Press Release

Illinois Humanities Council to Honor David Herro and Jay Franke for Extraordinary Support of Dance and Art Education


Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233   

CHICAGO, IL- April 15, 2014— On May 20th, 2014, The Illinois Humanities Council will honor two outstanding leaders in business and in the arts and humanities with The Public Humanities Award—David Herro, portfolio manager of the Oakmark International Fund, and Jay Franke, founder of the Chicago Dancing Festival, for their commitment to education, youth, the arts and the humanities. The award will be presented at the annual luncheon to be held at the Palmer House Hilton Chicago. 

David Herro is Portfolio Manager of The Oakmark International Fund and Harris Associates’ Chief Investment Officer of International Equities. In 2010, David was named by Morningstar as the International-Stock Fund Manager of the Decade. He serves as the Treasurer of the Chicago Dancing Festival, on the Board of Directors for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation, the Field Museum, the Economic Club of Chicago, a trustee of WTTW, and on the Advisory Board of After School Matters.  Previously, he was on the finance committee of Human Rights Watch and the Advisory Board for Dreams for Kids.

Jay Franke is the Co-Artistic Director and co-founder of the Chicago Dancing Festival, the largest free festival of its kind in the nation. He is an accomplished professional dancer, and has performed with dance companies such as the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Lyric Opera Ballet Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Company, and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. He serves on the Cultural Advisory Council for the City of Chicago, on the Board of Directors for Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), and the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).  He is also one of the founding members of Kovler Diabetes Center’s Leadership Board, and was previously on the Board of the Joffrey Ballet. 

“Jay and David are remarkable for their generous philanthropic spirit and their genuine commitment to making the arts and the humanities available to everyone in our city, a focus exemplified in the Chicago Dancing Festival, the only free festival of its kind in the nation. The important aspect of their work is that they strive to make the arts and the humanities available to all— young and old, across economic and cultural divides, a focus that is also a central part of the IHC’s mission,” remarked Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director of the Illinois Humanities Council. “We are proud to share in their vision and thrilled to be honoring them at the Luncheon this year. 

Given annually by the IHC since 1984, the Public Humanities Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the civic and cultural life of the state through the humanities. The 2014 Public Humanities Award Luncheon will include special performances by talented young performers from the ChiArts Jazz Ensemble and the Joffrey Academy of Dance, as well as signature dishes prepared by special guest chefs, [I don’t think we need the preceeding comma] Michael Kornick of MK Restaurant, Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Sunday Dinner Club and Honey Butter Fried Chicken, and  a chocolate tasting and demonstration by Chicago-based Luxury chocolatier, Vosges Haut-Chocolat. 

The Public Humanities Award Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 11:30am at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, where more than 400 guests from Chicago’s cultural, financial, and civic communities are expected to attend. Single tickets to the Public Humanities Award Luncheon are available from $175 and tables range from $2,500 to $25,000. Tickets may be purchased online at For more information on the event or ticket options please call (312) 422-5584 or e-mail All proceeds from The Public Humanities Award will support the Illinois Humanities Council speaker, education, and outreach programs. 

About the Illinois Humanities Council 

The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is a philanthropic and educational organization dedicated to making the humanities a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities in Illinois, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. This year, it marks 40 years of developing or funding educational activities and programs throughout the state, including lectures, seminars, performances, exhibitions, films, library discussions, and written materials – all free and open to the public. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) supported by state, federal, and private funds.