Arts Workshops, 2013-present
Upon request Ashley facilitates approachable and customizable art workshops for adults, children, youth, or families at fundraisers, staff appreciation events, and community programs. Workshops offered cover a broad spectrum of desired or suitable mediums, from guided paint alongs, collage, zines, and watercolour experiments.
Ashley coordinated and managed e4c’s ArtStart Program, creating free and accessible educational arts programming. As a part of e4c’s Community Services, ArtStart provided preventative after-school programming for 300 children and youth annually in 13 vulnerable Edmonton school communities.
Utilizing the arts as a means of developing fundamental life skills, ArtStart fostered self-esteem and the resiliency of children to ensure their long-term school success. Volunteer artists and educators lead classes in visual art, creative writing, drama, music and dance; encouraging students grades 1-6 to engage in a curriculum focused on self-esteem, team building, leadership, healthy relationships, nutrition, environmental stewardship, and empathy.
ArtStart hosted annual recitals, art showcases, and family arts events. During the summer months ArtStart provided programming for summer camps with partner organizations for the City Centre Education Project and All in for Youth initiatives. Additionally, ArtStart organized drop in activities for festivals, events and programs such as Clareview Youth Night, The Heart of the City Music Festival, Global Fusion: Youth Cultural Arts Celebration, The University of Alberta Prairie Urban Farm harvest events, and Edmonton Public School’s Read In Week.
Art Adventures, 2013-2016
Art Adventures is a program co-founded in 2013 by Ashley Huot and Eva Schnieder for e4c’s child and youth programs. Art Adventures was a free immersive field trip based arts camp for youth ages 11-13 focused on supporting empowerment by exploring topics of self esteem, healthy friendships, emerging concerns around body image and beauty standards, and developing healthy nutrition and active living skills.
Participants enjoyed visits with guest organizations and artists while engaging in mediums such as printmaking, zine making, photography, painting, group projects, and drama. The camp involved daily field trips to local artist run centres, galleries, museums, and cultural centres. Participants also spent time in parks and community gardens where they were encouraged to plant, harvest, prepare food and eat together. Art Adventures encouraged participants to explore their greater arts community, develop a connection to nature and healthy lifestyle habits, ending the summer with a showcase of student work.
Community Postcard Exchange, PARK(ing day), 2016
Artists Ashley Huot and Hannah Gelderman invited community members attending Edmonton’s PARK(ing) Day to create postcards to be exchanged with students in schools. Each participant was invited to answer the question “What creates a community?” through text, story, poem, drawing or illustration on a postcard.Participants were encouraged to share an experience, idea or vision of theirs that reflects on what creates a community and different aspects of community. Visitors at PARK(ing) Day were able to choose a postcard to take with them and in exchange leave their postcard for someone else. The project sought to connect people, allowing them to share their insights and notions of what community means to different people and to cultivate respect and understanding of the diversity of communities within Edmonton.
Community Mapping, PARK(ing) Day, 2015
“If you could dream up and design an ideal community to live in, what would it be like?” This PARK(ing) Day project in Edmonton created by artists Ashley Huot and Holly de Moissac invited visitors to view Ideal Community Maps previously created by groups of youth in e4c’s Art Adventures and respond by contributing to a communal Ideal Community Map set up at PARK(ing) Day. Visitors were asked to reflect on their own neighborhoods and dream up an idealized community while considering the community aspirations the youth communicated. This project invited visitors to critically engage in what community means and what contributes to a healthy community.