All shows are now sold out
Watch the world’s greatest stories unroll before your eyes! Baltimore's beloved festival of scrolled panoramas known as crankies, returns for it's 6th year of fireside wonder. A full lineup of artists and musicians will be announced in the coming weeks.
For 2019, we have added a Sunday matinee giving you four chances to witness the magic of the Crankie Fest. All performances will feature the same lineup of artists and musicians.
FRI JAN 4 | 8PM
SAT JAN 5 | 4:30PM & 8PM
SUN JAN 6 | 4:30PM
Crankie Fest is made possible that to the generous support of John Cammack & Kimberly Warren and Mark & Vicki Collins
Meet the 2019 Crankie Makers!
Addie and Benjamin
Addie Best is a printmaker, crankie artist, and singer from Confluence, Pennsylvania. Her upbringing was steeped in making, craft, and traditional music; her pen and ink crankies and woodblock prints reflect both her love of age-old songs and ballads and traditional printing techniques. Addie’s love of traditional music stems from years of dancing in her childhood kitchen to old-time banjo and fiddle. Addie currently lives in Providence where she is studying printing making at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Benjamin Foss is a musician, luthier and wood turner currently based in Swanville, Maine. He fell in love with traditional music at a young age, and began playing fiddle and contra dancing in his hometown of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Inspired by a desire to learn to play fretted instruments, he began building and restoring guitars, mandolin family instruments, and banjos, and recently moved his shop up to Maine where he turns kitchenware and bowls and does commission work on stringed instruments.
Benjamin and Addie met at Maine Fiddle Camp in 2016, where they discovered their shared love of traditional music and dance, making things, and crankies. Since then they have explored a joyous collaboration in both art and life, sharing both their creations and love. This collaboration has included mailing a crankie scroll back and forth from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania to work on it together, evenings of sharing and learning songs, and many rounds of Boggle (Addie loses every time).
Artist, puppeteer, and designer, Katherine Fahey embodies a community of musicians, artists, and writers where elegance and authenticity are signal virtues. She has been working as a professional artist for over ten years. Her cut paper and prints have become music posters, shadow puppets, portraits, set design and animation, including lush music videos for musicians such as Wye Oak and ellen cherry. Katherine spent years designing and printing posters, shirts, and CD covers for musicians before becoming a performer in her own right through the form of shadow puppetry. She was drawn to this art from because of its accessible, intimate, and communal nature. She has performed locally and nationally at festivals and shows. Last year she finished her largest shadow puppet show yet, a moving panorama (or crankie) for a live action film for Cortina Productions and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and is currently working a crankie for a public TV station in Kentucky and her third commissioned shadow show for the Peabody School of Music. Katherine is the only artist to be featured every year at the Baltimore Crankie Festival.
Liz Downing came to Maryland from Alabama to study painting with Grace Hartigan. She has since created music, sets and costumes for plays and concerts in groups such as Lambs Eat Ivy, Lurch and Holler, Old Songs and Mole Suit Choir, in venues from basements to museums and universities. Liz created her submission to the Crankie Festival at the Ucross Foundation Residency in Wyoming and will be singing the crankie's story with collaborator, Hanna Olivegren.
Valeska Maria Populoh works as an artist, educator and cultural organizer in her adopted hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Embracing a wide array of tactics, from puppetry to participatory performance, Valeska's work is motivated by an interest in healing and repair, in our relationships to each other and to the natural world.
Emily Schubert is the co-curator of the Baltimore Crankie Festival and will serve as the event MC for 2019. Emily Schubert is an interdisciplinary artist working mainly in the worlds of puppetry, storytelling, performance, and collage. Enthralled by the emotive power and depth of expression achieved through puppetry and storytelling, she believes that within these realms lies a source of real-life magic that is deficient in much of our daily lives. This will be the second Baltimore Crankie festival she has helped co-curate and when she is not making puppets or crazy costumes she can be found growing veggies and flowers or walking around on stilts.
Myra Su is a narrative artist specializing in storytelling through puppetry and live theater. Currently based in Chicago, Myra has been an active member in the puppetry community since 2013. Her primary medium is shadow puppetry but her work also includes experimentations with bunraku, crankies, video, and taxidermy. Her work has also expanded to collaborations outside of theater, with indie bands and musicians.
In addition to her independent work, she is currently a touring performer with Manual Cinema. She has also worked with other puppetry/spectacle companies such as Redmoon and Blair Thomas & Co.
Our house band for the festival this year is Tongue in Cheek Jazz Band! Tongue in Cheek Jazz Band is Baltimore's premier hot jazz band that honors both tradition and innovation in this classic music. From Rag Time to Big Band Swing to the Hot Jazz of 30's Paris, Tongue in Cheek is paving the way for Neo-Traditional American Jazz Music.
Nukariik is two sisters, Karin and Kathy Kettler, who work together to preserve and share Inuit culture from Canada. Their heritage is from Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, in northern Quebec. While the members of Nukariik have lived most of their lives in southern Canada, they have developed a strong connection to their heritage and culture through their Inuit friends, Elders and family.
Nukariik captures the audience’s attention as they try and figure out who is doing what sound. As Nukariik performs the ancient, almost-lost musical art of throat singing, audience members are mesmerized by the sounds of the wind, the saw, the mosquito, and the river, to name a few. The main question on everyone’s mind is, “Doesn’t that hurt your throat?”
Its uniquely beautiful art form of cultural expression draws audience members in emotionally. People are startled by Inuit throat singing’s simplistic production yet complex melodies that transport them to a spiritual time and place reminiscent of the Arctic. Nukariik’s shows are fun and entertaining for children of all ages, while at the same time are interactively educational by sharing a centuries old cultural art form.