Chicago Humanities Festival announces full fall lineup and it is stacked Church cross Michael Conroy/AP

Back for the twenty ninth year, the Chicago Humanities Festival has announced the full lineup for Fallfest/17: Belief.

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The festival features multiple events at a variety of venues across the city exploring a specific theme (this year’s being Belief) but through different lenses.

“We may live in a secular age but by no means have we escaped the turbulence of clashing beliefs,” wrote artistic director Alison Cuddy in a press release.

“Our presenters – including some of our most profound religious thinkers and leaders of our day – bring visions of the present and lessons from the past, both dystopian and utopian. What better time to stop and consider with them what kind of future we want to believe in?”

The initial list of headliners include author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pulitzer-prize winning writer Marilynne Robinson, astronaut Scott Kelly, writer and director of Transparent Jill Soloway, actor and Second City alum Alan Alda, and more.

The full lineup is an impressive mix of people from different fields from politics to theater, writing to cooking.

Highlights from the recent announcement include religious scholar Reza Aslan, former vice president Al Gore, local filmmaker Joe Swanberg, Tony-award winning playwright Tony Kushner, chef Paul Kahan, poet Eve Ewing, writer Claire Messud,  and many many more.

While the majority of the events take place at different venues downtown (including the Newberry Library, the MCA, and Northwestern University), the CHF happens all over the city. Friday November 3 has been subtitled An Evening in Bronzeville, Sunday November 5 is Hyde Park Day and Thursday November 9 is a South Shore Evening.


A couple of events take place before the official start of the festival including Crowd Out at Millennium Park on Saturday October 1, which will be a “1000-voice performance by and for the people of Chicago.”


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You can find the full lineup on CHF’s website. Tickets for most events go on sale to CHF members Tuesday September 19th and to the general public on Tuesday September 26.

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