We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Spainhour-Roth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
While I 100% feel at home in the Atlanta area, I lovingly refer to myself as an unofficial Southerner, as I’m originally from the Cleveland area and have spent most of my life (so far) in the Midwest. While there’s certainly differences between the two areas (don’t get me started on the snow – happy to have far less of it), I like to think that there are some pretty unique similarities that have allowed me to really fit in, find my people, and call Georgia home since moving here almost 3 years ago.
1. Southern hospitality is basically Midwestern politeness with an accent
2. We love ANYTHING battered and fried
3. There’s a shared sense of community and welcoming
While growing up in Ohio, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who introduced me to music, art, and culture, and that’s something that I’ve really held onto my entire life. I idolized Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, who could transport you anywhere through a song or a dance routine. It’s that exposure to classic movie musicals that stuck with me and made me realize THAT is what I wanted to do: I want to make an impact through the arts.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My background and training is actually in musical theatre performance as opposed to arts administration/management, but I’ve found that my approach to marketing is very similar to that of preparing for a role:
– Who are you and who are you trying to connect with? What’s your goal or objective?
– How do you go about pursuing said goal? What avenues do you try? And if something doesn’t work, how do you adapt?
– What story is being told and how do you communicate that? Humor? Empathy?
Theatre is storytelling, as is marketing and communications. I’m just telling a story via email, social media, a blog post, etc. as opposed to on a stage.
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 had Gus’s Fried Chicken as my first meal in Atlanta, so naturally that would be our first stop to experience delicious Southern cuisine. Other food & drink spots that would be part of a Justin Guided Tour of the Atlanta Area: Barcelona Wine Bar (sooo many yummy tapas), Canoe (absolutely gorgeous views for dining), The Vortex (I haven’t been yet, so it’ll be beneficial for the both of us!), Pie Bar (no meal is complete without dessert), and Reformation Brewery (lots of options and it’s great to support local).
Now in terms of places to go and things to do, I’m going to be *a little* biased and be sure to do a full-fledged tour of Elm Street and our property: the theatre, the natural playground next to the Event Green, the Kish Center for Ceramics & Pottery, and the soon-to-open Reeves House for visual arts programming (gallery space, classes, coffee shop/wine bar, etc.)
Other places I would take my best friend would be The Fox and do a tour to learn all about the rich history of the building, The Georgia Aquarium, The High Museum of Art, The Center for Puppetry Arts, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and all around Marietta Square (we’re doing a focus on arts and culture on this trip!)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not be where I am today without the support, love, and guidance from my husband, Stephen. I was still in Ohio when we started dating and he was the one who initially introduced me to the Atlanta area, which is how I fell in love with the vibrant and vast arts & culture scene here. I quickly realized just how many different organizations were in and around Atlanta that were really serving their communities and creating art that entertained, inspired, and sparked conversation. He also had connections with where I work now and introduced me to the right people in order to really start working in my field. I was able to really hone in on my passion and niche thanks to him!
Personal Photo: Rebecca Blackwell Additional Photos (L-R): Justin Spainhour-Roth, Justin Spainhour-Roth, Justin Spainhour-Roth, Bronson Kurtz, Bronson Kurtz, Rebecca Blackwell