ABOG Fellow for Socially Engaged Art
As an ABOG Fellow Ashley Sparks will create Good Old Boys, a portable participatory performance for white southern male audiences in rural Virginia. Incorporating remote control cars, music, and characters inspired by the Dukes of Hazzard, the show draws upon Sparks’ experience as a Southerner, and explores themes of class, race, privilege, and power through intimate reframing of pop culture.
Ashley Sparks is a Southern theater maker, engagement strategist, and producer. She has worked across the US with companies such as Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, ArtSpot Productions in New Orleans, PearlDamour, the Network of Ensemble Theaters, Alternate ROOTS, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a director, Sparks creates site-specific work and participatory events, and as an engagement strategist and producer, she has worked with dozens of individual artists, filmmakers, and organizations to deepen the connection art can have on specific audiences and across sectors. She organized the Network of Ensemble Theaters MicroFest USA, a festival/think-tank series that highlighted the impact art has in revitalizing communities. MicroFests were convened in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Honolulu, New Orleans, Detroit, Knoxville and Harlan County, Kentucky. Sparks is an awardee of the Princess Grace Award and has an MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue from Virginia Tech University.