We are always looking for new locations for Banners & Cranks! We can tailor the fest to the preferences of the venue, offering anything from one simple weekend of shows to a series of programmed weekends, workshops at both the elementary and university level, talks and symposia as well as an incredible exhibit of painted banners and cranky scrolls from around the world, both historic and contemporary. Below are some descriptions of lectures, presentations and workshops that we can offer. To book Banners & Cranks use the Contact page, and let us know what you have in mind.
Workshops & Talks:
An Entertaining Illustrated History of Cantastoria
This presentation provides an illustrated history of this fascinating performance form, and introduce the work of some contemporary artists, activists, and performers who are reviving the form today and infusing it with modern content. In addition to the illustrated lecture, Clare Dolan will share footage of picture-story recitation from around the world, including Indian, Australian, and Iranian performances, as well as contemporary cantastoria performed by artists, activists, writers and puppeteers in the U.S. She may also perform an original live cantastoria of her own, and finally invite the audience to learn and perform a simple cantastoria on the spot.
Cantastoria & Crankies for Kids
In this family-friendly workshop, kids and parents learn to perform some fun kids’ cantastoria together, watch a cranky performance, and then get started on making cantastoria or crankies of their own, using paper, crayons, markers, collage, and their own story-telling ingenuity. The participants will bring home a new little show, perfect for performance in kitchen, living room, or back yard, and hopefully the start of a new family tradition.
Painting and Performance Workshops (adult/university level)
For artists: Performance of the painted image is a tantalizing thing to explore for 2-D artists as well as textile artists who want to expand their craft into the realm of movement, sound and theater. It is also an exciting form for narrative artists, people who gravitate towards story-telling in their work, but are eager to explore the ways that visual, verbal and musical strategies can interact in the creation of narrative. This workshop introduces art students to the form, and gets them started on projects which will push their individual art practices in new directions.
For those in the communications/education/social work/healthcare fields: Because creating a cantastoria involves story telling, analysis of issues, painting AND performing, it can involve people with all sorts of different strengths, from the shy bookworm to the constant doodler to the gregarious chatterbox who couldn’t draw to save his life. It allows people to tell their own stories in a creative and multi-layered way that leaves room for all participants to contribute. This makes it a very useful tool in projects whose goal is interaction with diverse populations. This workshops has been successful in introducing education students, healthcare and social workers, and other pedagogical disciplines, to this unique form, getting participants started on creating their own cantastoria, and exploring ways in which picture-storytelling can be a useful tool in furthering their professional work.
Banners & Cranks Symposium
Bringing foremost cantastoria and cranky artists together with a diverse interdisciplinary group of scholars and cultural critics, the symposium offers a forum for the kind of in-depth, creative, and speculative discussion that makes both specialist and lay-person alive to the fascinating history and future possibilities of this live performance form. An afternoon that will certainly send chills down the spines of performance-theory nerds, puppetry geeks, and those who love them.