Chicago Humanities Festival Announces Added Presenters to the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival

Chicago Humanities Festival Announces Added Presenters to the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival

Today the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced confirmed presenters added to the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival, which will explore the theme of Journeys, Oct. 25-Nov. 9, 2014. They include New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks, author and editor Roxane Gay, filmmaker Guy Maddin, jazz vocalist René Marie, comedian and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! panelist Paula Poundstone, and former Brown University president Ruth Simmons. A complete schedule will be released in August at

Tickets to the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival go on sale to CHF memberson Tuesday, Sept. 2 and to the general public on Monday, Sept. 8. To learn more about membership, visit

The Chicago Humanities Festival has grown from eight programs in one day at a single venue in 1990, to 140 programs year-round at more than 20 venues in and around Chicago. Over the past 25 years, CHF has put on more than 2,500 programs and performances, and presented more than 3,300 speakers and artists, including: 68 Pulitzer Prize winners, 48 MacArthur Award recipients, 10 Nobel Prize winners, 15 Tony Award winners, nine Grammy Award winners, and seven Academy Awardwinners.

Confirmed Presenters for the 25th Anniversary Fall Festival Include:

David Brooks | Karla Scherer Endowed Lecture Series for the University of Chicago as part of the 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit

One of America's most prominent political commentators, David Brookswrites a bi-weekly op-ed column for The New York Times. He is a regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and on NPR's All Things Considered. Brooks has written several books, including: Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense, and his latest book, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.

Roxane Gay

Blogger and commentator Roxane Gay's writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and The Wall Street Journal'sSpeakeasy culture blog. She is the co-editor of the nonprofit literary arts collective PANK, as well as the essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. Her debut novel, An Untamed State, was released this May to rave reviews and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published later this summer.

Guy Maddin

Canadian filmmaker and writer Guy Maddin has directed ten feature-length movies, including My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the World,

Brand upon the Brain!, and Careful, as well as innumerable shorts. Maddin is well-known for recreating the look and style of silent cinema and early-sound-era films. He has mounted more than 70 performances of his films worldwide, featuring live elements that include orchestration, sound effects, singing, and narration.

René Marie | Helen B. and Ira E. Graham Family Concert

René Marie is a jazz vocalist, singer, actress, and songwriter. She has released ten albums, including Vertigo, which was awarded a coronet ranking by The Penguin Guide to Jazz--a distinction given to less than 85 other recordings in jazz history. Her newly released album, I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt), pays tribute to Kitt and includes renditions of the classics "C'est Si Bon," "Let's Do It," "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," and Kitt's enduring Christmas hit, "Santa Baby."

Paula Poundstone | Elaine and Roger Haydock Humor Program

A regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Paula Poundstone's distinctive brand of wry, intelligent, and witty comedy is heard by five million homes across the country, internationally on NPR Worldwide, and on the Internet via podcast. She is recognized as one of Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups Of All Time, and is a published author and lecturer. Her writing credits include articles and columns for Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, and Glamour.

Ruth Simmons | Doris Conant Lecture on Women and Culture

Ruth Simmons is the former president of Brown University and was the first African-American president of an Ivy League institution. She is a graduate of Dillard University and completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She was also previously the president of Smith College, the largest women's college in the United States. Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Foreign Policy Association award.


Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 - The 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit honoring John and Jeanne Rowe, featuring a public program with David Brooks. For more information, visit
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. To become a member, visit The full schedule of all programs will be available at in August.

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