Become a Volunteer

For Returning Volunteers: Log in to update your volunteer account and to select available openings.

For New Volunteers: Click here to fill out a volunteer application, following the instructions below. Please allow 8-10 days for processing.

Volunteer with CHF!

For over 25 years, CHF continues its mission to craft dynamic, accessible programming. CHF works yearly to engage members, teachers, students, and a wide array of audiences with the desire to grapple current topics, meet thought-leaders, and enjoy live performance. Our programs have included Nobel Laureates; Pulitzer Prize recipients; MacArthur “Genius” Fellows; Academy Award, Tony, and Grammy artists; and winners of the James Beard Award.

Hundreds of Chicago Humanities Festival volunteers participate in a range of assignments including crowd management, ushering, scanning tickets, and assisting house managers with various event-related tasks throughout year-round programs.

CHF volunteers play an integral role in the operations of our events. As a volunteer, we invite you to work alongside leading thinkers, authors, and performers all while sharing your passion for arts, culture, and the humanities.

Application Steps & Additional Info

Confirm Your Assignments

To verify your assignment, log into your volunteer account. Assignments will display in your account. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, allow eight to 10 days for processing.


All volunteers must submit a complete application, which will be reviewed before shifts are assigned. In the application, volunteers indicate their preference for any open and available shift. Although preferences do not guarantee placement, we work hard to accommodate requests, matching volunteers with their interests. Volunteers may submit applications at any time of the year.

Creating Your Volunteer Account

During the application process, you will be asked to create a password for your volunteer account. Keep this information. You will need it to access schedule openings in the future. Volunteers should complete an application only once.

Shift Information and Training

Our volunteers are the front line of events, interacting with members, the general public, and VIPs. Some shifts may require lifting, transporting supplies, or working outside. All volunteers must be comfortable standing and working on their feet in high-energy settings. Shifts are generally three hours and include onsite training by our house managers.

Watch the CHF Volunteer Training Video.

Perks and Rewards

All volunteers receive complimentary festival tickets—two tickets for every completed shift with a maximum of eight tickets. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to not select shifts for programs they wish to see.

Age and Requirements

CHF does not manage a youth volunteer program or opportunities for completing academic service hours. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older at the time of service.


For more information, send questions to [email protected].

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