We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaclyn Hofmann Faircloth and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jaclyn, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
Just the other night I watched Cynthia Barker’s “The Confident Woman: Art for the Heart Series”, and Cynthia and one of her guests were talking about the value of being vs doing — and that really struck me. They said things quite beautifully, and I don’t want to poorly paraphrase! So, I encourage folks to watch: https://youtu.be/b7KZ4EmHtcs The conversation has been cycling through my mind since then. One of my big take-aways was to stay focused on who I am, what I’m bringing to the room, how I’m engaging with others vs putting so much weight on “productivity” (what have I done, how much have I done, etc). All of this to say, if I were to ever have a legacy I think that’s what I’d want it to revolve around: who I am versus what I’ve done. We have so little control in this lifetime… if the pandemic has taught us anything, that theme comes to mind. But we choose how to treat others, and how to treat ourselves. I hope to always be improving upon those skills.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Without a doubt I am the most proud of my students. Always. They are hurting right now. Some of them are essential workers, helping to provide for their families. Some have been helping their siblings and/or their children with virtual school. Some have been struggling with technology in a hybrid world. Not to mention the racial inequities and injustices that so many of my students deal with on a regular basis, and that have been especially brought to light this past year.

But they have displayed such courage in the honesty and vulnerability with which they approach the world around them. It is not easy to say “I’m not okay.” And I want them to know how brave they are for sharing their truth.
Beyond that, the way they interact with each other is astounding. They support and lift each other up, even in the most challenging of times. We are gearing up for our first outdoor student production this Spring and their commitment and enthusiasm continues to be a gift. They are exceptional humans and artists. I can’t say it’s been my easiest year of teaching. But I am forever grateful for what I get to do. I’m very lucky to have landed here.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Atlanta, and in recent years I’ve fallen in love with Gwinnett County, as well. I would take them to the Botanical Gardens, Lake Lanier, and some of our favorite Gwinnett Parks (Sims Lake, Alexander, Freeman’s Mill). Post pandemic, we’d of course go see some live theatre (Aurora, Actor’s Express, Horizon, Shakespeare Tavern, True Colors… there are so many great live theatres to choose from in and around ATL!). And we’d EAT. Some of my favorite restaurants are Leon’s and Taqueria del Sol (Decatur), Local Republic and Lavender Asian Bistro (Lawrenceville), Manuel’s Tavern and LaFonda (Midtown)…. and we’d probably visit Wild Heaven Brewery.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh, there are so many! But I will focus on three ladies currently on my mind, and a group close to my heart… Cynthia Barker, who I mentioned prior. She is one of my favorite ATL artists: smart, insanely talented, kind, and truly a humanitarian. I don’t know if she has any idea just how much she inspires those around her, but it’s impossible to know her and not be moved to do and be better. Cara Mantella is another Shero of mine. Cara has had a particularly challenging year, but nothing can sway that heart of hers. She is passionate, authentic, kind, and a brilliant artist. I am consistently blown away by her ability to uplift and support those around. Naima Carter Russell is a dynamite actor/singer/artist and also happens to be one of the coolest and most creative Moms/teachers out there! She uses her Social Media to inspire change and is phenomenal at it… from book lists to worksheets to songs and activities that teach kids (and parents) about anti-racism, social justice, and celebrating Black joy. She is amazing!

Finally, if you have not been introduced to the new Producing Team for Weird Sisters Theatre Project, those are some powerhouse ladies!!! The pandemic hit literally just as they were about to get going, but I am giddy at the idea of what they will do once theatre is safe again… they are such an incredible group of artists.

Instagram: @jaclynhofmann

Image Credits
Shakespeare Tavern 12th Night photo by Jeffrey Watkins and Jeanette Meierhofer. Family photo by Katie Moody. GGC cast photo by Rod Reilly. Weird Sisters photo by Casey Gardner.

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