George Saunders, Misty Copeland, and Sybrina Fulton & Tracy Martin headline CHF’s Winter programs

The Chicago Humanities Festival is pleased to announce that Chicago-area native and short story master George Saunders, Misty Copeland, the first African American woman to be the principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, and Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, parents of Trayvon Martin, will headline CHF’s Winter line-up with programs in February and March.
Fulton and Martin come to Chicago for a pair of intimate evenings to discuss the life of their son and the renewed, national conversation on equity and justice for people of color in America that followed his death. The Chicago Urban League and DuSable Museum of African American History are partnering with CHF for the February 16 and February 17 programs. The February 17 event will take place at the DuSable Museum.  
On March 2, Saunders will discuss his much-anticipated first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Set, for the most part, over the course of a single night, Saunders reimagines the death of Willie Lincoln, its effect on the grief-stricken President, and how young Willie navigates the bardo, a sort of purgatory between life and the afterlife.
Copeland has singularly redefined the expectations of who can be a principal ballerina, all while inspiring a new generation to try their hand at ballet. She comes to CHF to discuss her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, the challenge of diversifying classical ballet, and perseverance in the face of poverty, racism, and injury. Copeland will wrap up the CHF NOW’s Winter program series on March 23. Award winning journalist and broadcaster Robin Robinson will join Copeland in conversation.
Ticket Information:
Tickets for CHFNow’s Winter 2017 schedule go on sale to CHF members on Wednesday, January 4, and to the general public on Thursday, January 12. Tickets can be purchased at
Thursday, February 16 | First United Methodist Church | 77 W Washington Friday, February 17 | DuSable Museum of African American History | 740 East 56th Place

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin
Following the untimely death of their son, Travyon Martin, at the hands of an armed neighborhood vigilante, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin had no choice but to grieve for their son in the national spotlight. Fulton and Martin come to Chicago to share unique wisdom and insights they have taken from their experience and participate in a larger conversation about race and social justice.
Thursday, March 2 | Music Box Theatre | 3733 N Southport

George Saunders
The acclaimed writer of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and the National Book Award finalist Tenth of December, comes to Chicago to discuss his first novel with CHF this spring. Zadie Smith has called Lincoln in the Bardo “a masterpiece.”
Thursday, March 23 | First United Methodist Church | 77 W Washington
Misty Copeland
Entrepreneur, role model, and “game changer” (Time Magazine) in the world of ballet and athleticism, Misty Copeland has redefined what a principal ballerina can look like. She comes to CHF to discuss her journey to ballet’s biggest stages.
  • January 9 – Second annual Springfest/17 theme announced
  • January 12 – Tickets to CHFNow Winter programs on sale to the General Public
  • February 16-17 – Sybrina Fulton & Tracy Martin programs at First United Methodist Church and the DuSable Museum of African American History
  • March 2 – Full Springfest/17 lineup announced & George Saunders program
About the Chicago Humanities Festival
At Chicago Humanities Festival, we believe that humanity thrives when people gather, connect and open themselves to ideas that go beyond their individual experience. That’s why for more than 27 years, CHF has been curating live events that allow audiences to connect with thinkers–both established and emerging–and see the world differently. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar, Thoma Artistic Director Jonathan Elmer, and Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy, CHF is one of Chicago’s most vibrant civic institutions. Join us and celebrate the social life of ideas.