Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Evis Costelo is but one of many in an eclectic lineup of artists, writers and arts luminaries slated for the Chicago Humanities Festival Fall schedule (photo by Mary McCartney)

Chicago Humanities Festival Launches Eclectic Fall Lineup  to Explore the Meaning of Citizenship Today

The Chicago Humanities Festival’s (CHF) 26th Fall Festival, 130 events which will explore the theme of Citizens, will span venues across Chicago and offer presenters from Rock and Roll to television to literary luminaries and a host of other genres and fields that touch the Humanities.

Citizens will offer an intriguing look at the meaning of belonging to a culture, to a people and to an ideal. The ideas this year’s festival will explore are limitless all touching the ever evolving notion of citizenship today. "What it means to be a citizen is changing before our very eyes,” said Jonathan Elmer, CHF Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director. “It's incredibly exciting to launch this festival now and think through the range of issues that face us—race in America, immigration, religious freedom, to name a few—in the company of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and artists.”

New this year, CHF will debut Pilsen Day in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust. The full day of events was curated with local partners like the National Museum of Mexican Art, Cultura in Pilsen, and Mana Contemporary, with programs exploring the immigrant experience, gentrification, local art and more. The festival will end with a closing celebration at Chicago’s Thalia Hall, featuring music by Sones de México Ensemble, Dos Santos, and Sonorama, and hosted by David Chavez of Sound Culture.

From  Oct. 24–Nov. 8, 2015 at venues across Chicago, the festival will host a bevy of luminaries, artists and thinkers shedding light on a number of issues related to the idea of what it means to be a citizen. Hightlighting this year’s event Between the World and Me author Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Elvis Costello, TV personality and cookbook author Nigella Lawson, actor and former contributor to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Aasif Mandvi, The Wire actor and author Wendell Pierce, American history writer Sarah Vowell, and many, many more.

Tickets to the 26th Chicago Humanities Festival range from free to $38 and can be purchased at or by calling the CHF Box Office at (312) 494-9509.  To learn more about CHF membership, visit To view a complete schedule of this year’s festival, visit