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Alec Baldwin joins Chicago Ideas' Curiosity Series lineup

Written by
Jonathan Samples

Alec Baldwin will take a break from his regular gig as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live to headline a Chicago Ideas’ Curiosity Series event later this spring.

The organization has released the 2017 lineup for its spring discussion series, with Baldwin leading a list of guest speakers that includes former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, world-renowned satirist Bassem Youssef, MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito, philosopher Patricia Churchland and astronomer Jill Tarter. Baldwin, known for his role as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, will lead an "In Conversation" event on April 11 that’s will include a discussion of his memoir Nevertheless.

This year’s Curiosity Series runs February through May and covers a variety of topics, ranging from criminal justice reform to extraterrestrial intelligence. Chicago Ideas is also going offstage in 2017 with a series of action events that aim to help attendees discover ways to affect positive change in their communities and beyond.

"Now, more than ever, our audience is looking for ways to make a tangible difference in their communities—which is why all 2017 Curiosity Series events are accompanied by 'action events' intended to help attendees move the needle,” Gabrielle Zuckerman, director of programming at Chicago Ideas, said in a news release. “This year's programming is reflective of Chicago Ideas' mission to be a catalyst for change.”

Chicago Ideas’ Curiosity Series kicks off February 23 with an event titled "Reimagining Prison" at Jones College Prep High School. Emerson Collective managing partner and former Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be joined by Director of Common Justice Danielle Sered, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, and President and Director of the Vera Institute Nick Turner for an evening of performance, testimony and conversation on the topic of criminal justice reform. The multipart event will be moderated by MTV News senior national correspondent Jamil Smith.

Other events in the Curiosity Series include:

  • Improving Society Through Tech: A Conversation with Joi Ito (March 15, 6:30–7:30pm, tickets go on sale on February 15)
  • The Joke is Mightier than the Sword with Bassem Youssef (March 27, 6:30–7:30pm, tickets go on sale February 24)
  • In Conversation: Alec Baldwin Beyond the Screen (April 11, 6:30–7:30pm, April 11, tickets go on sale March 2)
  • Future of Intelligence: Human, Machine and Extraterrestrial (May 11, 6:30–8:00pm, tickets go on sale March 30)

Tickets for most Curiosity Series events start at $15 and can be purchased here as they're made available. Speaking and action events will take place at venues throughout the city.

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