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Chicago Humanities Festival Blog

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When I was in college, it was the local custom to assign all the undergraduates into one of two categories: techies and fuzzies. It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I was in the latter. Not only did I major in the ultimate humanistic discipline (what could be more pertinent, after all, than anthropology – literally the study of the human?), but I was supremely maladapted to handle any of the new electronic gizmos that were making the rounds in the... Continue Reading >>
Nearly, but not Quite, Shakespeare
  What follows is a conversation between the curator of Stages, Sights & Sounds and CHF director of programming Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins and CHF artistic director Matti Bunzl. This conversation was transcribed and edited by Rachel Blumenthal. MATTI: I’ve been reading about Susanna Hamnett’s upcoming performance, Nearly Lear, and what I’m really curious to start with is, how did you find it? Of course, you’re the President of the International Performing Arts for Youth... Continue Reading >>
The All-too-Familiar Awkwardness of a First Crush
Having studied theatre and the art of expression, I am constantly taking in the world around me. What new observations about human interaction do I notice? How can these observations contribute to a more fully-engaged life? I think that is why I fell in love with DynamO Théâtre's Mur-Mur (the wall) when I saw it. The piece is filled with outsized human interaction and physicality. The story takes place against the backdrop of a building where five young friends congregate... Continue Reading >>
Sparking Chicago Students’ Interest in History
Frank Valadez is Executive Director of Chicago Metro History Education Center.  “History Fair taught me how to think critically and how to turn a confused pile of evidence into a coherent, meaningful argument. I’ve seen how it’s empowered my peers; the pride they have in their work. And I think History Fair really does create more empathetic, engaged people.”  Olivia Daniels, History Fair Participant For the past 35 years the Chicago Metro History Fair has... Continue Reading >>
Fall 2012: America
America. It’s a loaded word. It’s geography as well as terra firma; it’s history, memory, aspirations, a destination—a physical place as well as a repository of dreams and beliefs that tug at people from all over the world. But when we at CHF say America, what do we mean? As you have probably noticed, we are approaching a presidential election. In fact, it will occur right during our festival. Early November, after all, is our time of the year. But it happens to... Continue Reading >>

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