Things We Love: Picks from Ashley Baker
Ashley Baker is the vice president of the Franklinton Arts District (FAD) board of directors and chair of Urban Scrawl, an annual two-day event centered on local artists creating live, large-scale murals. The event will celebrate its 12th year in Franklinton this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26, at 400 West Rich. When she's not tirelessly working to advance the Franklinton arts scene, Baker oversees health and wellness programs for more than 45,000 Ohio State University employees and other community partners. She is, most importantly, the mother of a 3-year-old, Grayson, whom she loves more than all the things on this list combined times infinity.
Of course I love cheese. I'm not a monster. But my involvement with FAD can be traced back to my love of cheese. Michael Bush (artist in five, soon to be six) Urban Scrawls solidified our friendship over his incredible version of his mother's mac and cheese. And former FAD board member, Lauren Wilson, who graciously passed the chairing of Urban Scrawl to me, and I have bonded deeply over A LOT of cheese, including a trip to the Great Cheese Festival.
Urban Scrawl creates an amazingly unique experience where the community can watch art being born over the course of a weekend. It's an opportunity to feel a direct connection with artists and see how they work firsthand. FAD board member Erin Kilkenny's work on Junior Scrawl is incredible, and gives our future Scrawl artists an opportunity to hone their skills. But the absolute best part of Urban Scrawl is the proceeds from these pieces go directly back into Franklinton through our George Bellows Grant Program.
My favorite annual holiday tradition is Thanksgiving for the Turkeys. Sunrise Sanctuary is an amazing nonprofit that rescues and cares for abused and abandoned animals. I'd recommend checking out one of its Open Barn Days and meeting my friend, Wesley!
Columbus Metropolitan Library
One of the greatest community resources. I love picking up books there for my monthly book club, and taking Grayson there for special events. From my local Whetstone branch to the fabulous new Main Library, it's an essential for Columbus life.
When I'm not in Franklinton, Seventh Son is my go-to gathering spot. From showers to birthday parties, it's where my friends and family go to enjoy Sunday Funday on a sunny patio, and evenings with a Strong Ale by the fire.