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On Thursday, April 4, two days after Chicago’s municipal election run-off, the 2019 Chicago Humanities Festival Presents Spring series will kickoff with one of Chicago’s most powerful women, Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett will reflect on her longtime friendship with the Obama family, her time in public service from LaSalle Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, and what she plans to do next. Jarrett’s event will be held at KAM Isaiah Israel Temple in Hyde Park.

​On Thursday, April 11, physicist Michio Kaku will broaden minds with a conversation focused on the future of humanity at the Music Box Theater. From terraforming Mars, traveling between stars, and even shedding corporeal form, Kaku will argue that giant leaps are already being made towards these once improbable dreams.

On Tuesday, May 21, author Michael Pollan comes to Chicago to discuss his recent work, "How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence." Pollan, author of "The Omnivore’s Dilemma" and "The Botany of Desire," lends his eye to the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, LSD, and other psychedelics.

​“We're spending our 30th anniversary year looking at Power in its many guises, as physical, historical, cultural and political force," said CHF Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director Alison Cuddy. "This first array of speakers — all powerhouses in themselves — together offer a sense of the breadth and depth of our exploration over the coming months."

The Chicago Humanities Festival supports a mission that encourages people to gather, connect, and open themselves to ideas that go beyond their individual experience. For 30 years, the festival has been curating live events that allow audiences to connect with today’s most provocative thinkers—both established and emerging—and to see the world differently.

Visit chicagohumanities.org to learn more about CHF’s platform and programming.

Business woman and former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Vallerie Jarret will headline the Chicago Humanities Festival's Spring Series (photo courtesy of the Chicago Humanities Festival).

Valerie Jarrett to Headline Chicago Humanities Festival Spring Series