The Public Humanities Award

Given annually by the IHC since 1984, the Public Humanities Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the civic and cultural life of the state through the humanities.

Join us this year as we honor business and cultural leaders David Herro and Jay Franke for making the creative expression of dance accessible to all Chicagoans, and for supporting new ideas and perspectives through the arts and humanities. 

May 20, 2014
Palmer House Hilton
Grand and State Ballrooms
17 East Monroe Street, Chicago
Doors: 11 AM    Lunch: Noon

Event Co-Chairs:
Sabrina and Antonio Gracias
Alton B. Harris and Andrea S. Kramer
Lew and Susan Manilow
Kerryann Haase Minton and Josef Minton
Vesna K. Stelcer and Lionel Rabb

About David and Jay
Together, Jay Franke and David Herro have played an instrumental role in the founding and growth of the Chicago Dancing Festival, the only free festival of its kind in the nation, helping position Chicago as a global cultural destination. 

One, an accomplished professional dancer, the other an international stock fund manager of the decade, both have played active roles in empowering youth through access to the arts and humanities with organizations like After School Matters, Chicago High School for the Arts (CHiArts), The Field Museum, and WTTW. 

As we celebrate our 40th anniversary with a renewed spirit, we look forward to an event that will include some of Chicago's most creative and well-respected business and civic leaders in a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropy, and leadership in the humanities. 

Past honorees have come from many walks of life: academe, philanthropy, government, business, and cultural or educational institutions.

Recent recipients include: The Hon. Abner and Zoe Mikva; Mary Dempsey, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library; and Barbara Gaines, founder and artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Carlos Tortolero, Founder of the Mexican Fine Arts Museum; Anne Roosevelt, Boeing Vice President, Community and Education Relations; John A. Wing, Chairman Emeritus of the Chicago Corporation; cultural icons Bruce Sagan and Bette Cerf Hill; and Lisa Lee, Director of the School of Art and Art History at UIC.

Become a sponsor of our 2014 Public Humanities Benefit Luncheon honoring David Herro and Jay Franke by completing the online registration form or by downloading, completing, and returning the paper form.

Can't attend the event? Make a donation to the program instead!

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please call Monika Collins at 312.422.5584 or email

All funds raised by this event help the IHC make opportunities available throughout Illinois for lifelong learning, civic reflection, and community enrichment.