2022-23 Classical Season The American Dream: Superheroes in Poetry

Event Information

  • Dates: May 19, 2023 Free event, no tickets required
  • Who: Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz, host
  • Venue: Cleveland Public Library, Main Library Cleveland, OH

Event Dates and Tickets

Friday, May 19, 2023 12:00PM

2023/24 Classical Season Announced! Preview the season here


About the Event

The American Dream: Superheroes in Poetry
Youth Poetry Reading: Works of Langston Hughes and Julia De Burgos

Experience the works of Langston Hughes and Julia De Burgos, performed by middle school students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and accompanied by live music, in collaboration with Cleveland Public Library’s writer-in-residence and host Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz. Dr. Ortiz is an anthropologist, educator, activist, songwriter, and author of several bilingual children’s books including Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural (2015), Sofi Paints her Dreams (2019), When Julia Danced Bomba (2019). Her stories about Afro-Caribbean and Latinx culture invite children and adults to join in on adventures, featuring children as the protagonists so that they see and celebrate their creativity and valor.

Join Cleveland Reads and help the city get to 1 million. The Mayor’s Office of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Metropolitan Schools, and dozens of other organizations have joined forces to encourage children and adults to take the Cleveland Reads Citywide Reading Challenge to collectively read 1 million books in 2023.

As part of Cleveland Reads, The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2023 Mandel Opera and Humanities Festival: The American Dream is partnering with Cleveland Public Library to encourage everyone to read The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson who also wrote the bestseller, Caste. The book counts towards the Cleveland Reads challenge. For more information or to join the Cleveland Reads Challenge, visit clevelandreads.com. Isabel Wilkerson will be The American Dream festival’s keynote speaker on May 13 at Severance Music Center’s Mandel Concert Hall.

Cleveland Public Library, Main Library
325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio

Guest Speakers

Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz, host



About the Festival

The American Dream festival will aspire to engage conversation from different perspectives around timeless questions including: what is the relevance of the American Dream today? what does it mean to the greater Cleveland community?

From what was at first a yearning for self-rule, religious freedom, and democracy, the American Dream evolved to a universal concept that anyone in coming America would be able to succeed through opportunity and hard work — to forge a better life for themselves and their family, to achieve success from your own initiative and efforts.

The American Dream remains an aspirational concept related to the promise of a country that embraces optimism for the future and the ability to shape it, as well as recognition of every person’s potential as a dignified and free human being. However, while achievable for some, for many others the American Dream remains an unattainable dream, a cruel illusion, an unfulfilled promise. The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2023 Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival: The American Dream will acknowledge and engage these subjects and offer an opportunity to explore and reflect on the American Dream of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


View Festival Page Festival Program Book

Accessibility Services

Below is a list of the features and services that The Cleveland Orchestra has made available in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall at Severance for this concert.


Wheelchair Access & Seating

Our venue’s seating has reserved special areas for those attending with the use of a wheelchair. These seating options are available during your seat selection across seating price levels. Ushers are available to assist, especially in the event of a General Admission concert.

There is barrier-free entry to Severance Music Center with automatic sliding doors at our garage entrance on Lower Level One in the CWRU Campus Center Garage. There is an elevator for wheelchair access in the center of the garage for traveling from Lower Level Two (the lowest level) to Lower Level One (the level of our arrival entrance). The Euclid Avenue entrance to Severance is best suited for wheelchair entry, with a convenient drop-off area designated at the curb.

Companion Wheelchair Seating

Wheelchair companion seating is available for purchase online and through Severance Ticket Services. Look for a "C" shape on the seating map when making your selection. 


Assistance for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Infrared Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available without charge for most performances in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall. Please request one in advance online or by calling the House Manager’s office. You will be asked to provide a driver’s license or ID card upon arrival, which will be held until the return of the device. Head Ushers can explain how to use the ALD.

Interpretive services may be available for certain events at Severance.  Prior arrangements should be made four weeks in advance. Appropriate seat locations may be necessary. TTY line access is available at the public pay phone in the Security Office located at the garage entrance.


Assistance for the Blind or Persons with Low Vision

Large Print Programs are available for most Cleveland Orchestra performances in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall.  These are available at the Coat Room locations or from Head Ushers on each level of the Concert Hall, and at Concert Previews.

For select vocal performances, Braille texts may be available on request with 2 weeks’ notice.


Service Animals

Trained guide dogs and service animals are welcome at Severance. If you have any questions, please contact the Ticket Office or the House Manager.



All Smith Lobby restrooms are fully accessible. In addition, private family-accessible restrooms are located in the Smith Lobby and off the Dress Circle Lobby.


Additional Information

The Cleveland Orchestra is strongly committed to making our facilities and performances accessible to all patrons. For more information regarding all of our accessibility services, please visit our Accessibility page.