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A deeply transformative experience. Margi delivers the program with such care and consideration to both individuals and the group. Her ability to anticipate needs before they are spoken and adapt the program to suit the ever-shifting energies within the group space are just extraordinary.
Rozina Suliman, Designer, Australia. New Course, May 2019

“I took part in the artist residency ‘Creating the Rituals of your Practice’ which Margi facilitated with great care and free reign at Arteles Creative Center. I felt her years of experience, intuitive spirit, and keen awareness as a great resource and a trusting pillar to rely on whenever I needed it. She helped me in raising my awareness of how my personal private needs relate to my creative needs, which allowed me to find practical and spiritual ways to nurture myself. I learned from Margi through the many quotes she put up on the walls, the physical practices and workshops she taught, group and one on one conversations (both planned and in between the acts). As well as through just being in her presence as she fully practices what she teaches. She helped me nudge, sometimes push, my artist self to the fore when it wanted to retrieve and reminded me that to fall is to learn how to get up, take care of your bruised knee and run with greater confidence next time.”
Julia, Dramaturg, The Netherlands, New Course, May 2019

“I am rejuvenated and stronger than ever!
Thanks to the audacious, kind, and delicious facilitation of Dr. Margi Brown Ash. Her clear sight and fresh approach to self-expression, personal development, storytelling, creative expression is invigorating and profound. She guided us through time out of time with a strong and flexible structure that supported growth, rigour, challenge, experimentation, holy shifts, capital R Rest, pattern changing, and the freedom to follow threads of whimsy and complexity. I had come from a career of visual art and facilitation that was predominately self-directed. I found MBA and New Course at a moment when I was feeling exhausted, sick of being self-directed, and overwhelmed. I was longing for a creative community, some direction and suggestions, and a quietly held space to go deep and wide. I found all of this and more… The depth of practice and experience that Dr. Margi Brown Ash brings to her workshops, coaching and facilitation are extensive and insightful.
Taking New Course at Arteles Creative Center was life-changing and deeply soul-nourishing. For anyone who is interested in going deeper into their craft/art practice, who is tired, who is looking for a quiet space to explore ideas, and who wants a little more juice in their creative life I highly recommend New Course with Dr. Margi Brown Ash at the Arteles, Creative Center in Finland!
I want to do it again! and again and again! Arteles, is a place where you can go deep and you are supported by powerful and kind facilitators who hold the creative space for you with SISU. You will be encouraged and supported to put self care first, to go as deep into your creative process as you want and you will be supported at every turn. Sometimes the support is not exactly what you would like but it is probably in your best interest. They will heat up the sauna for you and empower you to heat it for yourself! The Finns have Sisu and you and your creative space will be held with a quality of gentle Sisu. This is a profound gift to the world.
Hazel, artist, Canada, April 2019

Margi created a safe and open space that invited me to be vulnerable, step into a deep process of introspection and open up to the group. In the four intensive weeks of the residency I felt seen and supported by Margi on a personal level. She has challenged me, in a safe and healthy way, to dive further into my story and find inspiration and strength within…As a teacher and facilitator myself I have learned a lot from the way Margi works. By experiencing how she guides people, establishes group norms and creates space for each person I learned more about group dynamics and got tools and structures which will help me to facilitate groups on a deeper level. I now reflect on a month of personal development and deepening my artistic practice. But I also reflect on a month of happiness and joy, of meeting and connecting to wonderful people and establishing future collaborations. I am grateful for the opportunity of working with and learning from Margi Brown Ash. I feel, as Margi would say, ready to step into my future.
Sophia, dancer, The Netherlands, 2019

Thanks, Margi for an incredible experience. This month has been a deep dive into self-awareness, personal growth, communication and reflection. The structure of our time provided reflection on my own personal blockages and the stories I tell myself that have stunted my artistic practice. Your support helped me to find my authentic voice, free from fear and judgment, and return to an innocence in my practice – one with curiosity, innovation and improvisation. I left with new rituals that have nurtured my practice, including movement and meditation. I particularly enjoyed the acknowledgment of community & relationships and the impact it has on creative practices- identifying my challenges and strengths in group dynamics, leadership and self-expression. Thank you for this opportunity. I will take these tools with me back to my studio.
J. Matthew Thomas, Taos, NM. artist, architect, curator

The month of April at Arteles was in so many ways a life-altering experience. Margi Brown Ash is a truly gifted facilitator. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her. Margi’s unconditional support was delivered with love, wisdom and honest critique. These skills were complimented by her mastery of deep listening, and a playfully wicked sense of humor. During the month I moved my work forward in unexpected directions developing new ideas for both solo and collaborative work. The most notable change was overcoming performance anxiety. As part of the process of discovery, Margi encouraged residents to take risks and try new ways of working knowing that failure is an important part of learning. Of course, I failed but was easily able to use the knowledge and move on thus expanding the breadth of my practice. Participating in the workshops and private meetings with Margi allowed me to feel more prepared in front of an audience. I greatly appreciated her honesty. Her comments pushed me to realize more of my potential. Finally, to break unproductive habits, Margi encouraged daily rituals such as a “for the soul” approach to yoga, and twice-daily meditation. Over the month these new rituals were firmly established in my body’s memory. As I return to life in Chicago, I will continue to use these grounding rituals. The take-away from the total experience is a new excitement about my work. I look forward!
Connie Noyes, Chicago, visual artist, April 2019

I had the privilege of attending Margi’s New Course Residency Program at the Arteles Centre in Finland and found it to be a truly transformative experience, both personally and creatively. Margi’s guidance opened my eyes to new ways of working and more effective ways of tapping into creativity. As a result, I came away with a deeper sense of trust in my own instincts and with a set of very practical tools that I will be taking forward into my creative practice. Working with Margi is truly life-changing​.
Anna Loren, Australia, Performer, New Course, 2019

Having just completed the first round of the ‘New Course’ (April 19) facilitated by Margi Brown Ash, I wanted to pass on some feedback… In the first instance, this experience delivered so much more than I could have imagined prior to arriving at Arteles. Margi was a polished and highly inspirational and gifted facilitator who offered to each resident as an individual as well as a group member, a unique and I believe a well needed creative experience, that can only enhance the personal growth of each of us for years to come.

Having worked in the creative field in Sydney both in tertiary art education, university galleries and as an art therapist for over 20 years, I have not come across this type of immersive planned program that considered the creative, spiritual and interpersonal development of each participant. This kind of experience where personal growth through the structured workshops can support an artist’s creative endeavours, is I believe, vital, and I’m very grateful to have been one of the early recipients and I’ll be sharing this model and experience with colleges back in Sydney and of course, will be recommending the overall residency program… I’ve returned to Sydney enhanced and energised from the month.
Anita, Visual Artist/Art therapist. April, 2019


Always positive, always helping us understand in the best way possible to create ourselves in the truest forms of our being. It is life changing and I look forward to coming to class just to see what epiphany I may unearth.

Has an amazing ability to reach all members of a diverse group with energy and enthusiasm. Has allowed people to grow at their own pace so that the foundations are secure. Challenging and insightful.

Excellent and stimulating. Margi’s teaching was very inclusive of all group members contributions and point of view and respected each of us equally demonstrating compassion, tolerance, patience and wisdom.

Full of energy and passion for the work of teaching an learning. Models openness to learning and personal and professional development. Respectful and collaborative as well as supportive and adaptable. Walks the talk – a great role model, mentor and teacher.

Great, puts into action her own theories. Genuine, transparent and real.

Margi is excellent, she seems genuinely interested in everyone’s learning progress and felt very approachable if we had any dramas or concerns. She created a very fun and positive learning environment.

Margi’s warmth, encouragement and inclusiveness helped student ownership of course work. Margi gently challenged individuals to become more self aware and responsible – a lovely space for some very valuable lessons.

Margi and teaching go hand in hand. The passion, warmth and safety created in the class environment made you want to get in and participate. Her respect and interest in each student is genuine and the classes were lively, fun yet full of learning, questioning and the ability to walk away and be reflective.

Margi is gorgeous – she is enthusiastic, she is so delighted with the opportunity to not only learn herself but for others to learn also that it is infectious – we all love her.

Margi is an excellent teacher – always warm and approachable, very knowledgeable, and able to facilitate learning groups and experiences with great skill. It has been a pleasure to have her as a lecturer.

Very personable, excellent communication and a great deal of empathy towards all students.

Margi’s teaching reminded me of my love of learning with her innovative style, creativity and enthusiasm. She made it fun. I did find the way she teaches was very much in line with my particular learning style. Because of this I was so much more engaged in the lectures. I found I was energised at the end of an evening rather than fatigued. I often wanted to go home and read more along the lines of what we had been talking about. She also demonstrated her professionalism and skill in her role as supervisor. After seeing her in action in this role too, I would not hesitate to engage her as my supervisor in the future.

This teacher encouraged, empowered me to learn more and look at the positive side of things. She was always organized as she set out the structure for each weeks learning activities. She is always cheerful, collaborate with students and model good examples of the course.

Margi’s ability to facilitate in a way that keeps the students wanting more. Her use of language makes the ambiance of the class safe and comfortable but also encourages us to critically think about our sessions. The session started off with theory of the unit which amplified our experience I felt throughout the session. Fantastic!! Her joy in teaching (even when she must have been as tired as we were) was inspirational.

Margi is an excellent teacher. She has given me so many things to think about and a value her classes and her opinion. She is so eager to help everyone. It so refreshing to see someone who is so passionate about teaching and who just “goes with the pleasure”.

Thanks Margi, it’s been an “honour” to be part of your class.

Margi was a great teacher and mentor to have this semester as she always provided a safe learning environment.This was an extremely good teacher method which could possibly be adopted by others.

Margi really helped us learn. She is always positive and willing to lend her advise and expertise any time. We were given the freedom to learn for ourselves, but also given the boundaries and knowledge (from Margi) to understand.

Margi is great to work with. I love that she loves to see us perform. She is so encouraging which is great because we are all just budding actors.

Margi inspires me to try really hard and she always commends us when she sees us working hard! Thanks Margi.

Margi is an excellent teacher and she teaches in a really positive way that makes me really want to learn everything she knows.

Margi is an integral part of my learning in this unit. She always presenting our learning in an interesting, usually physical, way. She never created a feeling of a strict authority above the rest of the class. She always liked us to sit together and talk as a group, disliking the levels of power if she had to sit above us or something like that. Her enthusiasm and passion for drama always leaked out and soaked us all and the environment was such that everyone went away exhausted but exhilarated at the same time.

Margi is amazing. Her vibrancy as a teacher made her engaging to be around and listen to. She not only showed us the styles really well, but also began teaching us about being a good teacher especially when it came to feedback about performances. I feel very privileged to have had her as a teacher.

I LOVED Margi’s positive attitude to everyone’s learning progress. I started to feel more comfortable to let go of my inhibitions and participate more. I felt that if I did something wrong, it wasn’t a major thing, she just concentrated on the positive things and encouraged those.

Margi is fantastic, she is very energetic and the whole class is lifted when she is in the room. Wonderful. Teaches life as well as drama.

Margi was a lovely fantastic tutor! She ran the workshops with such organic passion for exploration and learning. She always made us feel very safe and created such a positive environment for us to work was fantastic how some of her counselling and therapy work informed her teaching in our classroom. She taught with integrity and always with a keen interest in all of our acting. I particularly enjoyed the lessons where she taught us how to critique, and the ways in which she encouraged us to do the teaching.

“Go with the pleasure” Margi is an inspiration to all of us, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a more interesting person in my entire life.

Margi, was an excellent teacher and helped me as a student truly engage in the work we were doing and enjoy it. The way in which she taught with such joy, was inspirational. Has influenced me greatly, I have learned from her more then any other tutor I have, I am privileged to have been in her class.

I would love to have regular classes with Margi because three weeks wasn’t
enough! It felt like such a formative three weeks and i wish we could spend time
with her once a month or once a fortnight at least.

Margi is the best Theatre Grandma ever! She has taught us a lot about safety and
finding ourselves through impulse and devising work. She is very insightful on how
to work collaboratively and safely so that we can thrive as an ensemble. She is one
of the best teachers.

Margi is not only an amazing acting teacher for the craft, but she also set up
extremely valuable foundations at the start of our training such as the mental health
and well-being of an actor. It is known that many actors and workers in
entertainment industry fall into drugs and alcohol. Margi has taught us the
importance of rituals and how to approach the craft without damaging our mental
health. Every actor should have Margi Brown Ash at some point in their training, her
special skills are something no other regular acting coach can bring to classes.

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