Become a Volunteer

Step 1: Please apply online using the CHF Online Volunteer Application Form.


Step 2: Access your schedule and assignments using your Online Volunteer Account.

Please allow 8 to 10 days to process your application and for assignments to be posted.

CHF volunteers:

Each year the Festival needs over 300 volunteers to greet and usher patrons, manage crowds, and sell tickets at Festival events where we celebrate the social life of ideas. 

The Chicago Humanities Festival would not be possible without dedicated volunteers who work to create an organized and pleasant atmosphere at every program. 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 by volunteering. CHF volunteers receive free Festival tickets–2 tickets for shifts with one program, and 4 tickets for shifts with 2 programs (8 tickets maximum).

In our 26 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 3.75 million views.

This fall we invite you to join us in exploring the ideas that shape the world today from new and intriguing perspectives at FallFest/16: Speed (October 29 - November 12).

At the FallFest/16: Speed we're thrilled to welcome acclaimed political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry, a vital voice during this wholly unique election cycle, who will be debuting a live version of her show Nerdland Forever, presented in partnership with Illinois Humanities' People-Powered Publishing Conference. An equally relevant voice for this time is that of Mychal Denzel Smith, who will join us to discuss his debut work, Invisible Man Got the Whole World Watching, a personal examination of the coming-of-age experience of a millennial black man in today's America, his effort to "make invisible men visible." And New York Times bestseller Mary Roach brings her disarming, witty approach to a subject that we've become all too familiar with during the past 15 years in her new book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.

You'll have the opportunity to connect with major local players as well, like James Beard awardees Abe Conlon & Adrienne Lo of Logan Square's Fat Rice, who will be releasing their cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice, this fall. We'll also take the opportunity to honor the iconic artistic genius of David Bowie and Prince at the annual William and Greta Wiley Flory Concert, We Can Be Heroes. Created by noted Chicago theater veterans Rob Lindley and Doug Peck, this tribute concert will feature the local talent like Jayson Brooks of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, The Voice contestant Marc Hood, Jeff Award winner Bethany Thomas, and Neo-Futurist ensemble member Malic White.

A full line-up for Speed will be announced September 8. Until then visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on FallFest/16: Speed programs, dates, and more as the festival approaches. 

Age Requirement

We do not have a youth volunteer program or opportunities to complete school service hours at this time. All individual volunteers and members of volunteer groups must be 18 years of age or older.


For more information contact Saloni Dar at 312-661-1019 or [email protected]

Download the CHF Volunteer Handbook for more details on CHF's volunteer program.