The Chicago Humanities Festival originated the idea of an annual gathering of the curious to engage with leading thinkers to reflect on and explore a single theme regarding the state of our world. This approach is now a model for nationwide festivals that promote the humanities dialogue and engagement. The organization now presents more than 140 programs throughout the year to an audience of 40,000+.
Taking “Journeys” into a year-long campaign allowed us to explore a broad topic and narrow its focus into more of a mood or tone than a declaration of what a journey is. Working with festival leadership we came to know that the use of a theme is at once an organizing principle and also an enigma. Our role was to intrigue new, as well as loyal audience members, to want to the turn the pages of the program guide and begin a personal journey.