Press Release


THE ILLINOIS HUMANITIES COUNCIL,, broadens intellectual horizons by creating educational opportunities in the humanities for all Illinoisans. Whether deepening our understanding of the history right under our feet, or of the culture and experiences of our neighbors, COUNCIL programs bring scholars together with Illinoisans from all walks-of-life to reflect, think critically, and actively exchange ideas about what is important to all of us. Through film, performance, exhibitions, lectures, seminars, and discussions, the COUNCIL is a catalyst for imaginative ventures of the mind and heart.

Organized in 1973 as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the COUNCIL is an independent, nonprofit educational organization, 501 [c] 3, supported by foundations, corporations and individuals, as well as by the Illinois General Assembly– through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency — and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

THE HONORABLE ABNER AND MRS. ZOE MIKVA, RECIPIENTS OF THE COUNCIL’s 2005 PUBLIC HUMANITIES AWARD: The COUNCIL will celebrate its 30th anniversary at a Gala at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on Thursday, April 28, 2005. At the Gala, Abner and Zoe Mikva will be honored for their lifelong commitment to civic education, promoting public understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and for a partnership that is more than the sum of two distinguished careers in public service. All proceeds from the Gala will support the COUNCIL’s Future Fund, which will seed start-up ventures, experimental and model humanities programs, and innovative, special projects needing immediate project support.

FREE SPEECH IN WARTIME : THE 2005 HUMANITIES LECTURE, TO BE GIVEN BY GEOFFREY R. STONE, HARRY J. KALVEN DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW SCHOOL: A free, public lecture will precede the Gala. Geoffrey R. Stone will provide a historical perspective on the threat to civil liberties, drawn from his recent book, Perilous Times: * Free Speech in Wartime * From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism.

COUNCIL LEADERS: The COUNCIL’s Chairman is Arthur Sussman. Other Board officers include: Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Frank Cizon, and Gayl S. Pyatt. The COUNCIL’s Executive Director is Kristina A. Valaitis.

Leadership for the 30th anniversary campaign includes COUNCIL Board members Jack Wing, IHC Gala Chair and past IHC Board Chair; and Alton Harris, Partner, Ungaretti & Harris. Also serving on the Benefit Committee is Jerold S. Solovy, Chairman of Jenner & Block LLP and the COUNCIL’s Fundraising Chair for the 2003-2004 Brown v. Board program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Kate Anderson ( ), or Phoebe Stein Davis ( ) (312) 422-5580, Fax: (312) 422-5588.