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Chicago Humanities Festival Hires Co-Creative Directors

New leadership model underscores commitment to collaboration.

Chicago Humanities Festival Hires Co-Creative Directors

Chicago Humanities Festival has announced the hiring of two passionate Co-Creative Directors to lead its programming efforts: Michael Green and Lauren M. Pacheco.

This new dual leadership model will enhance creativity, underscore the Festival's commitment to collaboration, and help CHF re-imagine the festival experience as it continues its return to in-person programming.

Green and Pacheco have long careers as curators, programmers, artists and educators in Chicago, and they both share CHF's vision for connecting community and audiences with diverse vital voices of our time. Their joint responsibilities will include curating CHF's year-round programming, including its cornerstone Fall Festival, developing distinctive events and dynamic social experiences, and strengthening its community partnerships. Phillip Bahar, the Festival's Executive Director notes that, "The Co-Creative Director model further supports our commitments to collaboration and to presenting a diversity of voices on our stages to inspire people across Chicago."

Michael Green has served as the Senior Programmer at Chicago Humanities Festival for almost a year, helping to shape both this year's spring and fall festivals. He's spent over 15 years working as an arts programmer and curator in Chicago, including as a Director of Innovation and Creativity in the department of Learning and Public Engagement at the Art Institute of Chicago and in the Education department at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Green says, "I'm excited to work alongside Lauren to make the Chicago Humanities Festival the most dynamic and provocative place for live events and critical conversations in the city."

Lauren M. Pacheco is a curator, civic practice artist, and community organizer. She was previously Director of Arts Programming and Engagement at the School of the Arts at Indiana University Northwest (Gary, Indiana). With more than 17 years of experience, Lauren has organized a range of cultural programs, festivals, and exhibitions. "As a third-generation Chicagoan, born and raised on the southwest side," says Pacheco, "I'm excited to bring the Festival's events to every corner of the city and to deepen our many programmatic and community partnerships. It's a great time to be joining the Chicago Humanities Festival. At this moment, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine how the Festival can more fully engage with the city."

"I'm eager to see the programs these innovative leaders create," says Phillip Bahar, the Festival's Executive Director for nearly a decade. "With their energy and ideas, I'm confident that we will all have opportunities to experience the city and the Chicago Humanities Festival in new ways."

The Co-Creative Directors will begin this September, just as the Chicago Humanities Festival is kicking off a robust season of new events featuring local artists, global celebrities, and stimulating conversations. For more information about this fall's lively slate of programs please go to

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