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Chicago Humanities Festival CHF Announces Late-April and May Virtual Events

Chicago Humanities Festival is announcing an exciting line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, groundbreaking scholars, and cultural icons in late-April and May. Renowned speakers include Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri; theoretical physicist Michio Kaku interviewed by actor LeVar Burton; SNL and “Happy Endings” star Casey Wilson in conversation with writer Jessi Klein and actor Andrew Rannells; graphic memoirist of Fun Home fame Alison Bechdel; Michelle Zauner, known by her indie rockstar alias Japanese Breakfast talking to the New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino; Salamishah Tillet talking about “The Color Purple” and the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig in conversation with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, among many others.

“So many of the questions we’ve been exploring over the past year continue to resonate this spring,” said Alison Cuddy, CHF’s Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director. “We think the range of speakers and subjects we’ve assembled are compelling and provocative, and hope they help us better navigate serious issues like political division, health disparities and economic racism, while also creating space for a bit of relief and reflection – or even joy.”

These newly released programs will follow other upcoming virtual events already announced this spring, including Heather McGhee talking about racism and inequality, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert on the environment and her new book “Under the White Sky.”

The conversation featuring Michio Kaku on the “Theory of Everything,” with LeVar Burton will be held on Thursday, April 29, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CT.

The Chicago Humanities Festival believes that humanity thrives when people gather, connect, and open themselves to ideas that go beyond their individual experience. Over the course of CHF’s 30+ year history, the festival has grown from a one-day celebration of the humanities into a year-round festival of arts and ideas—presenting more than 130 events annually, in venues across the Chicago area (from Evanston to Englewood, the Loop to the South Shore), including two festivals (Fall Festival, Spring Festival), and an expansion into digital programming in 2020.

CHF’s partners include the region’s most prestigious cultural institutions and universities. Events feature thinkers at the heart of contemporary civic and cultural conversations, including authors, artists, journalists, policy makers, and others shaping our understanding of the moment, the past, and the future. Festival programs leave you with thoughtful insights and compelling questions, and often feature Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, and Oscar, Grammy, and Tony award winners. For more information, visit

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