Melinda Gates Tapped to Headline Chicago Humanities Festival's Power Themed Springfest 

Recently, the Chicago Humanities Festival announced that its 30th anniversary theme will be Power, and that global philanthropist and champion for women’s empowerment Melinda Gates will headline its 2019 Springfest.

The 30th anniversary and Year of Power will see CHF exploring questions at the very heart of our civic life, as well as presenting a series of programs that reflect back on the festival’s rich history and reconsider some of its past themes with an eye towards our contemporary moment.

“For thirty years the Chicago Humanities Festival has brought some of the most compelling minds of our day to the stage—artists, authors, academics, and policy makers. We move into 2019 with a growing audience, a year-round schedule of events, and the opportunity to look back at some of the pivotal speakers, programs, and ideas that have made the Festival such a successful organization,” said Executive Director Phillip Bahar.

During the Year of Power, CHF will look at how power operates across and influences all our relationships: political, historical, economic and interpersonal.

​​“This is clearly a people-powered age, where dispersed citizens are organizing political movements, ‘bootstrapping’ technological change, and 'influencing’ social and cultural trends,” said Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director Alison Cuddy. “At the same time, so many people feel completely powerless, especially in the face of climate change or the rise of autocratic regimes. That flux around our relationship to power and how we might harness it toward the greater good, will be our focus over the coming year.”

Melinda Gates will headline Springfest Saturday, April 27 at the UIC Dorin Forum. Gates, a former Microsoft executive and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will discuss how women’s empowerment, societal health and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand, as well as other insights from her forthcoming book, "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World." The program is underwritten by Fifth Third Bank.

​“As a special thank you to our members, CHF is offering an extended exclusive members-only sales period,” Bahar said. “Becoming a member is the best way to support, celebrate, and enjoy CHF’s 30th anniversary programming all year long.”

​The exclusive CHF member pre-sale for the Melinda Gates Springfest event will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 5. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, February 12. Visit or call the CHF Box Office at 312-605-8444 Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Philanthropist and women's empowerment advocate Melinda Gates (photo courtesy of the Chicago Humanities Festival).

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