Public Humanities in the Age of the Ideas Industry and the Rise of the Creatives

In 2015, I began to work as the Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival, the oldest and largest festival of arts and ideas in the United States. I learned a lot doing this exciting work, and this essay is testimony to my thinking about public humanities–and specially, the format of the festival–at a time when TED talks and “design thinking” were taking up more and more real estate in the discussion abut the fate of then humanities.

There are a lot of festivals all over the world–Jaipur, Hay, Ojai, Sundance, SXSW–so it seemed worthwhile trying to get at what is unique to festivals, and that allows them to endure.

Here is a brief excerpt from the article: