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.



    The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew.

    We produce more than 140 programs annually, reaching a live audience of nearly 50,000 adults and 12,000+ youth (primarily from Chicago Public Schools). In our 27 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 4.4 million views. Additional information is available at

    2018 Chicago Humanities Festival springfest dates: April 27 – 30

    Employment Contract: Wednesday, March 14 – Friday, May 4

    Position Description:
    Audience Services Representatives (ASRs) are the frontline voice of CHF. Box office staff is multifaceted. They provide the highest level of customer service to people of all ages and abilities; they lead volunteers; they troubleshoot technology; they work independently and as a team. These part-time hourly, seasonal positions begin mid-March and end in early May, working daytime weekday hours in the office, with evening and weekend availability required during Festival events. Training and orientation begins March 14, which will be compensated. Box office business hours are Monday through Friday 10 AM – 5 PM, and ASRs’ schedules can be set within those parameters. Evening and weekend hours during the Festival will vary based on venue assignment.

    • Processing ticket orders by taking calls, processing cash and credit card transactions, mailing tickets
    • Carefully maintaining all customer records in CHF’s ticketing software, SRO4
    • Leading as a Box Office Manager at event venues
    • Training and supervising volunteers at event venues
    • Providing excellent customer service over the phone and in person
    • Acting as a representative of the Chicago Humanities Festival and its programs
    • Fulfilling requests for accessible accommodations
    • Expanding our membership program by informing our audience about its benefits
    • Assisting the Director of Audience Services and CHF administrative staff on projects as assigned

    Applicants must possess:

    • Experience in theater box office or customer service
    • Tech-savvy with solid computer, data entry, and database management experience
    • A professional demeanor with good communication skills
    • A demonstrated commitment to excellent customer service
    • Ability to multi-task with accuracy and attention to detail in a fast-paced environment
    • Ability to lead and work as part of a team
    • Flexibility, resourcefulness, and assertiveness in problem solving
    • High energy, a positive personality, and grace under pressure
    • An interest in working in the arts or cultural industry

    Helpful, though not required:
    • Familiarity with Chicago cultural venues
    • Training in disability awareness, CPR, or American Sign Language
    • Ability to speak conversational Spanish a plus
    How do I apply? Email the following materials 

    • Letter of interest
    • Résumé
    • Contact information for 3 professional references

    To: Travis Whitlock, Manager of Audience Services

    [email protected]

    Indicate “2018, [Last Name]: ASR Application” in the email subject line.

    *Email applications only. No phone calls please.

    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer

  • Director of Education

    Title: Director of Education

    Reports to: Artistic Director                                               

    Classification: Full Time               

    The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew. Collaborating with many of Chicago’s major cultural and educational institutions, CHF produces over 130 events annually all across Chicago. CHF has an international reputation for innovation and creativity, featuring an exceptional roster of writers, scholars, performers, and visual artists live on stage and online. Education is at the core of CHF’s mission, including EdLab, a year-round professional development program for teachers.


    The Chicago Humanities Festival’s seeks a creative, conscientious, and energetic individual to serve as its next Director of Education. The Director of Education’s primary responsibility is managing EdLab, the Festival’s professional development program for teachers. EdLab is a unique program among Chicago cultural institutions, developed to provide educators with skills to better teach writing across the curriculum in middle- to high-school classrooms. EdLab, which primarily serves Chicago Public School educators, has spring and fall sessions that include professional development (PD) workshops for teachers, classroom-based engagements, specially-curated student matinees and public programs.

    JOB RESPONSIBILTIES                                        

    ∙       Plan and execute EdLab program in dialogue with Artistic Director, Programming Team and Development colleagues, including programming and producing 2 PDs, 6 student matinees and 6 public programs annually.

    ∙       Develop and maintain:

    • a strong network of teachers and principals, growing teacher and school participation in the program each year;
    • partnerships with educational organizations, foundations, CHF supporters, and school venues.

    ∙       Design and implement Professional Development programs equivalent to 12 hours of accredited education:

    • Interview, hire and manage facilitators to run teacher PDs.
    • Secure venues and produce PDs over the course of approximately six days annually.
    • Prepare Illinois State Board of Education reports for accreditation via DePaul University, our educational partner.  

    ∙       Plan and produce student matinees and public programs in collaboration with CHF programming and production staff.

    • Recruit teachers and school groups to attend specially-curated student matinees.

    ∙       Work with evaluator to set and assess specific program outcomes and to continually improve performance.

    ∙       Monitor educational trends, nationally and locally, to ensure EdLab complies with the latest standards and best-practices.

    ∙       Develop and manage EdLab budget.

    ∙       Work with Development team to secure sustainable funding streams for EdLab program as it evolves.

    ∙       Serve as a general member of the Programming Team.



    ∙       A minimum of 2 years of experience and a proven success working in educational programming and/or writing instruction, at the middle to high-school level.

    ∙       Experience designing and running professional development sessions, including planning, production, and development and budget oversight.

    ∙       Familiarity with both Chicago Public Schools and charter/parochial school systems; relationships with professional development professionals, principals, and district librarians preferred.

    ∙       Strong networking skills.

    ∙       Highly organized, flexible and resourceful team player, who is proactive in identifying and solving problems.

    ∙       Professional demeanor, excellent communication skills, ease in public speaking and leading group conversations.

    ∙       Strong communication skills

    ∙       Solid computer, data entry, and database management experience.

    ∙       Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in education or related field preferred.



    Submit resume, cover letter, and references to [email protected].

    Deadline March 23, 2018.

    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer

how to apply

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

Volunteers - Apply Now