This article orginally appeared in Crain’s
Kristina Valaitis, executive director of the Illinois Humanities Council, has announced her retirement, effective in January.
“I have loved every minute of my time at the IHC, in large part because I have had the privilege of knowing and working with so many of you,” she wrote in a letter to friends and colleagues.
Ms. Valaitis has been with the Humanities Council in various jobs since 1979 and has been executive director since 1993.
During her tenure, the council grew from being a grant-maker to a producer of programs and initiatives that each year engage some 600,000 people. Those programs include the Museum on Main Street, Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, Public Square and Odyssey Project.
Deborah Epstein, the council’s board chair, praised Ms. Valaitis for her contributions, saying, “Because of Kristina’s stewardship through changing times, the IHC is in a strong position to consolidate our current programs and expand our reach.”
Ms. Epstein said the board is conducting a national search to fill the job. “We will be looking for a bold and imaginative leader who can help us build on IHC’s momentum and advance its mission as it begins its 40th anniversary year.”