Enlighten Thyself: AHA!

May 15, 2018

CLE Festival Celebrates Words, Music, Dance, Art


AHA! is short for Arts & Humanities Alive! Now in its second year, this unique festival, which seeks to enlighten and inspire its attendees, fills the Cleveland State University and Playhouse Square neighborhoods through expressions of words, music, dance and art June 7-9.

AHA! features captivating presentations from well-known authors, artists, activitists and performers, who are among the brightest minds in the country.

Reading is Fundamental

Basketball legend is just one of the many accolades that have been bestowed upon NBA all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He's also a Presidential Medal of Freedom-winning activist and New York Times bestselling author. Jabbar is discussing his 2017 book, "Becoming Kareem" and the importance of reading books on June 7.

King of the Hill

Hill Harper is perhaps best known as an actor. But he's also made his own waves as an author and activist. He founded the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, which inspires underserved youth to succeed. On June 7, check out the Arts Education Day, in which Harper gives the keynote address.

It's All in the Stars

Dr. Janna Levin has been called "the chillest astrophysicist alive" by Wired magazine - and we don't disagree. She researches black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions and gravitational waves. She'll be putting her own spin on one of the world's oldest sciences on June 7.

Comic Relief

Robert Mankoff served as the cartoon editor for The New Yorker for over 20 years. Today, he's the cartoon and humor editor for Esquire. On June 8, Mankoff is presenting a fast-paced and funny cartoon history of The New Yorker - showing the process from start to finish.

There's More ...

The Book Festival, which will be held inside the KeyBank State Theatre lobby on June 7, is one of the best parts of AHA!. This free-of-charge event features book sales, author signings, storytelling and meet and greets with literary giants.

Throughout the weekend, the event also includes free gallery talks, dance workshops (led by choreographer Derek Hough of "Dancing With the Stars" fame) and even a performance of "Fahrenheit 451" by Young Adult Theater.

Ticket prices vary with many of the events being between $10 and $35. There are some exceptions, so it's best to check the festival's website in advance:  www.ahacsu.com.

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