Actress and author Ali Wentworth spoke at the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall series this week at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota and delighted the audience with self-deprecating life stories. Wentworth charmed the crowd with her anecdotes about love (Wentworth is married to Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos), friendship, and parenting. The comedian was in town visiting her mother who lives on Long Boat Key and promoting her latest book, Go Ask Ali: Half-Baked Advice (and Free Lemonade), available for purchase on April 24th. This is the fourth book for the New York Times bestselling author. 

Wentworth first started on the comedy show In Living Color and has both film and TV credits, but she might be most famously known for Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend on the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld

When asked about juggling being a wife and mother with her own career, Wentworth replied that “I’m a wife and mother first. I’m not conflicted about that. Any other stuff that comes along has to work around these two roles.”

One notable feature of the lecture series is that they partner with the Ringling College of Art & Design, selecting one student to do a portrait of each guest speaker. For Wentworth’s portrait, junior Jiahuiyi Yan was chosen. Yan is an illustration major and says she was “nervous and honored to be chosen”. Her portrait advisor showed her a Jimmy Kimmel interview to study Wentworth’s features. She says that Wentworth made her feel comfortable and she is now inspired to watch episodes of Nightcap, Wentworth’s comedy series about a behind-the-scenes look of a late-night program featuring celebrities playing themselves in exaggerated roles. 

The RCLA announced their 2019 line of speakers during the event which ranges from topics on sports, business and technology and entrepreneurship. 

Shaquille O’Neal

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sports icon Shaq has been named one of the most influential athletes by Forbes Magazine. He's also a media personality and businessman. 

James Comey

Monday, February 4, 2019

Comey led the FBI from 2013-2017 and previously worked as a federal prosecutor. He famously worked under President Trump and has just published his autobiography, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

Jimmy Wales

Monday, February 18, 2019

Wikipedia founder Wales in an internet entrepreneur and technology visionary. He is also the founder of WikiTribune. 

Caroline Kennedy

Monday, March 4, 2019

Kennedy is the author or editor of eleven New York best-selling books on law, civics, and poetry and also served as the US Ambassador to Japan from 2013-2017.

Ian Bremmer

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm and is Editor at Large for Time magazine.

Tickets for the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series can be purchased online. Other upcoming events include an afternoon with Andrea Wulf, best-selling author of The Invention of Nature on May 8th. 

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Cover photo courtesy of Robert Pope Photography, additional photo courtesy of Allison Moore, Moore PR