By Kevin Greer, Communications Manager

If you’re looking to expand your mind while visiting Lakeside this summer, and have fun while doing it, our Education Pillar has lifelong learning opportunities for all ages and interests.

The hallmark of Lakeside’s education experience is the Chautauqua Lecture Series, when each week we welcome researchers, speakers and experts in their field to present on a variety of topics.

From May 25-29, Lakeside will host Commemorative Air Force Rise Above Squadron’s ‘Rise Above: Tuskegee Airmen & WASP’ traveling exhibit. This fully functional mobile movie theater features two compelling original short Rise Above films that tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), and the obstacles they both overcame to be able to serve their country during World War II.

“Spring into Summer” theme week runs from May 31-June 3 with experts in gardening, health, wellness and birding. The first Get Growing! program of the season, featuring guest speakers and a variety of gardening topics, begins June 2 and runs every Thursday during the summer.

“Authors & Writing” Week kicks off with best-selling author Robin Yocum on June 6. Yocum, who worked as a Senior Reporter on the investigative desk for the Columbus Dispatch, is the winner of more than 30 journalism awards. Heidelberg University Professor of English and year-round Marblehead resident David Kimmel will give lectures on June 7 and 8. Among his discussions will be his recent book, Negro Town.

 Author Renee Shea will lead two interactive writing workshops at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on June 9. Her afternoon session is geared toward middle and high school students writing effective arguments, whether it’s a college admissions essay, speech for a special occasion, or blog post.

Finally, Poet Laureate of Ohio Kari Gunter-Seymour will speak from the Hoover Auditorium stage June 9. A ninth-generation Appalachian, her work is unapologetically connected to her home soil and examines the long-lasting effects of stereotypes and false narratives surrounding the Appalachians.

“Chautauqua Jazz Experience Week,” funded through the 2022 Ohio Arts Council Arts Resiliency Initiative Community Grant, begins June 12 when The Bobby Floyd Trio performs at the Steele Memorial Bandstand.

There are opportunities for music students, educators and enthusiasts to celebrate jazz through participation and attendance at workshops, sessions, lectures, concerts and interactive performances. Dwight Bailey (bassist/composer/producer), Sam Blakeslee (trombonist/composer/bandleader), Chris Coles (saxophonist/composer/bandleader), Jerry Powell (drummer/bandleader), Michael Shirtz (vocalist/pianist/composer) and Evelyn Wright (vocalist) are artists-in-residence who will be on hand during the week. Featured guests include Jackie Warren (pianist) and Charles Saenz (trumpet). Limited seats are available and participation in some events requires registration by June 10.

“Social Justice Week” starts June 20 with 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. lectures from President & CEO of the YWCA of Northwest Ohio Lisa McDuffie. In 2020, McDuffie co-facilitated a group of African America leaders who produced The Toledo Black Agenda and led to the formation of the Toledo Racial Equity Inclusion Council.

Former Ohio State University and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Luke Witte returns to Lakeside to give two lectures in Orchestra Hall. On June 21, Witte will share highlights of his career and calling, both to basketball and ministry. He will discuss the historic brawl between the OSU and Minnesota basketball teams with video footage on June 22. Witte will also lead a basketball clinic for children and youth and visit with teens at The Underground.

“Witte has a great story,” Director of Education John Mann said. “So, it should play well and fits in great with the theme week.”

“World War II Week” has a full slate of activities from June 27-July 1. There will be three guest lecturers and living history portrayals of both Rosie the Riveter and Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. The week is highlighted by “To Rise Above: Journey of a Tuskegee Airman” with Michael Shirtz on June 30 in Hoover Auditorium. The show is based on the book Keep Your Airspeed Up: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman and life of Col. Harold Brown, a Port Clinton resident.

Kids and adults will enjoy “Comic Strips & Political Cartoons Week” from Aug. 15-19. Cartoonist Jenny Campbell will conduct a workshop on Aug. 16 at 3:30 p.m. Campbell has been a freelance cartoonist and a children’s illustrator for 33 years. Most notably, she writes and draws the comic strip Flo & Friends, featuring an ensemble cast of senior citizens that is distributed by Creators Syndicate.

“Award-Winning Documentaries Week” is a joint program with Lakeside and new partner Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. From Aug. 22-26, watch new and innovative films on a variety of topics and discuss them with the filmmakers.

Other theme weeks include “Hope & Determination” (July 5-8), “Great Lakes Lore” (July 11-15), “100 Years of Radio” (July 18-22), “Wellness for Our Times” (July 25-29), “The Supreme Court” (Aug. 1-5, includes former Ohio State Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell and a portrayal of Ruth Bader Ginsburg), “Environmental Sustainability” (Aug. 8-12) and “Planning Life After School” (Aug. 29-Sept. 2).

 Mann determines theme week topics based on his research and some assistance from Chautauqua Lecture Series attendees.

 Lakesiders are helpful about giving ideas for programs,” Mann said. “It keeps the content interesting and engaging.”

Family and youth can also add a learning component to their summer vacation. With art, science, music, history and literature, the diverse programs allow you to interact and learn about the world together, all while having fun.

Join us for a unique educational experience with animal ambassadors from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium on Aug. 3. Learn facts about different wildlife species while meeting the animals one-by-one at the Steele Memorial Bandstand.

Science Rocks returns on Mondays for hands-on classes, while The Fine Print bookstore hosts Fun with Books, Fun with Friends, a new Storybook Trail in Cherry Park, Game Nights and the popular Stuffed Animal Sleepovers. There are also several art classes offered at the Rhein Center all summer.

“Education is a word that may scare kids in the summertime,” Mann said. “However, a lot of what we have planned is interactive, hands on and entertaining. You’re learning while having fun outside, but not going to school and there’s no final exam.”

For more information on Education programs, visit