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Our Headliners

Actress and Comedienne
Yvette Nicole Brown
Actress and comedienne ("Community," "The Odd Couple")
East Cleveland, Ohio native
Appearing June 7 at the Arts Education Day Luncheon
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author
Jon Meacham
Pulitzer Prize winning author of
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
Appearing June 9
Photo Credit © Gasper Triangle. Sourced from Chicago Tribune/Random House Publishing site.
Author and Astronomer
Lucianne Walkowicz
Author and astronomer with
the Adler Planetarium
Appearing June 8
Photo credit © tangledfields.com
Professional Dancer
Karina Smirnoff
Professional dancer ("Dancing with the Stars")
Appearing June 7
Photo credit, © www.keybase.com
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
Isabel Wilkerson
Author of Warmth of Other Suns, a chronicle of the Great Migration
Appearing June 8
Photo credit, Joe Henson
Award-winning American novelist
Jonathan Safran Foer
Author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Appearing June 8
Photo credit, © Jeff Mermelstein
Noted author, screenwriter and playwright
Delia Ephron
Co-wrote hit play Love, Loss and What I Wore
Appearing June 8
Yvette Nicole Brown
Actress and comedienne
Jon Meacham
Pulitzer Prize winning author
Lucianne Walkowicz
Author and astronomer
Karina Smirnoff
Professional dancer
Isabel Wilkerson
Author
Jonathan Safran Foer
Author
Delia Ephron
Author and playwright

Events

AHA! Festival Schedule and Registration

Check back often for updated Festival schedule information.

Outdoor Book Festival

Playhouse Square
(Euclid Ave, between East 14th and East 17th Streets)
11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Buy the latest novel or a classic book, hear stories read and performed by authors and musicians, experience our children’s area and tell your own stories on our interactive story canvas! Free admission with free parking available at the CSU 17th Street garage.

Origami Tales

Outdoor Book Festival
11:30 am & 4:30 pm
Kuniko Yamamoto enchants audiences of every age with dramatic storytelling using myths and fables from ancient and modern Japan, spiced with social revelations to educate and amuse. Every program encourages audience interaction and participation. Free of charge.

The Arts as a Tool for Personal Growth

State Theatre Stage (1519 Euclid Ave)
Arts Education Day Luncheon
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
East Cleveland native Yvette Nicole Brown, an actress best known for her role on NBC’s comedy series Community will deliver the keynote address on how the arts can serve as a powerful tool for educational growth. PRICE: $30.00. Purchase Tickets.

Learn to Dance Like a Star

State Theatre Stage (1519 Euclid Ave)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Dancer Karina Smirnoff, popular performer on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, will lead a public dance workshop on the stage of the State Theatre. No experience necessary. Come learn how to dance or watch your friends! PRICE: $5.00. Purchase Tickets.

“The Vietnam War”

CSU Student Center Ballroom
7:30 pm
In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film. The Vietnam War features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Lynn Novick and producer Sarah Botstein will introduce the series as part of the AHA! Fest. Free of charge. Register here.

The African American Experience

Drinko Hall,
Music & Communication building (Euclid Ave & 21st St)
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Author Isabel Wilkerson will discuss her award-winning book, The Warmth of Other Suns, which tells the incredible story of the migration of African Americans to the north during the mid-20th Century. Presented in partnership with Tri-C’s Mandel Humanities Center and the Cleveland Foundation. PRICE: $10.00. Purchase Tickets.

Creativity and Collaboration

Drinko Hall,
Music & Communication building (Euclid Ave & 21st St)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Noted author, screenwriter and playwright Delia Ephron discusses collaboration: when it works, when it doesn’t and how to get better at it. Thursday evening she will introduce Love, Loss and What I Wore, the hit co-written with her sister Nora. Free of charge. Register here.

TEDx Salon: Astral Stories

Idea Center (1375 Euclid Ave)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz is an astronomer, author and artist who seeks to combine the “right and left brain” to better understand cosmic phenomena and scientific principles. Free of charge. Register here.

Jonathan Safran Foer

Waetjen Auditorium,
Music & Communication building (Euclid Ave & 21st St)
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Jonathan Safran Foer is the award-winning American novelist of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Both earned significant acclaim and were made into equally well-received films. Presented with Cuyahoga County Public Library in partnership with the Mandel JCC Cleveland Jewish Book Festival and moderated by John Frohnmayer. Free of charge. Register here.

Love, Loss and What I Wore

Outcalt Theatre (1407 Euclid Ave)
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Proving that a great show is always fashionable, Love, Loss and What I Wore uses clothing and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories about life. Introduced by Delia Ephron, produced in partnership with Playhouse Square and Mamaí Theatre Company. Book signing following performance. PRICE: $25.00. Purchase Tickets.

The Art of Leadership

CSU Student Center (2121 Euclid Ave, Third Floor)
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize winner, and TIME magazine editor, Jon Meacham is one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals. A regular guest on MSNBC he is a skilled raconteur with a depth of knowledge of current affairs. Moderated by John Frohnmayer. PRICE: $10.00. Purchase Tickets.

Malpaso Dance Company

Gund Dance Studio (1375 Euclid Ave)
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Based in Havana, Cuba, the critically acclaimed Malpaso visits Cleveland this summer as part of The Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion — Cuban Impact Project, in partnership with DANCECleveland.

Stories in Musical Notes

Drinko Hall,
Music & Communication building (Euclid Ave & 21st St)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Internationally renowned pianist Jeffrey Siegel will present a one hour storytelling journey written in musical notes. Siegel is best known for his celebrated Keyboard Conversations® which combine virtuosity with a fascinating “behind the notes” look at piano classics. Free of charge. Register here.

The Cloud and the Cave

Drinko Hall,
Music & Communication building (Euclid Ave & 21st St)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Award-winning composer Dr. Gregory D'Alessio presents a new mixed media work looking at our highly fraught “tribal” world through images, words, music and sound. Drawn from the digital world that is rapidly becoming our native environment. Free of charge. Register here.

The Frog Bride

Hanna Theatre (2067 E 14th St)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
When a King sends his three sons to find their brides, two return with fair ladies. The last returns with... A FROG?! This hip adaptation of a classic Russian tale stars David Gonzalez and features stunning live video projection. Presented by AHA! Festival and the Playhouse Square Department of Community Engagement and Education. PRICE: $10.00. Purchase Tickets.

Love, Loss and What I Wore

Outcalt Theatre (1407 Euclid Ave)
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Pre-performance lecture: Professor Margaret Stetz, University of Delaware
Proving that a great show is always fashionable, Love, Loss and What I Wore uses clothing and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories about life. Produced in partnership with Playhouse Square and Mamaí Theatre Company. PRICE: $25.00. Purchase Tickets.

CSU Summer Dance Workshop

CSU Dance Studio
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
This yearly dance experience includes instruction and the opportunity to work with professional dance companies including the Malpaso Dance Company of Cuba. To learn more, visit http://www.csuohio.edu/dance.

CSU Student Art Exhibit

Galleries at CSU
1307 Euclid Ave
11:00 am – 8:00 pm
This showcase will feature a variety of student works displayed for special viewing by AHA! Festival attendees at Cleveland State’s very own Galleries at CSU.

Presented by Cleveland State University

About AHA! Festival

The Cleveland State University/Playhouse Square neighborhood will be alive with words, music, theater, dance and art on June 7, 8 and 9, 2017 as CSU inaugurates Arts and Humanities Alive!, the AHA! Festival, the first of its kind in Ohio. AHA! brings world renowned authors, performers and celebrities for a celebration of Storytelling and a wide ranging exploration of what our stories tell us about ourselves.

A day long outdoor Book Fair, along Euclid Avenue, from 14th -17th streets, kicks off the Festival and includes a children's area with storytelling and performances, adult authors and publishers, interactive exhibits, local libraries and bookstores, along with food trucks and entertainers. Community members are invited to Dance with a Star, Karina Smirnoff, on the stage of the State Theater at Playhouse Square in a free dance workshop! East Cleveland native and Hollywood star Yvette Nicole Brown returns to her hometown for an inspiring keynote address at the Arts Education Day Luncheon. Award-winning authors Isabel Wilkerson, Jonathan Safran Foer and Jon Meacham will each present talks about their respective best-selling books and Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago takes us on an out-of-this-world adventure through the stars during a TEDx Salon.

The children's theater production of The Frog Bride and the justly famous Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora and Delia Ephron and performed by Mamaí Theatre Company comprise the Festival's theater offerings. Delia Ephron, will introduce the opening night of Love, Loss and What I Wore and present a talk on the importance of collaboration to creative expression.

The Festival will also host the local premiere of “The Vietnam War” a new PBS documentary by famed film maker Ken Burns. The film will be introduced by co-producer Lynn Novick.

Former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, John Frohnmayer, will be the resident curator for the Festival, acting as host and discussion leader and Tom and Joanie Adler will serve as honorary co-chairs.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the most up-to-date information about additional programs and to register for individual events.

Video

AHA! Festival

We invite everyone to engage in and experience their AHA! Moments.

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.
Are you ready to become a partner right now?
Join us in bringing the best in arts and humanities directly to the community, and illustrating the importance of the arts as drivers of education, economic development and civic engagement.
ready to work with us
Contact Info
contact us

2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115

aha@csuohio.edu

216.687.2000

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