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.

Available Positions

Director of Education

Volunteer Opportunities

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.

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.

CHF Internship Program

The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) offers students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain professional experience in a nonprofit cultural institution.  CHF believes in challenging interns with relevant, interesting projects and making them full members of the Festival team.  Interns leave CHF with a practical appreciation for the demands and rewards of nonprofit work.   


CHF offers three intern sessions per year.  Internships require a commitment of 14 – 21 hours a week; 6 - 9 month internship is preferred, but a minimum commitment of 3 months is required. These are unpaid internship with a small stipend to cover conveyance cost for interns.


Download the Internship Application Form

All application materials must be postmarked by the dates below.

Internship Term

Application Deadline

Spring                       (January – May 2018)

January 31, 2018

Spring & Summer  (January – September, 2018)

January 31, 2018

Summer                   (June – September 2018)

April 30, 2018

Summer  & Fall      (June  – late November 2018)

April 30, 2018

Fall                           (September – late November 2018)

August 30, 2018

Fall & Spring          (September 2018 – May 2019)

August 30, 2018


The internship director will send a confirmation email upon receipt of application materials.

Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by email two to three weeks after the application deadline.  No phone calls please


Those interested in applying after the deadline should email the internship director at internship_AT_chicagohumanities_DOT_org. 


Internship Projects

CHF internships are project-based and vary based on the program cycle and needs of the organization.  While all intern projects involve inter-departmental collaboration. Currently we are recruiting  interns for the Fall Term in the Marketing, Web Content/Multimedia, Development, Production and Programing departments, details are as outlined below.


Marketing/PR interns assist with promoting and publicizing fall and spring Festival, as well as year-round events.  Responsibilities may include coordinating press release dissemination of information by identifying key media contacts, managing media contact information, and distributing press releases; assisting in the design, execution, and distribution of marketing materials; recording and archiving event materials; assisting with web management and updates; and providing administrative support to the market department. 

Skills Level: Excellent communication, writing, and computer skills are essential.  Working knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, and especially Photoshop), are optional but preferred.

For more information: Download Marketing/PR Internship Posting


Digital and Multimedia interns work on the Festival’s multichannel web strategy. CHF is undergoing a complete overhaul of our digital presence, with a goal of connecting a wider audience with the speakers that appear on our stage. As a CHF intern, you will be involved with crafting story-based content around this year’s theme of Graphic! From sharing our rich archive of speakers to live-streaming videos, CHF is a great place to sharpen your professional skills while gaining experience at a culturally rich non-profit.

Skills Level: Excellent organizational and time management, strong written and verbal communication skills. Experience with social media platforms and Adobe Creative Cloud programs a plus.

For more information: Download Web Content/Multimedia Internship Posting


Development interns support the extensive fundraising efforts of a nonprofit cultural institution.  Responsibilities may include donor research and stewardship, cultivating new funding sources, participating in the preparation of grant proposals and reports, researching and developing newsletter articles, assisting staff with special events, and providing administrative support to the Development department.

Skills Level: Excellent research and computer skills are essential.  Experience with Raiser’s Edge is a plus. 

For more information: Download Development Internship Posting 


Programing interns support the creation and realization of public programs within a nonprofit cultural institution, specifically supporting the CHFNow, Springfest and Fallfest.  Projects may include editing biographical information for presenters; creating appropriate web links for fall Festival programs; maintaining detailed records of presenter contact and  communication; tracking program logistics; providing logistical support at programs, administrative tasks including database maintenance, filing, and mailings; and participating in weekly Program meetings.

Skills Level:  Excellent research and computer skills are essential, along with ability to work in a team environment.

For more information: Download Program Internship Posting

Production interns assist with backstage logistics and front-of-house operations for CHFNow, Springfest and Fallfest.  Responsibilities may include assessing technical needs for Festival and year-round programs; drafting, editing and circulating rental venue and partner venue contracts; communicating with vendors for Festival and year-round events including caterers, audio-visual equipment suppliers, and technical consultants; and providing administrative support to the Production department.   

Skills Level: Excellent writing, organizational, and computer skills are essential.  Database experience is a plus. 

 For more information: Download Production Internship Posting


For questions regarding CHF’s Internship Program, please contact the internship director at 312-661-1019 or email internship_AT_chicagohumanities_DOT_org.  


how to apply

Please contact Saloni Dar, Associate Director, Administration & Operations, at 312-661-1028 ext. 715 for details about volunteering.

Interns - Apply Now