Photo Credit: Brandon Petrizzo, Video Parachute

IFF’s Vickie Lakes-Battle Joins City Club of Chicago Panel Discussion About the Role of the Humanities in Community and Economic Development February 20, 2024

On Wednesday, February 14, 2024, IFF Executive Director for the Chicago Metro Region Vickie Lakes-Battle joined 170 local, regional, and national leaders at the City Club of Chicago for a panel discussion that focused on the role of the humanities in fostering community and economic development in Chicago and beyond.

Moderated by Illinois Humanities Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon, the conversation also included the perspectives of Shelly C. Lowe, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Bernard Loyd, president of Urban Juncture. NEH is an independent federal agency that is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States, and Urban Juncture is an organization based in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood that works with local partners and allies to reestablish community ecosystems of culture and enterprise. The event began with an invocation by Faylita Hicks, a Chicago-based artist who read her poem, “Root Work.”

In her remarks, Vickie talked about the importance of stable sources of funding and financing for organizations and community changemakers whose work is based in the humanities, how the Chicago’s Cultural Treasures initiative facilitated by IFF in partnership with a diverse group of philanthropic institutions has worked to strengthen communities by investing in BIPOC arts organizations, and more.

Watch the full discussion to learn more:

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