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Our society seems to have one setting: faster. Start-ups rise and fall, information is retrieved instantaneously, and replying to texts can’t happen fast enough. We witness social movements that erupt seemingly overnight, and we prepare for the fallout caused by the rapid acceleration of climate change. All the while keeping our eye on what’s “trending.”

This fall we invite you to take a pause (if you can). Welcome to FallFest/16: Speed. Join us October 29 – November 12 in exploring the issues and ideas that are rapidly shaping our lives today.

Our Fall Kickoff programs will feature political activist and feminist Gloria Steinem, presented by Ellen Stone Belic, on Thursday, October 13 and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for the Richard J. Franke Lecture in Economics on Monday, October 17.

Tickets for these two programs will go on sale to members on August 16 at 10 AM. Tickets for the general public will be available starting August 23 at 10 AM.

Thomas Friedman Gloria Steinem

Other FallFest/16 presenters will include the Elaine and Roger Haydock Series featuring Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and New York Times bestseller Mary Roach, who has brought her disarming and witty approach to the subject of armed conflict in her latest work, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.

Trevor Noah Mary Roach

Writer Mychal Denzel Smith will join us to discuss his debut work, Invisible Man Got The Whole World Watching, a personal exploration into what it means to be a black millennial man that resonates with the evolving conversations about race in today's America. And while we're on the topic of today's America, the wholly unique election cycle that we are currently experiencing demands voices like that of political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry, who will host a live version of her show Nerdland Forever at FallFest/16, in partnership with Illinois Humanities' People-Powered Publishing Conference.

Mychal Denzel Smith Melissa Harris-Perry

We'll join with the Chicago Tribune to honor award-winning writers. This year, composer Philip Glass will enter their ranks with the 2016 Chicago Tribune Literary Award for his memoir Words Without Music, while Margo Jefferson (Negroland) and Jane Smiley (Golden Age) will discuss the works that won them the 2016 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prizes in non-fiction and fiction, respectively.

Philip Glass Margo Jefferson Margo Jefferson

You'll have the chance to hear from rising stars like author Yaa Gyasi, whose debut novel Homegoing has been declared "an inspiration" by CHF alum Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Chicago architect Marshall Brown, whose take on "slow architecture" will ask you to slow down, if only for a moment. Get an inside look at the process and inspirations of James Beard Nominees Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo of Logan Square restaurant Fat Rice as they discuss their cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice.

Yaa Gyasi Marshall Brown Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo

For our musically-inclined fans, we will offer performances such as the Helen B. and Ira E. Graham Family Concert, featuring Northwestern University Jazz Studies Director Victor Goines, accompanied by legendary vocalist Mary Stallings, for a night with two of the most talented names in jazz.

Victor Goines Mary Stallings

We'll also take time this fall to honor the musical icons we lost this year, David Bowie and Prince, at We Can Be Heroes, the latest incarnation of our annual William and Greta Wiley Flory Concert.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 6, when we will release the full FallFest/16: Speed lineup.

In the meantime, we encourage you to consider becoming a CHF Member to take full advantage of CHF programming year-round. Benefits include discounted tickets and books of the festival, special member preview events, and the chance to purchase tickets to your favorite, in-demand programs before they're release to the general public. Click here to learn more or become a member today. With Member pre-sale for our FallFest/16 kickoff programs just around the corner, you'll want to join quickly!

Tickets for the full lineup will go on sale to members at 10 AM on Tuesday, September 20, and to the general public at 10 AM on Tuesday, September 27.

Stay tuned to this page for updates and announcements as the festival draws near!

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