Press Release


College-level courses for low-income Spanish-speaking students in Pilsen

CHICAGO – The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is pleased to announce that the Spanish Language Odyssey Project , sponsored by the IHC with support from the University of Chicago and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Gads Hill Center in Pilsen , will begin March 23. This course offers an intensive college-level introduction to Latin American art history and literature for low-income adult Spanish speakers, all expenses paid (including tuition, books, CTA fare, and on-site childcare).

Classes will run from March 23 through May 11 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Gads Hill Center in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, 1919 West Cullerton Street.

Founded on the theory that engagement with the humanities can offer a way out of poverty, the Odyssey Project offers course participants instruction in humanistic disciplines. The Odyssey Project is in its fifth year here in Chicago.

“As we begin our fifth year of offering such high-quality education to men and women who otherwise would not be able to afford it, the Illinois Humanities Council is thrilled to expand the Odyssey Project to Spanish-speaking adults in Chicago,” explains Angel Ysaguirre, Director of Programs at the IHC.

Classes meet two evenings a week over a 7-week period at the host site located in Pilsen. Syllabi and reading lists are roughly equivalent to those a student might encounter in a first-year humanities survey course at a first-rate university. Tuition is free; books, childcare, and transportation vouchers are also provided . UNAM will grant a certificate of achievement to any student who completes the course.

  • Curriculum

    There are two discrete sections: Art History and Literature.

  • Students

    Low-income Spanish speakers who want to study, age 18 and older. Students should be able to read Spanish and should have finished elementary school (Primaria= 6th grade).

  • Faculty

    Art History :

    Dr. Victor Alejandro Sorell is Associate Dean at Chicago State University. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Chicago.

    Literature :

    Dr. Jorge Coronado is Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

For more information about the Odyssey Project , call the IHC at (312) 422-5580 or visit and click on “Educational Programs & Grants”

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


# # #