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DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

Detroit Institute of Arts co-hosts Banners and Cranks Festival National festival showcases cantastoria performances by local, national and international artists

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

(Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will co-host the Banners and Cranks Festival of cantastoria, an ancient form of performance art featuring paintings on banners, sung narration and pictures that move utilizing a crank mechanism, Nov. 19-22. The festival, which has for the past five years taken place in cities across the U.S., will feature performances by local, national and international artists in different locations throughout Detroit.

Performances that take place at the DIA are free with museum admission (museum admission is free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties). The schedule is:

Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:30 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Longtime cantastoria practitioners Clare Dolan, Dave Buchen and Lindsay McCaw will present an illustrated history of this centuries-old performance practice, including footage of picture-story recitations from India, Australia, Iran and other spots around the world, as well as contemporary versions created by artists, activists, writers and puppeteers in the United States.

Friday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Friday Night Live will be a raucous evening of banners and cranks in the grand tradition of mayhem, intrigue and the small triumphs of the downtrodden, with live music from the Detroit Party Marching Band.

Saturday, Nov. 21 1–4 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Wander through the galleries and encounter various small cranky and cantastoria shows held on and off throughout the afternoon.

8 p.m.
Trumbullplex, 4210 Trumbull, Detroit
Enjoy an evening of crankies and cantastoria celebrating stories of anarchy, romance and the thrill of the unknown, featuring live music by the Detroit Pleasure Society. $10 suggested donation at the door

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Wind up the festival in Rivera Court for Banners and Cranks for Kids and Grown-Ups with cantastoria performances geared toward a family audience.

7 p.m.
CMAP (Carrie Morris Art Production House), 2221 Carpenter Street, Detroit
The festival closes with an intimate evening of stories to inspire, confound and tickle the innermost corners of the mind. $10 suggested donation at the door

For more information, visit

Museum Hours and Admission
9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $12.50 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 62+, $6 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.