Our Headliners

Award-winning Actor, Best-selling Author and Youth Advocate
Hill Harper
Actor known for The Good Doctor and CSI:NY and author of Letters to a Young Brother and Letters to a Young Sister, Hill Harper delivers the keynote address at the Arts Education Day Luncheon on June 7.
Emmy Award-winning Choreographer and Professional Dancer
Derek Hough
No experience is required for our June 7 workshops led by the award-winning choreographer of Dancing with the Stars fame.
NBA All-time Leading Scorer and Author
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Presented in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Appearing June 7, the NBA's all-time leading scorer and New York Times bestselling author shares the importance of reading books and how it has shaped his life.
Photo credit © Dan Winters
Cartoonist and Humorist
Robert Mankoff
Cartoon and humor editor for Esquire and former cartoon editor for The New Yorker, Robert Mankoff believes that “being funny is being awake.” He'll make us all laugh on June 8.
Astrophysicist, Novelist, Painter and PBS Personality
Dr. Janna Levin
As an astrophyicist, Dr. Janna Levin is changing the way we understand the cosmos. On June 7, she'll bring originality, lucidity — and even poetry — to one of humanity’s oldest sciences.
New York Times Columnist and Author
Maureen Dowd
How do journalists synthesize today’s complex issues? Pulitzer Prize-winner for distinguished commentary and bestselling author Maureen Dowd explores this topic on June 8 with Times colleague Carl Hulse.
Writer and Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
John Frohnmayer
Presented in partnership with The Foundry.
A competitive masters rower, Frohnmayer will share highlights from his book, Socrates the Rower: How Rowing Informs Philosophy, on June 9 at The Foundry.
Host of Reveal
Al Letson
In partnership with 90.3 WCPN ideastream.
The Center of Investigative Reporting’s popular public radio program Reveal comes to Cleveland for AHA! Host Al Letson takes us on a journey through Reveal’s signature "story behind the story" with an inspired performance combining live music, video and thought-provoking storytelling.
Photo credit © Tiffany Manning
Hill Harper
Award-winning Actor, Best-selling Author and Youth Advocate
Derek Hough
Professional Dancer and Emmy Award-winning Choreographer
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Athlete and Author
Robert Mankoff
Cartoonist and Humorist
Dr. Janna Levin
Astrophysicist, Novelist, Painter and PBS Personality
Maureen Dowd
Journalist and Author
John Frohnmayer
Writer and Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
Al Letson
Host of Reveal

Events

AHA! Festival Schedule and Registration

Become an AHA! Festival patron — learn more!
Tickets on sale now!
Tickets are purchased through Playhouse Square. Visit their box office or use the event links below to purchase online.
AHA! Book Festival

AHA! Book Festival

Playhouse Square Keybank State Theatre Lobby, 1519 Euclid Ave.
11:00 am — 8:00 pm
Come join us on June 7 for a daylong Book Festival in the KeyBank State Theatre lobby. All ages will be welcomed, entertained and delighted by storytelling, readings, author signings and performances on the Book Festival stage. Free admission and free parking.
Dr. Janna Levin

Dr. Janna Levin: Creativity from Limits

Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre
The Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Ave.
10:00 am
Insurmountable limits can beget exhilarating outbursts of creativity. There is a fundamental limit in the speed of light. Constrained by this limit, Einstein discovered the relativity of space/time and launched the discovery of black holes and the big bang. Limits can be worthy adversaries that bring out our best, most inventive natures. Surrendering to constraints can inspire great gestures of creativity and moments of discovery that change us forever. Book signing to follow at the Book Festival. Purchase Tickets.
Hill Harper

Hill Harper: Arts Education Day Luncheon

Keybank State Theatre Stage, 1519 Euclid Ave.
Noon — 2:00 pm
Join this annual celebration of the arts in education! The Arts and Education Day Luncheon brings together arts education champions from across the region and includes a delicious lunch, student performances and a keynote address by actor, author and activist Hill Harper. A co-star of the hit drama The Good Doctor, Harper also founded The Manifest Your Destiny Foundation dedicated to inspiring underserved youth to succeed. Book signing to follow at the Book Festival. Purchase Tickets.
Derek Hough

Derek Hough: Learn to Dance Like a Star

Keybank State Theatre Stage, 1519 Euclid Ave.
4:00 pm — 4:45 pm, 5:00 pm — 5:45 pm
Derek Hough, Emmy Award-winning choreographer and judge on NBC’s hit series World of Dance, will lead public dance workshops on the State Theatre stage. No experience necessary. Come learn how to dance or watch your friends! Book signing to follow at the Book Festival. Purchase Tickets for 4:00 pm event. Purchase Tickets for 5:00 pm event.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Becoming Kareem: The Importance of Reading Books

Keybank State Theatre Stage, 1519 Euclid Ave.
7:30 pm
NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a six-time NBA champion, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered one of the most influential black men in America. His new book, Becoming Kareem, is an autobiographical account of his tumultuous spiritual and athletic journey from childhood through college and his first year in the NBA. Join us as Kareem shares how the importance of reading books affected his life. Presented in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Book signing to follow presentation. Purchase Tickets.
Hershey Felder

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave.
7:30 pm
Presented by the Cleveland Play House in partnership with the AHA! Festival. In a virtuoso performance, award-winning showman and Cleveland favorite, Hershey Felder, brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, long thought of as America’s composer. AHA! Festival goers can receive a $10 discount off the ticket price during the AHA! Festival by using promo code AHA. Purchase Tickets.
CSU Summer Dance Workshop

CSU Summer Dance Workshop

CSU Dance Studio, 1307 Euclid Ave.
9:00 am — 5:00 pm
Featuring guest artists Doug Gillespie, associate director of Kate Weare Company, and choreographer Banning Bouldin, who hails from NYC and Nashville, CSU’s 2018 Summer Dance Workshop includes daily morning technique and body work classes, as well as special class offerings that emphasize community outreach activities working with non-dance populations along with studio showings by guest artists. For more information, please contact Lynn Deering at l.deering@csuohio.edu.
Bob Mankoff
10:00 am — 11:00 am
In this fast paced and funny multimedia presentation featuring cartoons and videos, Bob Mankoff ushers you into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker to show the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation. Book signing to follow. Purchase Tickets.
Dance Works In Progress

CSU Dance “Works In Progress”

Gund Dance Studio, The Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Ave.
12:00 pm
Enjoy an informal showing that features dance artist Doug Gillepsie and participants from the Summer Dance Program.
ChamberFest Cleveland

ChamberFest Cleveland

Drinko Hall, Cleveland State University, 2001 Euclid Ave.
2:00 pm — 3:00 pm
Taking place in traditional and non-traditional venues throughout Cleveland that create intimate connections between artists and audience, ChamberFest builds upon its illustrious past and thrills audiences with exceptional performances of distinct, inventively-programmed music. Make sure you attend this not-to-be missed concert featuring world-renowned pianist Roman Rabinovich, cellist Oliver Herbert — a newcomer who is setting the world ablaze — and David Bowlin, award-winning violinist and faculty member at the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory. Purchase Tickets.
Love Letters
United States Senator Sherrod Brown and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz perform A. R. Gurney’s touching play, Love Letters. Join us for this inspired exploration into the relationship of two people who go their separate ways but remain connected through their ongoing correspondence. Purchase Tickets.
Maureen Dowd
In a rare Cleveland appearance, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd speaks conversationally with her friend and colleague, Carl Hulse. Join us on a journey that explores how politics are formed into narrative. Don’t miss this special evening! Book signing to follow. Purchase Tickets.
Hershey Felder

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave.
7:30 pm
Presented by the Cleveland Play House in partnership with the AHA! Festival. In a virtuoso performance, award-winning showman and Cleveland favorite, Hershey Felder, brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, long thought of as America’s composer. AHA! Festival goers can receive a $10 discount off the ticket price during the AHA! Festival by using promo code AHA. Purchase Tickets.

Gallery Talks

The Galleries at CSU, 1307 Euclid Ave.
12:00 pm
Join us at Cleveland State’s beautiful new Art Gallery, located on Euclid Avenue near 13th Street. Hear from curators and artists about the current exhibition and creative placemaking. Check back soon for the speaker schedule.
CSU Summer Dance Worksho

CSU Summer Dance Workshop

CSU Dance Studio, 1307 Euclid Ave.
9:00 am — 5:00 pm
Featuring guest artists Doug Gillespie, associate director of Kate Weare Company, and choreographer Banning Bouldin, who hails from NYC and Nashville, CSU’s 2018 Summer Dance Workshop includes daily morning technique and body work classes, as well as special class offerings that emphasize community outreach activities working with non-dance populations along with studio showings by guest artists. For more information, please contact Lynn Deering at l.deering@csuohio.edu.
Us Against You

An Evening with Fredrik Backman

Waetjen Auditorium, Cleveland State University, 2001 Euclid Ave.
7:30 pm
Presented in partnership with Cuyahoga County Public Library. Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Ticket price includes a copy of Us Against You, which will be available for pickup at the event. Book signing to follow. Purchase Tickets.
Reveal

Reveal: The Center Cannot Hold, Hosted by Al Letson

Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre, The Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Ave.
11:00 am
In partnership with 90.3 WCPN ideastream.
While covering a 2017 political protest in Berkeley, California, Reveal host Al Letson found himself lying on top of a far-right provocateur, shielding him from a violent beating by anti-fascists. In this moving presentation of Reveal Live, from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, Letson will tell the story of the events of this day, what led to it — both personally and politically — and where these political clashes leave us as a nation. Purchase Tickets.
Fahrenheit 451

Young Adult Theater: Fahrenheit 451

Hanna Theatre, 2067 East 14th St.
2:00 pm
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper ignites. This powerful drama, produced in partnership with Young Audiences of New York, examines the internal struggle of fireman Guy Montag. Working as a civil servant for 10 years burning books, Montag is unsure if what he is doing is right. When he meets 16-year old Clarisse, who is filled with strange ideas, Montag must decide whether to continue his current existence or risk everything for the right to think. Purchase Tickets.
John Frohnmayer

John Frohnmayer — Socrates the Rower: How Rowing Informs Philosophy

The Foundry, 1831 Columbus Rd. Cleveland, The Flats
3:00 — 4:00 pm
Presented in partnership with The Foundry, AHA! will host a discussion of philosophy, sport and what the two can learn from each other. The talk is presented by former National Endowment for the Arts Chair and Masters rower John Frohnmayer. Purchase Tickets.
Hershey Felder

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave.
2:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Presented by the Cleveland Play House in partnership with the AHA! Festival. In a virtuoso performance, award-winning showman and Cleveland favorite, Hershey Felder, brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, long thought of as America’s composer. AHA! Festival goers can receive a $10 discount off the ticket price during the AHA! Festival by using promo code AHA. Purchase Tickets.
CSU Gallery Talks

Gallery Talks

The Galleries at CSU, 1307 Euclid Ave.
12:00 pm
Join us at Cleveland State’s beautiful new Art Gallery, located on Euclid Avenue near 13th Street. Hear from curators and artists about the current exhibition and creative placemaking. Check back soon for the speaker schedule.

Presented by Cleveland State University

About AHA! Festival

Now in its second year, AHA! Festival will fill the Cleveland State University and Playhouse Square neighborhood with words, music dance and art on June 7, 8 and 9. AHA! kicks off with a daylong Book Festival in the KeyBank State Theatre lobby and features headliners Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Derek Hough, Hill Harper, Robert Mankoff, Maureen Dowd and Dr. Janna Levin. Former National Endowment for the Arts Chair John Frohnmayer is the Festival's curator, acting as host and discussion leader, while Cleveland State University President Dr. Ronald Berkman and Tricia Berkman are co-honorary chairs of AHA!

Plan Your Visit

AHA! Festival Patron

Become a Festival insider. For $500 per person, you'll get access to all AHA! events and personal interaction with Festival artists, as well as concierge ticket service, priority seating and copies of AHA! Festival author books. Patron tickets also include private meet-and-greets for selected artistists and a program listing. Contact Gayle Kish at 216.523.7516 or g.kish@csuohio.edu for more info. Advance registration required for certain events.

Parking

Free parking is available on Thursday, June 7, 2018 ONLY in Cleveland State’s West Garage on E. 17th between Euclid Avenue and Chester Avenue beginning at 9:00 a.m. For the remaining days, Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9, parking will be available in all Cleveland State garages beginning at 9:00 a.m. Cost is $10.00. Please see map for CSU parking locations. Public parking is also available around the Cleveland State campus.

Directions

From the South (I-77): Follow I-77 north to the East 22nd/East 14th Street exit (#162B) to East 22nd Street. Turn left onto East 22nd Street; drive several blocks to Euclid Avenue.

From the South (I-71): Follow I-71 north to the East 22nd Street exit (#172B). Turn left onto East 22nd Street; drive several blocks to Euclid Avenue.

From the East (I-90): Follow I-90 west to the Chester Avenue/CSU exit (#173B). Turn left onto East 24th Street; drive a half block to Chester Avenue.

From the West (I-90): Follow I-90 east to the East 22nd Street exit (#172B). Turn left onto East 22nd Street; drive several blocks to Euclid Avenue.

From the West (Shoreway): Follow the Shoreway (Route 2) east to I-77/I-71 South. Exit at the Chester Avenue/CSU exit (#173B). Turn left onto East 24th Street; drive a half block to Chester Avenue.

Festival Lounge

Come relax in air-conditioned comfort, have a cold drink and compare your AHA! experience notes with fellow Festival goers. AHA! is all about community, so this year we're excited to introduce the Festival Lounge, where you can write your opinions about Festival events in our guest book and relax between events. Park once and spend the day into the evening — attending the wide array of AHA programs, exploring the CSU/Playhouse Square neighborhood and meeting new and old friends.

Food & Restaurants

A broad range of food and dining options are available to you, including a number of local restaurants. Click here to view the full list of nearby restaraunts. Information tables will provide restaurant listings with hours of operation, addresses and phone numbers. Restaurants marked ** are offering special discounts during the Festival — check with individual restaurants for exact offerings.

Event Map

View our map for AHA! Festival event locations and parking options.

Video

AHA! Festival

A look at our favorite AHA! moments from 2017.

our Partners

We gratefully acknowledge the numerous organizations who are helping to make the AHA! Festival possible. Their support will continue CSU’s long and proud tradition of presenting world class arts and cultural productions.
Additional partners to be announced soon.
Become an AHA! Festival partner!
Join us in bringing the best in arts and humanities to our community, and illustrating the importance of the arts as drivers of education, economic development and civic engagement.
Get Started Now
Contact Info
contact us

2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115

aha@csuohio.edu

216.687.5045

for tickets

Playhouse Square

216.771.8403

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