Chicago Humanities Festival

For more than 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) has celebrated individuals, communities, and cultures with its vibrant year-round programming. This spring, the CHF's inaugural spring STYLE Festival celebrates style that goes beyond fashion, focusing on style as the lens through which creatives project their vision onto the world. Over the 4-day spring festival (April 28 - May 1), explore the historical, political, and economic complexity of style — from yesteryear to tomorrow; the runway to the street corner; the hoodie to the hijab.

More than 20 style-centered events will be held at some of the most chic Chicago venues, including the just re-opened Studebaker Theatre and the Chicago Athletic Association, once a private club and now a mod hotel that recently opened to the public.

Here are six events you won't want to miss.


Karl Ove Knausgaard: My Struggle

Friday, April 29, 2016 | 7-8 PM
Rubloff Auditorium, Art Institute of Chicago | G $15, M $12, ST $10

Karl Ove Knausgaard is the acclaimed author of a six-volume autobiographical novel, My Struggle, which shares intimate details of his private life. His essays have included a journey across North America and an ode to brain surgery, both of which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. He won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature with his debut novel, Out of the World.


Chicago Humanities Festival

Iris Apfel: Style Icon

Saturday, April 30 | 11 AM - 12 PM
Stagg Court, Chicago Athletic Association | G $15, M $12, ST $10

Iris Apfel is a stunning, 94-year-old, fashion icon. Her "more is more" aesthetic is summed up in her definition of style, "Style has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with "attitude, attitude, attitude."


Alicia Garza: Black Lives Matter

Saturday, April 30, 2016 | 4:30-5:30 PM
Stagg Court, Chicago Athletic Association | G $15, M $12, ST $10

Alicia Garza is the co-creator of the Black Lives Matter movement and Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Garza's conversation will focus on "those that have been marginalized in Black liberation movements." The conversation will continue with an after festival at Refuge in the South Loop. 


Chicago Humanities Festival

Mary-Louise Parker: Dear You

Saturday, April 30 | 6-7 PM
Studebaker Theater, Chicago Fine Arts Building|
 G $15, M $12, ST $10

Mary-Louise Parker, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award Winning actress (Fried Green Tomatoes, Angels in America, The West Wing, Weeds), sits down to discuss her art and life. Her literary debut and unique memoir Dear Mr. You is written with grace and wit. A series of letters addressed to the men in her life-from the grandfather she never met to the doctor who saved her life-is both poignant and uproariously funny.


Sally Mann: Hold Still

Sunday, May 1 | 3-4 PM
Rubloff Auditorium, Art Institute of Chicago | G $15, M $12, ST $10

Photographer Sally Mann is best known for intimate, personal photographs of her children and mysterious landscapes, which can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art to name a few. Her memoir, Hold Still, was a finalist for the National Book Award and took home the Carnegie Medal. This lecture is part of the Richard Gray Visual Art Series.


The Breakbeat Poets

Sunday, May 1 | 5-6 PM
Studebaker Theater, Fine Arts Building | G $15, M $12, ST $10

Kevin Coval, founder of the Louder Than a Bomb slam poetry festival, and Nate Marshall, author of the acclaimed collection, Wild Hundreds,  will be on hand to close out the festival with a groundbreaking and genre re-shaping poetry collection, the first "by and for the Hip-Hop generation."  


The full line-up for Style, the first Spring festival from the Chicago Humanities Festival, is available at A free Chicago Humanities Festival app can be downloaded via Google Play or the iTunes Store. 

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the CHF Box Office at 312. 493.9509, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about a CHF membership, visit