ashley sparks is a freelance southern theatre maker, engagement strategist, curator, and producer. She has worked across the US in New Orleans, Wilmington, Stuarts Draft, Milton, Baltimore, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
As a theater maker she has worked nationally with companies such as Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, ArtSpot Productions in New Orleans, and PearlDamour. As a director her work is focused on creating site-specific devised performance and participatory events that may involve line dancing, gospel singing, or playing with remote control cars.
As an engagement strategist she has coached dozens of individual artists, filmmakers, and organizations to deepen the connection art can have with a specific audience. She has also designed participatory events for Grand Park and the Music Center's Sleepless Series. Working across sectors she collaborates with the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, the Energy Foundation, and the Low-Income Investment Fund on integrating story into policy efforts.
As a curator and producer ashley was the Project Director for the Network of Ensemble Theaters MicroFest USA event series. Her role included both organizing production logistics and working closely with community members to tell their stories to a national audience. This festival/think-tank series highlighted the impact art has in revitalizing communities. These festivals were structured as durational performance/cultural field trips exploring how artists are using their tools to address community issues. MicroFests were convened in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Honolulu, New Orleans, Detroit, Knoxville and Harlan County, Kentucky.
She holds an MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue from Virginia Tech. She is a Princess Grace Honoraria and currently a Blade of Grass Fellow for Good Old Boys. A new play and dialogue experiment focused on working class southern white male identity.