Chicago Humanities Festival

Podtalk & Portraits: Actor Christina Jackson on Netflix’s ‘Shirley’

CHICAGO – One of the great lesser known pioneers of social and civil rights history is Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. As a black woman in the 1960s/70s, she not only was elected to the House of Representatives but also ran for president in 1972 against all odds. Actor Christina Jackson was in Chicago on behalf of the new biopic, “Shirley.”

Exclusive Photos: Super Bowl Sunday with Comedian Maria Bamford

CHICAGO – Maria Bamford has been a top comic force since her breakthrough in the first decade of the millennium. She will be appearing on the Super Bowl Sunday edition of CBS-TV’s @FTER MIDNIGHT, the new show hosted by Taylor Tomlinson after “Late Night with Stephen Colbert.” Appearing alongside her will be A-listers Wayne Brady and Kevin Smith.

Exclusive Photo: Cinema Royalty & Character Actor Bob Balaban

CHICAGO – The seemingly middle-of-the-road character actor Bob Balaban has more to his legacy than just a ton of appearances from the 1960s to present in classic films and TV. His Chicago family were pioneers in film exhibition and the movie executive suite during the studio system in the early days of the history of film. It is in his DNA.

Exclusive Portraits: Aparna Nancherla for Her New Book at 2023 Chicago Humanities Festival

Aparna Nancheria, photo by Joe Arce 2023

CHICAGO –At the the just wrapped up Fall 2023 Chicago Humanities Festival, a few laughs (and tears) were had at an appearance by comedian Aparna Nancherla. She has a new book entitled “Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself and the Imposter Syndrome,” which takes readers on the journey of a stand-up comic and essayist who doesn’t feel she belongs doing what she does, but she’s able to express it.

Portraits: October Preview of 2023 Chicago Humanities Festival

CHICAGO – As the leaves begin to crunch beneath our feet, the Fall 2023 Chicago Humanities Festival – ongoing since September – will kick into gear in October with an amazing line-up of celebrity and talkback events. For a complete list and guide to the Festival, click CHICAGO HUMANITIES.

Exclusive Portraits: Stacey Abrams at Chicago Humanities Festival

CHICAGO – Stacey Abrams, the activist from Georgia, has created power in an old fashioned way … by actually getting out the vote. Her efforts had Georgia … a southern state … show up for Joe Biden in 2020, and her influence produced two Democratic Senators to represent Georgia going forward. She appeared at the Chicago Humanities Festival on June 1, 2023.

Exclusive Portraits: U.S. Congress Rep. Katie Porter at Chicago Humanities Festival

U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, Photo by Joe Arce 2023

CHICAGO – This past January, U.S. Congress California Representative Katie Porter (Democrat, 47th District) announced her intention to run for the U.S. Senate. The populist for the people, who famously takes down unprepared corporate overlords with her profound financial knowledge (symbolically often illustrated with a white board), also appeared at the Spring Chicago Humanities Festival on April 29th for her book “I Swear: Politics is Messier Than My Minivan.” Photographer Joe Arce of took these Exclusive Portraits.

Exclusive Portrait: Rainn Wilson at Chicago Humanities Festival, April 21st, 2023

Rainn Wilson, Joe Arce Portrait 2015

CHICAGO –Rainn Wilson is best known of course in his magnificent interpretation as Dwight Schrute on TV’s ‘The Office,’ but his foray into spirituality is why he is appearing at the Chicago Humanities Festival on Friday, April 21st, 2023, promoting his new book, “Soul Boom: Why We Need Spiritual Revolution.” For tickets and more info, click

Feature: Top 25 Celebrity Portraits of 2022, by Photographer Joe Arce

Jessica Lange, Photo by Joe Arce 2022

CHICAGO – 2022 was a year of change and transformation. The former leader of the free world morphed into a horribly photoshopped digital trading card spokesmodel and pitch man. That and a full on spy challenging the DOJ to find the stolen classified documents in a shell game of 3 card monte exactly like a subway car hustler.

Exclusive Portrait: Jessica Lange at 2022 Chicago Humanities Festival

CHICAGO – Jessica Lange’s long career as actor is on the record … from “King Kong” to “American Horror Story.” But her new book “Dérive” focuses on the photo artist in her, and she discussed it at the the 2022 Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) on November 12th. Photographer Joe Arce of was there to get the Exclusive Portrait.

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  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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