AHA! Festival Illuminates a Changing Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland’s physical landscape is changing. Major developments such as the Global Center for Health Innovation, the Cleveland Convention Center, and Horseshoe Casino are completed. Other projects, including the redesign of Public Square, upgrades to the Mall, and the construction of new hotels and residences, will be completed in the next few years. These improvements have attracted conventions and events such as the 2014 Gay Games, which will allow Cleveland to showcase its cultural and civic assets to an international audience.


Last year, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), a public funder of arts and cultural activities in Cuyahoga County, developed the Creative Culture Grant program to support new arts programming. LAND studio was awarded the grant to fund a free, multi-day festival of lights called AHA!. This event will celebrate Cleveland and the physical transformation taking place downtown.

Beginning on Friday, August 8, and ending on Sunday, August 10, AHA! will feature light installations and video projections from artists from the region and beyond. Featured projects will include:


Global Rainbow, is a static laser installation that projects seven multicolored beams viewable from up to 35 miles away by Berlin -and New York -based artist Yvette Mattern. The project will be installed at the Great Lakes Science Center and projected over the Mall. 

The Pool, is made up of two hundred interactive circular platforms set in concentric circles by Jen Lewin of Colorado. By entering the pool, you enter a world where play and collaborative movement create effects of light and color. 

Iván Juárez of Mexico City is developing a concept for the Cleveland Public Library’s Eastman Reading Garden. His aim is to produce an installation through which garden-users may reflect on their relationship with the surrounding city.

The artwork will be installed in June 2014, when the Eastman Reading Garden is opened to the public, and then will be on display during AHA! and throughout early fall.

Obscura Digital of San Francisco is an alliance of artists and technologists who set convention aside to create entirely new encounters with light, image, sound, and motion. Obscura is planning to present an architectural light display on the Global Center for Health Innovation.

Civic buildings around the Mall will also be illuminated.

AHA! programming may also include Believe in CLE, a large-scale yoga event on Mall B; Pecha Kucha, a fast-paced multi-speaker event; a large-scale bike ride; a night market; and food trucks.


AHA! would not be possible without our sponsors, which include Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, The George Gund Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, Cleveland Public Power, The Eaton Charitable Fund, The Adcom Group, The Cleveland Public Library, Positively Cleveland, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and the City of Cleveland. Our media sponsors include WKYC and Clear Channel.


AHA! Festival

Downtown Cleveland

August 8-10, 2014




Photo by Aaron Rogosin, Courtesy of Jen Lewin Studio.