, Cambridge Historical Tours, and Peabody Essex Museum.

At this iteration of BHV's "Conversations With..." speaker series, we invite you to join Matthew Wilding for Massacre & Memory, a virtual tour exploring the complicated history of the Boston Massacre. With visual 'stops' at the historic sites we care for and neighboring locations, we'll look into the conversations and discourse that took place between a small community confined within jut four square miles.

Massacre & Memory explores the surprisingly small geography of colonial Boston and its central civic buildings - the Old State House, the Old South Meeting House, and Faneuil Hall - to uncover the roots of the conflict that escalated into a deadly riot, leaving five dead and a city changed. Was the tragedy that night the unlikely consequence of unpredictable events or the inevitable eruption of a close-knit community under intense strain?

Click the link above for a recording of the event.