Job Opportunities

Working at CHF

The Chicago Humanities Festival has opportunities for year-round and seasonal positions. We invite you to work alongside leading thinkers and performers, share your passion for the humanities, and help bring outstanding cultural programming to your community.

  • Audience Services Representative


    The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong
    exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of
    contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew.
    We produce more than 140 programs annually, reaching a live audience of nearly 50,000 adults and 12,000+ youth
    (primarily from Chicago Public Schools). In our 27 year history, we have presented over 3,000 outstanding
    speakers, including: 10 Nobel Laureates; 73 Pulitzer Prize winners; 56 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows; 34 Academy
    Award, Tony, and Grammy winners; and 18 James Beard Award winners. Our dedicated YouTube channel has had
    over 4.4 million views.

    Additional information is available at
    2017 Chicago Humanities Festival Springfest Dates: April 27‐April 30
    Position Start Date: March 1

    Position Description:
    Audience Services Representatives (ASRs) will be the voice of CHF during our 2nd Annual Springfest: STUFF. CHF’s box office staff is multifaceted: they provide the highest level of customer service to people of all ages and
    abilities; they lead volunteers; they troubleshoot technology issues; they work independently and as a team. These
    part‐time hourly, seasonal positions start in early March and end in early May, working daytime weekday hours in
    the office, with evening and weekend availability required during Festival events (April 27‐30). Training and
    orientation will begin March 1, which will be compensated. Box office business hours are Monday through Friday
    10 AM – 5 PM, and ASRs’ schedules can be set within those parameters. Evening and weekend hours during the
    Festival will vary based on venue assignment.

    • Processing ticket orders by taking calls, processing cash and credit card transactions, mailing tickets
    • Carefully and accurately maintaining all customer records in CHF’s ticketing software, SRO4
    • Leading as a Box Office Manager at event venues
    • Training and supervising volunteers at event venues
    • Providing excellent customer service over the phone and in person
    • Acting as a representative of the Chicago Humanities Festival and its programs
    • Fulfilling requests for accessible accommodations
    • Expanding our membership program by informing our audience about its benefits
    • Assisting the Director of Audience Services and CHF administrative staff on projects as assigned

    Applicants must possess:
       • Experience in theater box office or customer service
       • Tech‐savvy with solid computer, data entry, and database management experience
       • A professional demeanor with good communication skills
       • A demonstrated commitment to excellent customer service
       • Ability to multi‐task with accuracy and attention to detail in a fast‐paced environment
       • Ability to lead and work as part of a team
       • Flexibility, resourcefulness, and assertiveness in problem solving
       • High energy, a positive personality, and grace under pressure
       • An interest in working in the arts or cultural industry

    Helpful, though not required:
       • Familiarity with Chicago cultural venues
       • Training in disability awareness, CPR, or American Sign Language

    How to apply:
    Please email the following materials by February 3, 2017
       • Letter of interest
       • Résumé
       • Contact information for 3 professional references
    Brittany Pyle, Director of Audience Services
    [email protected]
    Please indicate “application for audience services representative” in the email subject line.
    *Email applications only. No phone calls please.

    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer




    December 2016


    Reports to:                                           Executive Director

    Classification:                                      Full-time, exempt

    Supervises:                                           Team of 4 FTE, 20+ seasonal staff and interns



    The Chicago Humanities Festival (the Festival) celebrates ideas within the context of civic life, connecting artists, authors, journalists, scholars, policy makers, and other thinkers with passionate and inquisitive audiences. The Festival presents over 150 programs to 50,000 people annually (including discussions, lectures, and performances) during its Fallfest, Springfest, and throughout the year. It has a robust educational program that welcomes middle-school and high-school students to programs celebrating the arts and humanities.


    POSITION DESCRIPTION                                                                                                                                                                                    

    The Director, Marketing and Communications serves as the Festival’s brand champion and marketing/communications strategist. Working closely with programmers and senior staff, the role is responsible for expanding institutional visibility and brand awareness, increasing admissions and ticket sales, and cultivating both current and new audiences. The position also oversees the Festival’s visitor experience, and tells its stories via media relations and online channels—website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube channel.



    • Lead all aspects of the Festival’s marketing/communications strategy, brand positioning and refinement, setting overall institutional tone and editorial voice, and crafting compelling narratives for the general public, audiences, and donors.
    • Drive all Festival marketing efforts (direct mail, print, electronic, social media) and communications (media relations, online outlets).
      • Develop/manage marketing/communications budget, including setting and achieving earned revenues goals.
      • Direct production of all marketing materials, working with both internal staff and external graphic design/creative teams.
      • Oversee advertising campaigns, bookings and placement, including working with media buyer(s).
      • Work with development department on membership and donor communications.
    • Work with internal team and external contractors to redesign Festival website. The intent is for the website to be fully rebuilt within the coming year.
    • Help lead membership efforts and create effective strategies that build CHF’s membership while retaining and deepening engagement of current members.
    • Oversee visitor services/box office operations—ticket sales, customer service, front-of-house management, and management of volunteer team.
    • Develop and maintain media partnerships and sponsorships.
    • Create measures and analytics that help to guide programming, budgeting, and audience targeting decisions.
    • Lead audience research efforts, both in-house and with external contractors; prepare reports for internal use and external presentation to funders, donors, and board that clarify and reinforce the Festival’s value to Chicago and its key constituencies.
    • Manage full-time team of four, seasonal staff of 20, and volunteer corps of 300+.
    • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.



    • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred (preferably in marketing/communications or business/arts management)
    • 5–7 years’ marketing, advertising, communications, or related experience, with a minimum of 3 years in management position
    • Proven track record of managing the creative process from start to finish for an array of materials from brochures to advertising
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills, solid grasp of grammar, fine-tuned editorial skills
    • Experience with creating, managing, and successfully delivering budgets—both income and expense
    • Solid track record and knowledge of best practices in online and social marketing
    • Clear understanding of databases and successful use of data analytics in making business decisions; knowledge of Raiser’s Edge, Patron’s Edge, or Tessitura a plus
    • Strong negotiation skills as well as external vendor management experience



    Send resume, cover letter, and references to:


    Chicago Humanities Festival              

    Attn: Phillip Bahar, Executive Director                           

    500 North Dearborn, Suite 825                                       

    Chicago, IL  60654

    Email: [email protected]


    No phone calls, please


    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer