In a region defined by health care and humanities excellence, the third annual festival joins 25+ cultural institutions for a month of free events in Northeast Ohio—starting March 15

Health—and its absence—has inspired centuries of art and ingenuity.

Exploring the unique role of health in human endeavor, the 2018 Cleveland Humanities Festival will stage a month of cultural events around a region known internationally for its medical innovations and emphasis on the arts.

peter-knox“Perhaps no topic puts the ‘human’ in ‘humanities’ quite like health,” said Peter Knox, director of Case Western Reserve University’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, which is coordinating the festival. “Health gives life to our lives—and life to our region as its top industry.”

Events are open to all and free, though many require registration at

From March 15 to April 13, numerous lectures, performances, films and other events peer into how our endless pursuit of health—from the promise of new biomedical technologies, to the complex ethical questions that demand answers along the way—ultimately defines our humanity.

“Northeast Ohio is the perfect place to explore a subject at the fascinating intersection of the arts and sciences,” Knox said, “while thinking critically about our past, present and future.”

Highlighted events

  • Cleveland Clinic Art Tour: a tour through the fine art collection of the Cleveland Clinic Health System, which seeks to enhance the hospital environment with contemporary works;
  • Food Politics in 2018: a discussion of how the obesity epidemic and food insecurity are fed by many of the same forces;

Facts and figures 

Events take place on the campus of Case Western Reserve and at many of the festival’s 28 partner institutions in Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Cinematheque, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Dittrick Museum of Medical History, Lake View Cemetery and others.

Funding is provided by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and others.

In 2019, the Cleveland Humanities Festival will focus on nature. Last year’s festival explored immigration, and the inaugural event, in spring 2016, examined the impacts of war.

CHF bannerThe festival is coordinated by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve, which was founded in 1996 with a gift from Eric and Jane Nord. The center supports research and creative endeavors and hosts humanities events around the region.

Please contact Daniel Robison at for more information.