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Chicago Humanities Festival launching new annual 'Style' fest

Written by
Kris Vire

The Chicago Humanities Festival is ready to show off its "Style."

On Wednesday, CHF announced the launch of a new annual spring festival slate it's calling Style. The initial fest will take place April 28–May 1 with events at multiple venues, including the Chicago Athletic Association, the Art Institute and the Studebaker Theatre. Confirmed presenters include Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington, author Karl Ove Knausgaard, actor Mary-Louise Parker, Pulitzer-winning critic and Negroland author Margo Jefferson, fashion icon Iris Apfel, photographer Sally Mann, National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon, Michelle Obama–dressing designer Maria Pinto, and actor and Second City alum George Wendt.

Wait, what? you may be asking yourself. And yes, much as we love Wendt, we've never thought of him as a "style" guy. Neither do Knausgaard, the Norwegian author of the six-volume autobiographical novel My Struggle, or Solomon, whose wide-ranging writing covers practically everything but fashion, immediately seem to connect with the theme. But as CHF associate artistic director Alison Cuddy explained in a statement, "CHF will be looking at style as a force that can fundamentally change the world. From the runway to the street corner, the hoodie to the hijab, we’ll be exploring not only fashion, but also the style of politics, music, literature, and more." The complete schedule will be revealed March 1, the day tickets go on sale to CHF members; the general public will get access on March 3.

CHF also announced a single-day festival in conjunction with the MacArthur Foundation for May 15. Titled "Our Cities: Art, Action, Urban Experience," the one-day program celebrates the 35th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows program, and will feature conversations with several Fellows (commonly known as recipients of the so-called "Genius" grant) on urban issues. Further details remain to be announced.

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