Cleveland State University to Host Humanities Festival in June

School's out for summer, but the folks at Cleveland State University will be plenty busy on June 7, 8 and 9. That’s when the university hosts the Arts and Humanities Alive (AHA!) Festival.

The three-day fest will feature a free, all-day book fair, the local premiere of Ken Burns' new PBS documentary The Vietnam War, talks by multiple best-selling authors, a free dance workshop with Dancing with the Stars’ Karina Smirnoff, and performances of the hit stage productions Love, Loss and What I Wore and The Frog Bride.

“We invite everyone down to the Festival to find their own AHA! moments: during a play, hearing an author, listening to a piece of music or watching bodies in motion,” says festival director Katie Shames. “The arts and humanities teach us about who we are and bring out the best in us.”

Organizers for the inaugural festival have chosen a theme: Storytelling: What Our Stories Tell us About Ourselves. John Frohnmayer, the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will be the resident curator for the Festival. He’ll also act as host and discussion leader.

A day-long outdoor Book Fair, along Euclid Avenue will kick off the festival on June 7 and will include a children's area with storytelling and performances, adult authors and publishers, interactive exhibits, local libraries and bookstores, along with food trucks and entertainers, with free parking provided.

Hollywood star Yvette Nicole Brown will deliver the keynote address at the Arts Education Day Luncheon. Award-winning authors Delia Ephron, Jonathan Safran Foer, Isabel Wilkerson and Jon Meacham will each speak, and Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago will deliver a TEDx Salon.

Drama Desk nominee David Gonzalez will present the children’s theater production of The Frog Bride, and Mamaí Theatre Company will perform Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Find a complete schedule at

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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