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30 Jul 2021


Humanities500 – Posted by Humanities500 Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description


The Chicago Humanities Festival is a non-profit year-round festival of conversations, performances, and experiences. For over 30 years, we’ve presented thoughtful programs, performances, and exhibitions, developing deep relationships with Chicago’s cultural, civic, and educational communities, and have attracted in-person audiences of ~50,000 annually (in addition to over 19 million online views of our vast video archive). Presenters have included over a dozen Nobel Laureates, 75+ Pulitzer Prize-winners, 50+ Macarthur Fellows, and 40+ Oscar, Tony and Grammy Award-winners; in other words, artists, and thinkers at the forefront of their fields providing new insights into our human condition through the arts and humanities.

Additional information is available at In response to the pandemic in 2020, CHF pivoted to hosting events virtually on our YouTube and Zoom platforms. In 2021, we will host around 60 events virtually, while planning for a return to in-person gatherings later this year.


The Chicago Humanities Festival’s seeks a creative, conscientious, and energetic individual to serve as Program Manager. The primary responsibility of this position is to serve as a key member of CHF’s programming team, helping to develop and execute programs for our year-round schedule, including our annual spring and fall festivals. The Program Manager will focus on named lectures and academic partnerships, as well as booking ongoing CHF series.

Position reports to the Director of Programming and assists with the day-to-day supervision of part-time Program Staff and Intern(s).


In dialogue with CHF’s Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director and the Director of Programming, pitch, book and manage a portfolio of CHF programs and events, including:

  • Researching and pitching programming ideas.
  • Identifying and booking qualified presenters, moderators, and other program participants.
  • Negotiating terms and contracts with presenters and partners.
  • Serving as primary Festival point of contact for presenters and partners leading up to the event and on site for in-person events.
  • Collecting and sharing presenter and partner assets (bio, photos, pull quotes, logos, etc.) with the Marketing Team.
  • Supporting presenter and partner festival access, including communications and distribution of Festival Access badges, comps, flyers promo codes, etc.
  • Assist in generating and issuing contracts, program introduction scripts, and other important documents.
  • Maintain and update relevant databases, including pitches, programs, presenter demographics and subject diversity, partner organizations, books sales and signings, budgets, logistics, etc.
  • Manage and process reimbursement checks, invoices, etc.
  • Train and supervise Program Assistant and Program Intern(s) as needed.
  • Participate in staff-wide meetings and events.
  • Opportunity to serve on CHF internal committees (DEAI, e.g.) as appropriate.


  • 4+ years of experience and a proven track record of success in developing programming and working with high-profile presenters.
  • Wide ranging interest in arts, culture, politics, social issues, science and technology.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in CHF programming and workplace culture.
  • Familiarity and ease working across Chicago’s neighborhoods and organizations serving young populations.
  • Highly organized, flexible and resourceful team player, who is proactive in identifying and solving problems
  • Professional demeanor, excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ease in public speaking and leading group conversations
  • Solid computer, data entry, and database, and file management experience (Google Suite, AirTable, Adobe a plus).
  • An ability to take direction, and to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Desire to establish strong working relationships and work effectively with others inside and outside the organization.
  • Able to multi-task with several projects simultaneously in a fast-paced, mission-driven, collaborative environment.
  • High energy, positive personality, flexibility, resourcefulness, and assertiveness in problem solving.


This is a full-time position with a salary of $50,000 – $55,000 based on qualifications and experience.  based on qualifications and experience. Benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance, 403b retirement plan, a commuter spending plan, flexible working hours, paid time off, paid volunteer days, remote work opportunities, a parental leave plan, and more. CHF staff are provided additional time off for working weekend and evening events and CHF offices annually close the last week of December.



As is true of our entire staff, this role will work remotely until a potential return to our Chicago office in Fall 2021. While working remotely, you will have access to a laptop computer and a $25 per pay period($50/month) stipend to offset home internet and personal phone expenses. During Festival seasons (Spring/Fall) and other in-person events, CHF staff also works on-site to support programs at venues across Chicago.


The Festival is committed to providing a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and policies. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.


How to Apply

TO APPLY: Email your cover letter and resume to by August 18 2021. Please format subject lines as follows: 2021 Program Manager: “[Your Name]”. Candidates who are selected for an interview will be notified via email.   No phone calls, please. We look forward to reviewing your materials.   Thank you!

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

Job expires in 32 days.

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