Chicago Humanities Festival Announces 25th Anniversary Fall Festival Preview - Oct. 25–Nov. 9, Theme of "Journeys"


The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announces Journeys as the theme for the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival.



More than 80 programs will take place in and around Chicago Oct. 25–Nov. 9, 2014 as part of the annual arts and ideas festival. Confirmed 2014 presenters include jazz composer-pianist Vijay Iyer, NYU professor and scholar of travel narratives Mary Louise Pratt,Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, TV/film actress Victoria Tennant, and author/playwright Colm Tóibín.



A complete schedule will be released in August at Tickets to the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival go on sale to CHF members on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and to the general public on Monday, Sept. 8.




Journeys is the ultimate theme for the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival,” said CHF Artistic Director Matti Bunzl. “It allows us to reflect not only upon the cultural journeys of our society, but also on our journey as an organization. What began as a handful of programs at the Art Institute in 1990 has blossomed into the country’s largest event of its kind, with more than 80 programs at 20 venues. We have demonstrated a strong commitment to innovative thinking and the latest knowledge and—after 25 years—we’re in it for the long haul.”



Confirmed Presenters for the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival Include:


Vijay Iyer

Grammy-nominatedcomposer-pianist Vijay Iyer is described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today.” Recent honors include a 2013 MacArthur Award, a “quintuple crown” in the 2012 DownBeat International Critics Poll, Pianist of the Year Awards for 2012 and 2013 from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award for best international pianist. Iyer has released 17 albums and his most recent, Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project, is based on the dreams of veterans of color from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This program is presented in partnership with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.


Mary Louise Pratt

A Silver Professor at New York University, Mary Louise Pratt is the leading scholar of travel narratives. Her landmark book Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation offers the definitive analysis of how the genre has shaped geopolitics from the age of exploration to the present.



Marcus Samuelsson

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has been featured on such culinary shows as Chopped and Iron Chef America on The Food Network, as well as Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, where he won the competition in 2010. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, Samuelsson exploded onto the American scene at New York’s Aquavit, turning Swedish food into a culinary sensation. He has since moved to Harlem’s Red Rooster, putting his own twist on American comfort food.


Marjane Satrapi

Iranian-born French graphic novelist, illustrator, film director, and children's book author Marjane Satrapi is best known for her work Persepolis, an audacious look at the Iranian Revolution seen through the eyes of a child. In 2012, the controversial graphic novel was banned from classrooms by Chicago Public Schools, sparking student protests and the book’s eventual reinstatement. This program is presented in partnership with the American Library Association.


Victoria Tennant

TV and film actress Victoria Tennant (The Winds of War, L.A. Story) is the daughter of noted prima ballerina Irina Baronova. Her mother’s remarkable career led Tennant to her latest project: an intimate portrait of Baronova’s life as a dancer in Irina Baronova and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, to be published in fall 2014. With sumptuous photographs and rare behind-the-scenes stories of life on the road, Tennant illuminates glorious moments in ballet history.


Colm Tóibín

Newly appointed Chairman of PEN World Voices Festival and Man Booker Prize–shortlisted author Colm Tóibín is known for novels like The Master and Brooklyn, where the Irish-born, New York-based writer excavates the joys and sorrows of displacement, both physical and metaphorical. Also an established playwright, in 2013 his play The Testament of Mary opened on Broadway with Fiona Shaw, directed by Deborah Warner, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best New Play. Tóibín’s latest work of fiction, Nora Webster, will be published in the U.K. in October 2014.



  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 – The 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit honoring John and Jeanne Rowe
  • Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 – The fourth annual Morry and Dolores Kohl Kaplan Northwestern Day on the Northwestern University campus
  • Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 – The eighth annual Hyde Park Day on the University of Chicago campus
  • Monday, Oct. 27–Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014 – The 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival in and around downtown Chicago



Tickets to the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival go on sale to CHF members on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and to the general public on Monday, Sept. 8. The full schedule of all programs will be available at in August.




About the Chicago Humanities Festival

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 international children’s theater festival. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar and Artistic Director Matti Bunzl, CHF has become an institution central to the fabric of the city. Visit the Chicago Humanites Festival website for more information.





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