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The Ato Project2021-11-08T11:34:59-05:00
The Ato Project employs art as yet another tool to combat social isolation and stress through a series of art workshops designed to encourage community while processing the social and emotional impacts of living with cancer. The Ato Project provides space for relaxation and interpersonal engagement during and after cancer treatment. 
The program was created to honor the legacy of Kelly Scruggs, a gifted Baltimore artist who passed away in 2019. Kelly inspired many through her craft and even spent some time studying and creating art in Japan – a special place of significance for her. In an effort to extend the joy and healing of art to others experiencing their own journeys with cancer, Kelly’s family worked with the Ulman Foundation and the Maryland Institute College of Art to create the Ato Project. The name “Ato” is used by many native Japanese speakers to refer to art and is inspired by Kelly’s “happy place.”
Click here to learn more about the origins of The Ato Project →

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

Is it like a typical paint night with instructions presented for us to follow along to?2021-11-05T16:32:52-04:00

Not exactly. These workshops are designed to allow free flowing, organic responses. We want you to embrace your unique creative voice, whatever that looks like. While in many cases, a prompt or loose suggestion may be provided (at the discretion of the instructor), oftentimes the way each project takes shape will be almost entirely up to the participants. Just come with an open mind and heart and a willingness to try something new!

What if I’m not an artist?2021-11-08T11:17:00-05:00

While we believe that everyone is an artist, this program does not require any previous experience or training. Instructors will provide technical guidance as needed, but otherwise, think of this as a safe and supportive space to experiment, invent, or perhaps learn something new. No expertise required!

What kinds of sessions are offered? What is the theme or medium we will be working with?2021-11-05T16:23:09-04:00

This may be subject to change depending upon instructor’s areas of expertise, supply availability, and other factors, but you can expect to work with a wide variety of mediums as this is a multidisciplinary program. In the past, workshops have included painting, collage, and mosaics. Sometimes participants even got creative with materials they had on hand and added additional elements to their pieces. As far as themes go, this again may be subject to change, but historically this program has been akin to a group art therapy space: a community where participants can come together and use art as a means of storytelling and release in an easygoing and supportive environment.

Who is the instructor?2021-11-05T16:24:22-04:00

Historically, the facilitator of this program has been a community art fellow selected from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

How can I register?2021-11-05T16:28:12-04:00

Send an email to Megan at [email protected] Zoom invitations will be sent out and all interested parties should register in advance, indicating their addresses and number of participants in their party at that time. A Zoom link will be sent out on the night of each event.

Do I need to provide my own materials?2021-11-05T16:29:47-04:00

Nope, we’ve got you covered! Materials will be sent to your home prior to the first night of the session. Please let us know as soon as possible if materials were not delivered or need to be replenished at any point throughout the session.

What if I can’t make it to a session event?2021-11-08T11:16:36-05:00

Historically, each session lasts about five weeks, meaning there are five events per session. While this program has been designed to accommodate a number of lifestyles and needs utilizing a “drop in” model (come to as many or as little of the session events as you like), we strongly encourage you to attend all session events if you are able for the full experience.

Please plan accordingly and arrive on time with your materials ready to go. That said, we know and respect the fact that life happens. In the event that you cannot make a session event or need to pull out of the session entirely, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know.

Can I attend more than one session?2021-11-09T11:15:06-05:00

Yes! However, priority will be given to those on the waitlist for subsequent sessions.

When are the session held?2021-11-09T11:17:41-05:00

Sessions start at the beginning of the calendar year and continue into the Spring/early Summer.

Join Us

Want to join us for the next session of The Ato Project?
Email Megan Connone at [email protected] for more information.

The Ato Project Gallery

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