Our newest mural features artwork highlighting the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF), which runs from October 26 through November 10 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The festival presents the most compelling authors, artists, journalists, and thought leaders of our time, connecting people to the ideas that shape and define us. Festival programs feature both rising stars and thought leaders, from Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and MacArthur Fellows, to Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award winners, as they discuss politics, economics, arts, culture, science, and technology. This year will include presenters George R.R. Martin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Salman Rushdie.

At the Festival, people gather to explore ideas that go beyond their personal experiences, enabling them to live more empathetic and connected lives. Its programs provoke conversations, celebrate creativity, build community, and explore the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture.

Since its first festival 30 years ago, the CHF has produced more than 3,000 programs across Chicago neighborhoods, including conversations, lectures, panels, performances, exhibitions, interactive experiences, digital content, and free programs for students. The Festival’s 2019 theme, Power, examines the complex dynamics and operations of power through programming that addresses challenging conversations, debates, and ideas.

Wintrust is proud to support the CHF because it brings awareness to important topics our community cares about. As one Chicago-born organization to another, we’re happy to feature the CHF on our mural because its programs foster dialogue and support educational efforts all Chicagoans can benefit from.

The mural’s design features three historical figures who represent the mission of the CHF: revealing the way humanistic thought can connect people and validate their experiences.

Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Chicago icon Ida B. Wells all exemplify powerful creativity, imagination, and insight. Each writer has a corresponding quote featured on the mural panels that resonates in a timeless way, demonstrating how these values are still important to today’s audience. 

The artwork shows CHF’s past but also reflects where it is today and where it’s going. These three trailblazers are presented in a contemporary design aesthetic and in the style of portrait illustrations. The mural’s color palette is very modern, but the ideas are timeless. Viewers will come away inspired by this humanistic tradition of language, empathy, and observation. It’s a powerful message that inspires us to think critically and creatively about who we are and who we wish to be.


For more information, visit chicagohumanities.org.