In early 2021, Tom Saliba, inspired by his experiences with art, culture, and life long learning seminars in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, reached out to four other families with an idea that he just couldn’t get out of his head. Tom was a director and Executive Committee member of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport (ACAF) and knew that ACAF was just about to open a beautiful new art gallery and 200-seat performance venue, Meetinghouse Arts (MhA) in the historic First Parish Church on Main Street in Freeport. Tom and his wife Rita had lived in Freeport for almost 50 years and had raised their four children there. Knowing that Arts & Culture encompasses more than fine art gallery showings, musical performances, and drama productions, they knew that, especially in these divisive times, there was a hunger in our community for conversation about many topics. “What if we brought nationally and internationally known speakers into our community to share discourse on ….?” The friends all said “yes” (Tom is a very hard person to say no to) and the result was the new FREE(port) SPEECH as a non-profit entity.
By unanimous agreement of the founding five families, the lecture series will not be limited to any specific area, political persuasion, or geographic limitation but will instead be a vehicle to promote discussion and diverse learning in the community.