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Last month, more than 150 individuals representing 24 state humanities councils and their community partners gathered at the University of Chicago’s David Rubenstein Forum and Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts for “Inside & Out: The Humanities and Mass Incarceration.” That three-day, first-of-its-kind convening not only included the case studies, panel discussions, and shared learning sessions one might expect to find at a national conference, but also featured participatory creative exercises, live music and theatrical readings, and a special performance of Felon: An American Washi Tale by poet and 2021 MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts.

It was just the beginning of a banner season for one of the country’s busiest host cities. A dozen or more alliances, associations, and societies relevant to arts and culture will meet in the Chicago area between now and this fall — a timespan that also includes the Democratic National Convention this August at United Center. Some of these convenings involve grantees of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, whose board and staff members look forward to being in community with their colleagues and peers from across and beyond the United States. In support of both greater access and public health, virtual or hybrid participation is an option for many of the events listed below.

  • Chicago-North Romance Writers’ 2024 conference, “Our Strength Is Love,” includes master classes, workshops, presentations by authors Kate Clayborn and Beverly Jenkins, and more. April 18–20 at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel
  • In conjunction with its 25th anniversary, the Englewood Jazz Festival includes a third convening for jazz music presenters, designed to encourage networking and provide professional development opportunities. September 19–21 at Hamilton Park and Kennedy-King College
  • Grantmakers in the Arts brings its annual conference back to Chicago this fall. Designed for those who work in arts and culture–related philanthropy, the organization continues to advocate for and highlight the importance of advancing equity. October 6–9 at various venues including Swissôtel Chicago

Please note that invitations or memberships may be required for registration, and that event dates and details are subject to change.


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