Chicago Humanities Festival announces star-studded Fall line-up

Chicago Humanities
Kal Penn, Sutton Foster, Ron Howard

Chicago Humanities Festival announced a star-studded line-up of Hollywood celebs, South Side legends, and global newsmakers in a wide-ranging celebration of Chicago that will run throughout the fall.

Headliners include Tony Award-winning actor and singer Sutton Foster; Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard with his brother, actor Clint HowardDesign Matters podcast host Debbie Millman; actor and former White House staffer Kal Penn; Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming; PEN/Hemingway award-winning writer Teju Cole; and Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson

The fall line-up kicks off on September 21st with CHF’s 2021 Joanne H. Alter Women in Government Lecture featuring Sen. Tammy Duckworth and will extend all the way through December 9th, with events on stages all across Chicago, including the Harris Theater, Blanc Gallery in Bronzeville, and Columbia College Chicago, as well as live-streamed virtual events.

Many programs will especially center Chicago creativity, including a reconsideration of Chicago’s iconic public artwork, the Wall of Respect, including a discussion about the ongoing legacy of Chicago’s Black Arts Movement; and incredible performances from such Chicago luminaries as Makaya McCraven, Third Coast Percussion, and Tammy McCann.

“As we gather together again, we are focused on celebrating and elevating the creativity that makes our city so great,” said Alison Cuddy, CHF’s Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director. “By spotlighting some of the tremendous community and culture in Chicago, as well as inviting in artists, actors, and scholars from around the globe, we hope that many people will rejoice in the return of CHF’s signature programming— from compelling conversations to truly unique performance experiences.”

For in-person events, CHF has joined dozens of theaters and cultural presenters across Chicago to commit to enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols, including requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests to attend indoor programs, mask requirements, and, for staff, vaccination requirements and regular testing.

For tickets, please visit

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