Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine Events

April 21-23

More events at

PROJECT38 Festival

Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St.

Through April 23

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is continuing their groundbreaking arts education initiative titled PROJECT38 with the public PROJECT38 Festival! CSC teaching artists have spent over 250 hours this school year working with over 1,600 students at more than 45 different schools to bring each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays to life in creative ways. All of the Cincinnati community will get to experience these amazing performances at a weekend-long free concluding on Sunday April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday), with Memorial Hall full of 45 hours of free arts events for the entire community! Additional free performances and workshops will occur in Washington Park on Sunday April 23, in celebration of the Bard’s birthday. Last year, the PROJECT38 Festival drew more than 5,000 people. 


Student performances will run in blocks from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and present Shakespeare through every medium imaginable: dance, computer animation, snap chats, dramatic adaptations, visual art, puppet shows, and much more! These performances will give students the chance to perform in Memorial Hall’s newly renovated theater. All performances are free and opens to the public.

Saturday, 8 pm

Miami University – Hamilton presents a screening of their original film version of Cymbeline

Sunday, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Shakespeare's Globe Story Telling Performance in Washington Park,

Watch the Bard come to life with this interactive one-man version of The Tempest presented by Shakespeare's Globe. These productions encourage students and audiences to explore Shakespeare’s enduring narratives not just as listeners, but as storytellers, too.

CSC offers PROJECT38—including the free festival—at NO COST to the students, teachers, schools or the community.

Cincinnati Ballet: The Kaplan New Works Series

Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St. 

Friday, April 21, 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 22, 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 23, 2 and 8 p.m.

The Kaplan New Works Series is Cincinnati Ballet’s highly anticipated, annual experience offering an intimate presentation of brand new, cutting-edge works at the Aronoff’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. This season’s production features premieres by four innovative female choreographers, including Jennifer Archibald, Heather Britt, Artistic Director & CEO Victoria Morgan, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. With four performances added due to high demand, patrons now have a total of fourteen performances to choose from, through Sunday, April 30 at the Aronoff Center.

Jennifer Archibald, founder and artistic director of New York City’s acclaimed Arch Dance Company, teams up with fellow female innovator, the world-famous street artist Swoon, to create the world premiere of an inventive fusion of performance and visual arts, exclusively for Cincinnati Ballet. Archibald is a graduate of the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and pulls from a variety of influences to boldly and seamlessly infuse ballet with nuances of hip hop and contemporary dance. Caledonia Curry, or “Swoon,” is a contemporary American street artist best known for her illustrative portraiture and large-scale wheat paste prints. Her work has recently caught the attention of museum and gallery curators and established a celebrity following, leading into her foray into performance art. In her first collaboration with a choreographer, Curry is creating an onstage art installation as the set design for Archibald’s brand new piece. Her work will later be featured in an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in August 2017.


Heather Britt, beloved Cincinnati-based choreographer and founder of the wildly popular Dancefix classes, presents a world premiere. Britt graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts before going on to enjoy a career in modern dance in California. Upon returning to Cincinnati, Britt founded HBDC (Heather Britt Dance collective) which encompasses Dancefix.  As a choreographer, her work has been featured several times in The Kaplan New Works Series, and most recently, Britt presented the sensual duet titled Habitual to rave reviews.

Victoria Morgan choreographs a world premiere work titled Somewhere Close to Happiness, inspired by the music of Danish composer Louise Alenius which was created originally for a ballet based on the story of The Elephant Man. Morgan’s work is an interpretative reference to the story about seeking acceptance and belonging, yet facing rejection. Somewhere Close to Happiness was named through a crowd-sourcing project earlier this season in which the public was given the opportunity to vote on titles.


Internationally recognized choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa brings the U.S. premiere of Eros Redux, a thought-provoking piece based on the myth of an androgynous people, who were both male and female and descended from the moon. Zeus, fearing their power, divided them into man and woman. Ochoa’s revolutionary nature makes her a perfect fit for New Works.


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 East Freedom Way

Through May 19

StoryCorps, the national story gathering project, is in Cincinnati through May 19 to record interviews between family members and friends for posterity. T

In the StoryCorps MobileBooth, two people are able to record a meaningful conversation with one another about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides them through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

In Cincinnati, StoryCorps will partner with the local NPR station to air a selection of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth and create special programs around the project. StoryCorps may also share excerpts of these stories with the world through the project’s popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books.

StoryCorps gives people of all backgrounds, typically two at a time, the opportunity to record meaningful conversations and archives the recordings at the Library of Congress. Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you choose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites to share a 40-minute conversation.


Best of Taste Food Truck Rally 2017

The Banks, Second Street between Rosa Parks and Walnut Streets

Friday, April 21, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

18 food trucks will participate in Rhinegeist Food Truck Alley, on the Fifth Street Ramp to Columbia Parkway at Taste of Cincinnati, May 27-29, in downtown Cincinnati. That’s 3 more Taste of Cincinnati food trucks than 2016 and twice the number of food trucks in 2015.

Food trucks scheduled to participate are:

•    Adena’s Beefstroll

•    Alabama Fish Bar

•    Best Thing Smokin

•    Bistro de Mohr

•    C’est Cheese

•    Hungry Bros.

•    Just Jerks

•    Marty’s Waffles

•    Red Sesame

•    Sweets & Meats BBQ

•    streetpops

•    Texas Joe Tex Mex

•    Urban Vistro

Mystery diners will also attend this Taste of Cincinnati preview to decide Best of Taste awards. Winners will be announced April 26, 1 p.m. at a Cincinnati Chamber press conference.


Taste of Cincinnati is the nation’s longest running free culinary arts festival with more than 50 restaurants and food trucks scheduled to participate and 550,000 people expected to attend. Taste of Cincinnati takes place from Main to Sentinel Street and beyond to the ramps of I-71 and Columbia Parkway. Taste of Cincinnati is presented by Budweiser and produced by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Local Gems: Impressions of Earth & Space

YWCA Art Gallery, 898 Walnut St.

Opening reception April 21, 6-8 p.m.

The YWCA Women’s Art Gallery was established in 1993 to empower local women artists. Although primarily serving the Greater Cincinnati area, the gallery has been proud to host several shows featuring women artists from around the world. As a forum for women’s issues relating to important YWCA programs and services, the gallery has sponsored photographic exhibits on the topics of domestic violence, breast cancer, and women and aging. It is the only gallery in Greater Cincinnati exclusively for women’s art.

Local Gems: Impressions of Earth & Space features works by the following local artists.

Alison Branzhaf became fascinated by astronaut Scott Kelly and his extraordinaty image from the International Space Station and sought to recreate them in her own style. Her jewel-like, resin-filled Petri dishes are the result.

Karen Rolfes is passionate about creating what she sees in nature. She layers bod color with a palette knife, focusing on interesting shapes, recording light, and mixing and mixing until her lively impressionistic oil works unfile

Lisa Schuster is a prolific artist working in a wide array of media. Her free-spirited abstracts are known for their incredible use of color and detail. She is passionate about translating inspiration into fresh expression in her lively oil on metal pieces.

Trish Weeks’ signature work portrays expressionistic views of nature, created by combining simple compositions and complex layers of color. Her deft use of a palette knife allows her to intensify the impact and clarity of color, resulting in vibrant, energetic works.

The Women’s Art Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to -5 p.m.

Listen for the Light

Friday, April 21 through Saturday, May 13

Know Theatre of Cincinnati, 1120 Jackson St.

10 words or less: Faith and freedom collide in this historical drama.

Rated: PG-13.

In 1844 Nauvoo, Illinois, Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith rules all.

Or so he thinks.

Know Theatre is proud to conclude our 19th MainStage season with the World Premiere of Kara Lee Corthron’s Listen for the Light. This searing new drama follows the intertwined lives of a former slave, a rebellious girl, and the prophet of a new American religion in the tumultuous setting of Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844.

Taking place in the last days before the brutal murder of Joseph Smith at the hands of an angry mob, Listen for the Light is a poetic and unflinching examination of the clash between race, gender, and religion in our American identity.

Eli, a former slave turned devoted follower of the Mormon prophet, is charged with watching over Lula, a young girl Joseph desires to make his next polygamous wife. Lula awaits a sign from God before she will agree to wed the Prophet.

But tensions are growing between the Mormon settlers and the nonbelievers, and Joseph is running out of time. It’s 1844 and the Mormon enclave of Nauvoo, Illinois is a powder keg ready to explode.

Know Theatre Associate Artistic Director Tamara Winters takes the helm for this world premiere, and is thrilled to have the playwright Kara Lee Corthron in residence to develop this production for Cincinnati. Says Tamara:

Bringing those characters to life are three powerhouse local actors - Darnell Pierre Benjamin as Eli, Tess Talbot as Lula, and Josh Katawick as Joseph Smith.

But Listen for the Light’s demanding script asks them to dig much deeper than just one role - each actor also plays a collection of additional characters, bending gender, age, class, and race through movement and vocal characterizations to bring the world of Nauvoo to life.

Fans of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will recognize Darnell, Tess, and Josh as beloved Company Members, and both Darnell and Tess took critically acclaimed turns at Ensemble Theatre this season, as well (Legend of Georgia McBride, When We Were Young and Unafraid). Their combined chemistry and nuanced performances are a perfect match for Kara Lee Corthron’s challenging and fascinating text.

Antony Hamilton & Alisdair Macindoe: Meeting

Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St.

April 20 and April 21, 7:30 p.m.

Two men stand in a circle of small boxes. As their arms slowly oscillate, each action is defined by a tiny pop as the boxes begin to move. These boxes are 64 robotic percussion instruments, each tapping a pencil, creating an insistent, mesmerizing swirl of sounds. A stream of activity unfolds as the two bodies enter states of heightened physical and mental agency, their actions carried by the meditative pulse of the machine beat.

With Meeting, Antony Hamilton’s unique physical grammar and Macindoe’s bespoke musical instrument making devise a dance duet where the choreographic language, with numbers corresponding to gestures and movements, is precise yet random. A creation of the thriving Melbourne dance scene, Meeting fuses the body, the space, and the machines into a dynamic and riveting choreographic sound installation, revealing a fascination with the articulation of the body and mind in motion.

Director, Choreographer, Performer Antony Hamilton

Instrument Design & Construction, Composer, Performer Alisdair Macindoe

Lighting Designer & Production Manager: Bosco Shaw

Costume Designer Paula Levis

This presentation of Meeting is generously supported by the Australia Council

Note: There will be no late seating for this performance.

Louis Conducts Mahler: Song of the Earth

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Taft Theatre. 317 E. Fifth St.

Friday, April 21, 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 22, 8 p.m.

Two works of abundant emotional depth and power are the focus of this weekend’s program. Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, although subtitled Tragic, captivates with its boldness and underlying good spirits. Mahler’s “Song of the Earth” is music set to seven ancient Chinese poems whose vision of earthly beauty and transience captivated Mahler—a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day.

Schubert’s dramatic Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, was written when he was only 19—he did not hear it performed in his lifetime

Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (“Song of the Earth”) is based on seven gorgeous Chinese poems, with titles such as “Beauty”, “The Farewell”, and… “The Drunkard in Spring” 

April 21 only, the final Friday Orange of the season: a life-affirming and surprising experience awaits you with guest curator Rachel Roberts, public speaker/community builder and founder of The Yoga Bar studios, Bija Yoga Retreats + School. Celebrate Earth Day with Friday Orange and join us for guest-curated surprises by Rachel Roberts!

Here's what is happening on April 21 in celebration of Earth Day weekend alongside the CSO's performance:

Flower offerings in the lobby — put together a bundle of flowers in celebration of Earth Day and admire fellow concertgoers' botanical creations, plus see a surprise installation by Urban Blooms, with great eats from Andy's Mediterranean Grille and Harvest Mobile Cuisine food trucks. You can order on Sycamore Street from 6:30 pm - 8 p p.m. LL Spirits will be around making craft cocktails with fresh juices. Catch a surprise performance in the lobby at intermission. Pick up a FREE tree sapling from Taking Root after the performance.

Macy's Family Festival: You, Me and Everyone We See

Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St.

Saturday, April 22, 12 – 3 p.m.

Visit the CAC for an identity-themed family festival, where we’ll learn about our similarities and celebrate our differences. Stop by the UnMuseum to collaborate on a giant quilt that focuses on the many special things that make us who we are! Design a shield for your family crest, create a 3-D ceramic self-portrait, and stick around for an identity themed story time at 1 p.m. with the fabulous Amy Schardein from the Covington Library.

Earth Day OTR

Saturday, April 22, 12 – 5 p.m.

Washington Park

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful has partnered with 3CDC for the second year to celebrate the Earth! Come hang out on the Civic Lawn at Washington Park, and enjoy eco-friendly vendors and activities, live music, food and drink, and the One Stop Drop recycling drive where residents can drop off difficult-to-recycle items including plastic film, #5 plastic packaging, household items batteries, prescription medication, lightbulbs, cell phones and chargers, and art supplies.

We are proud to partner with TriHealth, the City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment & Sustainability, Cleanlites Recycling, Indigo Hippo and St. Vincent De Paul for the One Stop Drop! Additional information, including a full list of acceptable recyclables Parking is available in the garage below Washington Park, or in other area lots and garages, as well as street parking. This event is FREE and open to the public (and kid-friendly!).

Band Schedule:

12 to 12:45 p.m.     Pancarribean

1:15 to 2 p.m.       April Aloisio Trio

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.    Queen City Silver Stars

4 to 5 p.m.          Wild Rumpus (Changeling)

Rockwern Organ Concert

Plum Street Temple, 720 Plum St.

Sunday, April 23 4 p.m.

Experience the splendor of Plum Street Temple’s Rockwern organ, in an organ concert like you’ve never heard. In partnership with and support from the Rockwern Foundation and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the Temple will have Michael Unger, a professor at CCCM demonstrate the beauty and power of this masterful musical instrument. Open to the general public. Reception to follow.

This is a rare opportunity to explore a local landmark not normally open to public -- Plum Street Temple is one of only twelve National Historic buildings in Cincinnati – and hear renowned musicians from play this historic 19th-century instrument.