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Chicago Humanities Festival speakers and performers
Courtesy Chicago Humanities Festival

Take a look through Chicago Humanities Festival’s spring events lineup

Anita Hill, Kim Gordon, Selma Blair and John Waters are just a few of the names on this year’s list of speakers.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp

Eager to learn a thing or two this spring? You can catch talks from headliners like Anita Hill, John Waters, Selma Blair and more fascinating cultural figures during the spring iteration of the Chicago Humanities Festival, which will return with a slate of fully in-person events this May.  

The annual festival assembles luminaries from the fields of politics, journalism and the arts for a multi-week series of programming across the city, with events ranging from lectures and discussions to screenings and musical performances. This year’s fest theme, ”Public,” explores how people might move forward with public and private life after two years of Covid-related isolation. 

“Even though our current realities seem to keep so many apart, we hope to use the arts and humanities to bring us together to collectively reimagine what our public lives can be,” CHF Executive Director Phillip Bahar wrote in a statement. 

Other headliners this spring include comedian Sarah Cooper, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, musician (and former Sonic Youth member) Kim Gordon, deaf activist Nyle DiMarco and political philosopher Francis Fukuyama. Some of the fest’s biggest speakers will come to Chicago during two “Festival Days” held on May 7 and May 14, when events will stretch from morning through the evening. 

In addition to talks and lectures, the festival will host a series of experiential and performance-based events, including a conversation and performance from singer-songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy, a ‘90s-themed trivia night following a discussion with writer Chuck Klosterman, and bus tours of the city's Southwest Side with public historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas. Plus, catch panels on topics like China and the Hollywood film industry as well as Chicago’s public art scene. 

The CHF Spring Festival will run from May 1 through May 22. For tickets and a full lineup of events, visit the Chicago Humanities Festival’s website

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