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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chair, Shelly Lowe (Navajo) will be visiting Chicago from February 13-16, where she will tour the cultural landscape of Chicago, meet local leaders in the humanities, and speak at events covering the present and future state of the humanities.

“Chicago is home to so many excellent museums, libraries, colleges, historic sites, and research institutes of all sizes, many of which rely on NEH support to serve their communities. I look forward to strengthening our agency’s connections to these vibrant organizations and highlighting their important contributions to the nation’s cultural life and creative economy,” NEH Chair, Sherry Lowe, said in a press release.

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The centerpiece for Lowe’s visit will be a panel discussion on The Humanities’ Impact: Fostering Economic Development in Chicago and Beyond, where she will speak on a panel alongside experts at the intersection of culture and economic development on February 14.

Following that, on February 15, Lowe will take a bus tour led by local historian Shermann Thomas and Tonika Lewis Johnson. Thomas and Johnson have collaborated with the City of Chicago for “Disrupting Segregation” bus tours and a free, Folded Map Project action kit.

Finally, on February 16, Lowe will travel to Evanston to visit the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, where she will meet with Northwestern University’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement, Pamala Silas. Lowe’s visit will coincide with the kick-off of the Native Voices Cover-to-Cover Project at the second Native Book Fair.

Additional visits will include the historic Hull House, meetings with humanities students and faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a conversation about cultural heritage with members of the Chicago Cultural Alliance, and a visit with curators of the Newberry’s upcoming exhibition.

Lowe served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities from 2015 to 2022. In 2022, she was confirmed as Chair, making her the first Native American to lead the agency. Lowe has since served in a variety of leadership roles nationally, including the board of the National Indian Education Association and for the National Museum of the American Indian.

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About The Author
Kaili Berg
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Staff Reporter
Kaili Berg (Aleut) is a member of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq Nation, and a shareholder of Koniag, Inc. She is a staff reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Berg, who is based in Wisconsin, previously reported for the Ho-Chunk Nation newspaper, Hocak Worak. She went to school originally for nursing, but changed her major after finding her passion in communications at Western Technical College in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.