Mark Holbrook

Jim Calder

Mark Holbrook is currently the executive director for the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Prior to that, Mark served as the marketing manager at the Ohio History Connection for nine years and has been a consultant for tourism and history-based organizations for 12 years. He is a native Ohioan, graduate of The Ohio State University (BA in Communications) and an avid student of history.

Mark is the editor of the The Buckeye Vanguard about the 49th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Mark recently retired from a 20-year career as a Civil War reenactor, serving as a Union officer throughout the country at such places as Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Richmond and Shiloh. Mark also served as military coordinator for the film Light of Freedom released in the fall of 2013 and had a supporting role in the 2015 film Wings of the Wind. Mark served on the Civil War Sesquicentennial Advisory Committee for the state of Ohio and has appeared in several television history-themed television programs.

Photography during the Civil War

The American Civil War prompted photographers to take their cameras out of their studios in an effort to capture images of the war. The results changed perceptions of war and was a catalyst for an explosion of technology that would continue for decades.

Heritage Tourism: More Than Museums

With boundless technology and more forms of entertainment than anyone can possibly take in, why is it that travelers continue to consistently identify heritage destinations as a major influence when planning their vacations? The answer is the same today as it was in decades and centuries past; an innate curiosity about where we come from and how the people of our past have impacted our lives today. The foundation for a thriving heritage tourism industry exists in virtually every city and town in the country. In this presentation, learn about the trends in heritage travel, success stories and how communities are celebrating and sharing their heritage.

The History of Travel in America

Not so long ago few people traveled far from home. Vacations and travel for leisure were either unaffordable or impractical. The industrial age, new technologies and shifting perspectives on work and leisure changed all of that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We’ll explore those changes and the impact a traveling population on or economy and culture.

Ohio in the Civil War

With troops, generals, factories and farms, Ohio and Ohioans helped to change the outcome of the Civil War. And that war changed Ohio and its people. We’ll explore those changes and take a look at the contributions of Ohio and its people during America’s Civil War. Its citizens, politicians, soldiers, nurses and businessmen.


Mark Holbrook

Speaker Applications

If your organization would like to book a speaker, first contact the speaker to confirm program dates, times, and whether or not the program will be offered virtually.

After you have confirmed scheduling details, submit a speaker request form to Ohio Humanities at least six weeks before the presentation takes place. Upon approval, we’ll send you a program agreement packet and ask you to pay the appropriate application fee to Ohio Humanities. Groups are limited to three Speakers Bureau programs per year.

Speaker Request Form

Speaker Fee Structure

Non-profit organizations with an annual budget under $150,000 pay a fee of $50.00.

Non-profit organizations with an annual budget over $150,000 pay a fee of $250.00.

Schools (including colleges or universities) and corporate or private entities pay a fee of $400.00.

For any questions, please contact Program Officer Melvin Barnes at