ARTCRANK: A Festival of Bikes and Posters


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“Bikes are the simplest form of transportation. Posters are the simplest form of art.” That was the inspiration for ARTCRANK, a bike-themed poster festival started by creative director Charles Youel in Minneapolis in 2007 to highlight local artists, the goodness of bikes, and community.

Every ARTCRANK show—and there are now a dozen across the U.S. and in London—features posters created by local artists from the host city. Admission is always free, and posters are priced so that everybody can take home at least one.

In creating ARTCRANK, Youel hoped to use creativity to change the way people think about bicycles and grow the cycling community. He also wanted to do good in each host city. So ARTCRANK picks a local cause partner that uses bicycles in its work. With its sponsors, ARTCRANK then helps raise money and awareness for those organizations.

The first 2012 ARTCRANK show opens tonight in Minneapolis. This time, in addition to posters, attendees will get to enjoy another kind of art, a short film about the festival by Royal Antler film maker T.C. Worley and creative director Tony Franklin at Reels X Wheels. If you can't show up in person, watch the movie here:

The full-length film will go live tonight at 11 p.m. Central Time. The six minutes you'll spend watching it will be worth it. And while you're online, also check out Royal Antler's short on the Almanzo 100, a quirky, grassroots, register-by-postcard, 100-mile Minnesota gravel road race.

Don't live near Minneapolis? No worries. Chances are that there is an ARTCRANK coming to a theater near you. And if there isn't, get in touch with Youel and help make it happen. He says, “I think ARTCRANK will work anywhere people love bikes and art—which is everywhere.”

—Berne Broudy