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Humanities Festival brings Dinaw Mengestu, Kim Gordon to Chicago

A “genius grant” winner and a Sonic Youth rocker will be among the speakers leading programs of the Chicago Humanities Festival early next year.

The MacArthur Fellow is Ethiopia-born, Illinois-raised author Dinaw Mengestu, who will appear at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln. The graduate of Oak Park’s Fenwick High will discuss his latest novel, “All Our Names.”

Related: Dinaw Mengestu’s long road to genius

Later in the winter comes Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon, appearing at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. In her memoir “Girl in a Band” — published two days earlier — she recounts her partnership and later breakup with the band’s Thurston Moore and revisits the 1980s New York punk scene. A performance by Girls Rock! Chicago opens the program.

Also scheduled:

• Graphic novelist Scott McCloud, discussing life in and outside of comics, 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S Columbus.

• Chicago author Cristina Henríquez, discussing her novel “The Book of Unknown Americans,” 6 p.m. March 18 at the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 W. Ohio.

Tickets go on sale to non-members on Jan. 7 at chicagohumanities.org or the box office at (312) 494-9509

As announced earlier, Laurent Bigot’s “Le Cirque Petit” will present performances of electroacoustic music and objects in motion at 2 and 5 p.m. Jan. 17 and 18 at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble. Tickets: adventurestage.org; (773) 342-4141.