About the Festival

The Cleveland Humanities Festival is a collaborative event celebrating the great cultural institutions of the city of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio dedicated to humanistic inquiry. The Festival engages the public in addressing some of society’s most challenging issues and pressing concerns. Coordinated by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities of Case Western Reserve University, the Festival partners with our region’s major museums, educational institutions, and arts organizations.

The theme of the 2024 Cleveland Humanities Festival is AWE. Wonder. Reverence. Humility. Intensity.  Fear.  Awe is a complex emotional and cognitive state that can be triggered by a variety of experiences. How have diverse cultures across time harnessed the profound to create art, sculpt beliefs, and shape the course of history? Are there universal truths about awe, or is it deeply personal? What are the ways that feelings of awe have been mobilized for political purposes? Does the intricate dance of biology and ecology in nature inspire the same awe as a timeless masterpiece? How has our understanding of the evolutionary value of awe changed over time?  These questions will be addressed by Cleveland area arts, cultural and educational organizations through a series of public events in the spring of 2024.