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2019 Annual Meeting: Ticketed Events

Registration for these events has closed, and there will be no refunds for cancellations going forward.

Pre-Conference Tours

Rowhouse Arts of Baltimore: Rowhouses, Murals and Painted Screens

A screen painting of a street with red rowhouses on either side, a street lamp, blue skie and fluffy clouds

Baltimore is a city of rowhouses. Our ubiquitous, architectural template provides the canvas for two iconic art forms: murals and painted screens, one contemporary and one historic, where vision and paint combine to tell Baltimore’s story.

We will cross the city by yellow school bus, stopping first at the American Visionary Art Museum’s installation dedicated to our featured art forms. From Westside to Eastside, our day builds on the brick and mortar foundation of walls/canvases made available by urban upheavals. We will visit the iconic African-American Main Street—Pennsylvania Avenue—where the Royal Theater once stood and Billie Holiday made her name. See spontaneous creations marking “the Uprising” after our city’s watershed Freddie Gray moment, and much more: a house of mirrors and its creator, famed city parks and perhaps an Arabber (the last of our horse drawn produce vendors). 

Wall mural of Freddie Gray's name with halo, wings, and dates, 8-16-89--4-19-15After lunch at local culture doyenne Kevin “Downtown” Brown’s Nancy in the Station North Arts District, we head to former Little Bohemia and Highlandtown in East Baltimore, where painted screens defined a popular domestic aesthetic for tens of thousands of working class homes since 1913. Take part in a neighborhood stroll for an up-close look at what defines community and rowhouse. Meet a screen painter at the local Highlandtown Gallery, featuring local artists, for a demonstration. Prepare to be fully schooled by three experts who know and love this city.

Sponsored by the 2019 Local Planning Committee

Tour guides:

Elaine Eff, former Baltimore City and MD state folklorist, wrote the book on painted screens and co-founded the non-profit Painted Screen Society to sustain them.

Dean Krimmel was curator of Baltimore’s City Life Museum, of distant memory. Their rowhouse exhibition is still talked about as the best intro to local arts, life and architecture.  He lectures and consults with cultural institutions nationwide.

Ryan Patterson, graphic artist and city life booster, heads the Public Arts Program of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts. He knows the location and maker of every painted wall in town.

What to expect: A round-trip bus ride from conference hotel to all destinations. A wheelchair-accessible bus can be arranged; let us know if you need this or other accommodations. Tour includes 1-2 blocks of walking, and one optional 20-minute neighborhood walking tour. Local art may be purchased at the Highlandtown Gallery. Lunch included.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 9:30 am4:00 pm, pick up at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, Charles Street entrance

Registration: $75, including lunch. Maximum: 27 participants.


A Walk through “the Reservation”—The Historic Lumbee Indian Community of East Baltimore

The front and side of a brick building in East Baltimore with a Lumbee Indian mural painted on the side.

Following World War II, thousands of Lumbee Indians migrated from North Carolina to Baltimore City seeking jobs and a better quality of life. They settled on the east side of town, in an area that bridges the neighborhoods of Upper Fells Point and Washington Hill. Today, most Baltimoreans would be surprised to learn that this area was once so densely populated by Indians that it was known as “the reservation.” Come walk with members of Baltimore’s Lumbee community to learn more about the places and spaces tied to their history in the city, including active sites like South Broadway Baptist Church and the Baltimore American Indian Center. These institutions were established by Lumbee people in the mid-twentieth century as safe spaces where their culture could be freely practiced in diaspora. They survive today as the cornerstones of the community. The Baltimore American Heritage Museum features a permanent collection of artifacts from throughout the Americas, as well as a revolving exhibit that is typically curated by community members.  

The tour concludes with a stop for lunch at El Salvador restaurant, but the price of lunch is not included in the tour registration fee.

Sponsored by the 2019 Local Planning Committee

Tour Guides:

Jeanette Jones is an elder leader of Baltimore’s Lumbee community. She is of the generation that made “the reservation.” A retired director of the Title VII Indian Education Program of Baltimore City Public Schools, Jeanette has served as an educator and advocate for her people for many years, in many capacities.

Ashley Minner is a community-based visual artist from Baltimore, Maryland. An enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, she has been active in the Baltimore Lumbee community for many years. She is a lecturer and folklorist in the Department of American Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County, through a partnership with Maryland Traditions, Maryland’s state folklife program. Ashley is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at University of Maryland College Park, where she is completing her dissertation on the changing relationship between Baltimore’s Lumbee Indian community and the neighborhood where they first settled.

What to Expect: You will be visiting a very diverse and lively urban neighborhood in transition. Please wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Avoid bringing flashy or expensive gear or big bags. We will walk approximately 1 mile, 2 blocks of which will be slightly uphill. The Baltimore American Indian Center Heritage Museum has a gift shop. Please be prepared to purchase your lunch at El Salvador restaurant. Transportation to and from this walking tour is not included.

Helpful links:

Photo by Colby Ware

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 9:00 am12:30 pm, meet at South Broadway Baptist Church, 211 S. Broadway (between Pratt and Gough streets)
Registration: $25. Maximum: 25 participants.



Intellectual Property and Cultural Rights: A Community Conversation

Sponsored by the AFS Archives and Libraries Section

Anthony Seeger
(UCLA and the Smithsonian Institution), leader

Terri Jordan (Sargeant Memorial Collection), Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center), and Greg Adams (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage), organizers

The workers and researchers who create and use cultural collections have long been concerned with issues of rights. These issues include not only questions of copyright and other intellectual property matters, but also cultural rights and the abilities of culture makers to influence the ways in which their stories and materials can be used.

To further explore these issues and offer folklorists and community partners an opportunity to discuss these issues in depth, the AFS Archives and Libraries Section is sponsoring a half-day workshop on intellectual property and cultural rights, led by Dr. Anthony Seeger of UCLA and the Smithsonian Institute.

In the first part of the workshop, Dr. Seeger will answer questions and facilitate audience-driven discussion on legal and cultural rights pertaining to collections. Then, after a brief break, Dr. Seeger will moderate a conversation between participants on rights issues, offering participants a chance to discuss topics and incorporate perspectives from their own collections and communities.

With this event, the AFS Archives and Libraries Section hopes to facilitate discussion and communication between cultural stakeholders at multiple points on the collections spectrum – from culture creation to collections management.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 12:00–4:00 pm, Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, Chesapeake A, 3rd floor
Registration: free; preregistration required.

Baltimore’s Crankies: Make the World’s Greatest Stories Unroll before Your Eyes!

Image from a Katerhine-Fahey crankie with a girl falling through water, with sea creatures, and lightning coming from her fingersIn the contemporary world of shadow puppetry, Baltimore is famous for its Crankies. Crankies are moving panoramas with long pictorial scrolls that are typically hand-cranked, hence the name, to tell a story inside a viewing box, much like film in an old camera. The boxes are often backlit for shadow puppetry. Song, narration, and pageantry accompany the performance, often drawing on folk tales and local legends to highlight contemporary community experiences. Baltimore’s Creative Alliance has hosted the annual Baltimore Crankie Fest for six years to sold-out audiences eager to slip into the world of shadow and light.

“There’s a fireside magic to it,” says Josh Kohn, performance director at Creative Alliance. “It’s like an old-school variety show.” More than performance, however, Crankies are a genre-defying artform changing the way local museums and arts organizations are engaging with their communities. 

Join renowned artist and Crankie-maker Katherine Fahey for a special collaborative workshop geared for adults to make hand-cranked scrolling performance art.


Sponsored by the Local Planning Committee and the Maryland State Arts Council


Workshop leaders:


Nancy Proctor is Executive Director of The Peale Center, the oldest purpose-built museum in the country. She will discuss her innovative, community-driven strategies for making the museum relevant in today’s Baltimore.  With a PhD in American art history and a background in filmmaking, curation and art criticism, Nancy lectures and publishes widely on technology and innovation in museums, in French and Italian as well as English.

Katherine Fahey is an artist, puppeteer, and designer who embodies a community of musicians, artists, and writers where elegance and authenticity are signal virtues. She has been working as a professional artist for more than 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 was drawn to this art form because of its accessible, intimate, and communal nature. She has performed locally and nationally at festivals and shows. Known as the godmother of Baltimore Crankies, Katherine is the only artist to be featured every year at the Baltimore Crankie Festival.

What to Expect:

Nancy Proctor will introduce the artist and frame the workshop in the context of the innovative engagement strategies she is developing at the Peale Center. Katherine Fahey will talk about the history and variety of Crankies and how she has worked with artists to reflect ideas of relevance to the community. Workshop participants will work, with guidance, to create a group Crankie, with each participant contributing one scene. Fahey will guide participants as they work through the issues of choosing a story, planning, scale, visual storytelling, storyboarding, and transitions. Participants will also receive a kit to make their own small Crankie out of found objects, included in the price of registration. Fahey will bring sample crankies made from found boxes and will share education and workshop ideas. Participants are encouraged to bring a device (phone, tablet or laptop) to look up visual imagery. Transportation to the workshop is not provided; Carroll Mansion is a 14-minute walk from the conference hotel or a 6-minute ride in a Taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Tour organizers will lead those who gather in the hotel lobby at 12:30 to walk over together.


Helpful Links:

Photo and artwork by Katherine Fahy.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 1:00–4:00 PM

Carroll Mansion, 800 E. Lombard Street

Cost: $25, maximum 20 people (includes the kit).

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