Chicago Humanities Festival Announces Complete Schedule For 25th Anniversary Fall Festival: Journeys



The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced today the complete schedule for the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival, 112 events which will explore the theme of Journeys, Oct. 25–Nov. 9, 2014, with pre-Festival programs on Oct. 6 and 21, at venues across Chicago. This year’s presenters include James Beard Award-winning food writer Mark Bittman, political commentator David Brooks, Girls creator Lena Dunham, President of Ebert Productions Chaz Ebert, opera star Renée Fleming, Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay, pop singer and actress Darlene Love, investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, actor Wallace Shawn, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith, Wild author Cheryl Strayed, and many more. To view a complete schedule, visit

Tickets to the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival range from $10–50 and go on sale to CHF members on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and to the general public on Monday, Sept. 8. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the CHF Box Office at (312) 494-9509 Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“For 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival has been central to Chicago’s cultural fabric,” said CHF Artistic Director Matti Bunzl. “This year we’re proud to underscore ‘Journeys,’ focusing not only on the Festival’s evolution, but also providing a platform for the world’s most celebrated writers, artists, performers, and scholars to share their personal and creative journeys.”

New to this year’s Festival are geographic “hubs” for each weekend day of programs. This new format follows the successful model established with Evanston and Hyde Park Days, and will allow Festival goers to easily navigate more programs in a given day. Also new this year are discounts on most tickets for CHF members. To learn more about CHF membership, visit

25 Highlights of the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival:

Lena Dunham: Not That Kind of Girl | Elaine and Roger Haydock Humor Series

Monday, Oct. 6 | Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law | SOLD OUT

Lena Dunham is the executive producer, writer, and star of the HBO series Girls. Dunham comes to CHF to discuss her new book Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” with Girls Executive Producer Jenni Konner.

David Brooks | Karla Scherer Endowed Lecture Series for the University of Chicago

Tuesday, Oct. 21 | Fourth Presbyterian Church | Part of the 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit

One of America’s most prominent political commentators, David Brooks writes a bi-weekly op-ed column for The New York Times and is a regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Morris and Dolores Kohl Kaplan Northwestern Day – Saturday, Oct. 25 – Northwestern University

Roger Ebert: Life Itself | Chaz Ebert and Steve James | Cahn Auditorium

Kartemquin Films’s Life Itself recounts the life of the world-renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert. Chaz Ebert, Roger’s widow, and filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) share stories, clips, and outtakes from the summer’s most-talked-about film. Moderated by CHF program director and former WBEZ 91.5 host Alison Cuddy.

Wallace Shawn | Elaine and Roger Haydock Humor Series | Cahn Auditorium

Wallace Shawn is known for his comedic roles as a film and stage actor (My Dinner with Andre, Manhattan, The Princess Bride, Toy Story), but is also an accomplished playwright and essayist. Revered for his exploration of difficult, often controversial themes, Shawn will discuss his unique theatrical vision.

Hyde Park Day | Sunday, Oct. 26 | Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago

Beautiful Voice: Renée Fleming | Performance Hall

Winner of the 2013 Grammy for Best Classical Vocal, Renée Fleming is one of the world’s most acclaimed opera singers. She is the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala, and earlier this year, she was the first classical singer ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. In partnership with Lyric Unlimited, an initiative of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The Mutations of Vijay Iyer | Performance Hall

2013 MacArthur Award winner and Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer has released 18 albums. His most recent album, Mutations, is the first to document his works for chamber ensembles. In partnership with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Week of Oct. 27

Cheryl Strayed: Wild

Wednesday, Oct. 29 | Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law

Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah Book Club pick Wild, her extraordinary memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The film adaptation, starring Reese Witherspoon, will be released in December 2014. She also wrote the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things.

Darlene Love | Thursday, Oct. 30 | Francis W. Parker School

Acclaimed singer and actress Darlene Love’s career spans from motion pictures to Broadway hits. She has sung background vocals for The Righteous Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye, and Elvis Presley, and her Billboard hits include: He’s A Rebel, The Boy I’m Gonna Marry, and Da Doo Ron Ron. Last year, she was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom

Trick-or-Treat with Paula Poundstone| Elaine and Roger Haydock Humor Series

Friday, Oct. 31 | Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law

A regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,Paula Poundstone’s distinctive brand of wry, intelligent, and witty comedy is recognized internationally. She is also a published author and lecturer

Loop – Saturday, Nov. 1

Patti Smith | 2014 Chicago Tribune Literary Award | Symphony Center |

Born in Chicago, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith’s first recording, 1975’s Horses, was inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in 2010. Her acclaimed memoir, Just Kids, chronicles her friendship and journey in art with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and was awarded the 2010 National Book Award. In partnership with the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row series.

Persepolis | Marjane Satrapi | Richard Gray Visual Arts Series | First United Methodist Church

Iranian-born graphic novelist, illustrator, director, and author Marjane Satrapi is best known for Persepolis, a story of the Iranian Revolution seen through the eyes of a child. In 2013, it was banned by Chicago Public Schools, sparking student protests and the book’s eventual reinstatement. In partnership with the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Talking Music with Sasha Frere-Jones | School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Sasha Frere-Jones is a writer and musician, raised in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. He recorded and toured as a member of the band Ui from 1990 to 2010. He has been the pop critic and a staff writer for The New Yorker since 2004 and is currently working on a two-volume memoir about New York and the arts.

North Michigan Ave – Sunday, Nov. 2

Roxane Gay: Bad Feminist| Poetry Foundation

Blogger and commentator Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, and The Wall Street Journal. Her debut novel, An Untamed State, was released in May to rave reviews and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, was just published in August.

La Reunión | Co-presented with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Saturday, Nov. 1–Sunday, Nov. 2 | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Edlis Neeson Theater

Teatro en el Blanco’s La Reuniónis a theatrical showdown between Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella. The Chilean production comes to the MCA Stage to lay bare the psychology of conquest and revisit the journey that defined America. In Spanish with English supertitles.

The Future of Higher Ed | Ruth Simmons | Doris Conant Lecture on Women and Culture

Sunday, Nov. 2 | Northwestern University School of Law, Thorne Auditorium

Ruth Simmons was the first black president of an Ivy League school and the first woman to lead Brown University. She will discuss the future of higher education with Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University.

Week of Nov. 3

A Night at the Tonys | The William and Greta Wiley Flory Concert

Monday, Nov. 3 | Francis W. Parker School

Helmed by Jeff Award-winning duo Rob Lindley and Doug Peck, A Night at the Tonys is a chronological journey featuring a song from each Tony Award-winning “Best Musical” production since 1949. Choreographed by Katie Spelman, the production will feature André DeShields (Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz), Ernestine Jackson (Raisin), and Karen Mason (Sunset Boulevard).

Guy Maddin: His Winnipeg| Richard Gray Visual Arts Series
Wednesday, Nov. 5 | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Edlis Neeson Theater
Canadian filmmaker and writer Guy Maddin has directed ten feature-length movies, including My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the World, as well as innumerable shorts. Maddin is well-known for recreating the look and style of silent cinema and early-sound-era films. In partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Departments of Writing and Film, Video, New Media, and Animation, and the

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Mark Bittman: How to Cook Everything

Thursday, Nov. 6 | Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law

James Beard Award-winning food journalist Mark Bittman covers food policy, cooking, and eating as a columnist for The New York Times. He produced “The Minimalist” column for 13 years and appears regularly on the Today Show. Bittman has authored more than a dozen cookbooks, including How to Cook Everything and Food Matters.

UIC Forum – Saturday, Nov. 8

Eric Schlosser | Main Hall AB

As an investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser’s aim is to explore subjects ignored by the mainstream media and shed light on worlds that are too often hidden. In his latest book, Command and Control (2013), the author of Fast Food Nation (2001) and Reefer Madness (2003) examines the military’s efforts since World War II to prevent nuclear weapons from being stolen, sabotaged, or accidentally detonated.

Marcus Samuelsson: Off Duty| The Hillshire Brands Foundation Lecture on Food | Main Hall AB

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has been featured on Chopped, Iron Chef America, and Top Chef Masters, which he won in 2010. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, he exploded onto the American scene at New York’s Aquavit and now runs Harlem’s celebrated Red Rooster

Anne Rice: Vampire Chronicler | Main Hall AB

Perennial best-selling author and inventor of the modern vampire genre, Anne Rice has written 32 books, including the well-known Interview with the Vampire which spawned the film adaptation with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst. Rice will discuss her latest novel: Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles.

The New Face of Global Activism | Maryam Al-Khawaja | Robert R. McCormick Foundation Lecture

Meeting RoomGHI

Maryam Al-Khawaja is a Bahraini Human Rights Defender and co-director for the Gulf Center for Human Rights. Already the recipient of numerous awards for human rights work, Al-Khawaja and her family were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. She comes to the Festival to offer a report from the frontlines of today’s evolving global landscape.

North Michigan Ave – Sunday, Nov. 9

Elizabeth Diller: Beyond the Blueprints | Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law

Elizabeth Diller is a founding partner of the New York–based design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The MacArthur Award-winner is responsible for an array of astonishing project, including: New York City’s High Line, Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art, and The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. In partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University.

Modern Love | Daniel Jones | Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law

Daniel Jones has edited the “Modern Love” column in The New York Times since its inception in 2004. The author of Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers), Jones will join Chicago-based contributors to discuss the column and examine contemporary love.

Ukraine: From Propaganda to Reality| Timothy Snyder
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Edlis Neeson Theater

Yale University professor Timothy Snyder is the world’s leading historian of Eastern Europe. Throughout 2014 he has been speaking and writing on the revolution in and the invasion of Ukraine in The New York Times, The New Republic, and The New York Review of Books.


  • Oct. 6, 2014 – Lena Dunham: Not That Kind of Girl
  • Oct. 21, 2014 – The 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit

o Honoring John and Jeanne Rowe and featuring a public program with David Brooks

  • Oct. 25–Nov. 9, 2014 – The 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival

o Oct. 25 – The fourth annual Morris and Dolores Kohl Kaplan Northwestern Day on the Northwestern University campus

o Oct. 26 – The eighth annual Hyde Park Day on the University of Chicago campus


Tickets to the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival range from $10–50 (with reduced-price tickets available for CHF members, and students and teachers with valid ID) and go on sale to CHF members on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and to the general public on Monday, Sept. 8. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the CHF Box Office at (312) 494-9509 Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To become a member, visit


For 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival has celebrated the questions that shape and define us as individuals, communities, and cultures. For the intellectually curious, CHF’s vibrant year-round programming and robust Fall Festival offer the opportunity to engage with some of the world’s most brilliant minds. Collaborating with leading arts, cultural, and educational organizations, it presents scholars, artists and architects, thinkers, theologians, and policy makers that change how we see the world, where we’re from, and where we’re going. CHF also presents the spring Stages, Sights & Sounds, Chicago’s only international children’s theater festival. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar and Marilynn Thoma Endowed Chair for Artistic Leadership Matti Bunzl, CHF has become an institution central to the fabric of the city. Visit for more information.


Oct. 25, 2014 – Morris and Dolores Kohl Kaplan Northwestern Day, Northwestern University

Cahn Auditorium

600 Emerson St, Evanston

Harris Hall

1881 Sheridan Rd, Evanston

Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art

40 Arts Circle Dr, Evanston

Owen L. Coon Forum

2001 Sheridan Rd, Evanston

Oct. 26, 2014 – Hyde Park Day, University of Chicago

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

915 E 60th St


Oct. 6–Nov. 9, 2014 – Venues throughout Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave

Black Cinema House

7200 S Kimbark Ave

Chicago Cultural Center

77 E Randolph St

Co-Prosperity Sphere

3219-21 S Morgan St

First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple

77 W Washington St

The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago

126 E Chestnut St

Francis W. Parker School

2233 N Clark St

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S State St


3885 N Lincoln Ave

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

220 E Chicago Ave

The Newberry Library

60 W Walton St

Northwestern University School of Law

375 E Chicago Ave


Poetry Foundation

61 W Superior

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

112 S Michigan Ave

Symphony Center

220 S Michigan Ave

UIC Forum

725 W Roosevelt