We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Lloyd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I have been the Education Manger at Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park since August 2019. Our mission is to preserve the history and culture of Sandy Springs through the stewardship of a community park and by offering education, events and outreach to the community. What started out as a community effort in 1985 to save the original spring site where five underground springs converge ( the city’s namesake), has turned into the cultural heart of Sandy Springs. HSSMP now spans four acres and includes the historic Williams- Payne House where our museum is located, an entertainment amphitheater, event spaces, our administrative offices, and a lush public park where the spring still bubbles. Heritage Sandy Springs provides community events like the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, the Sandy Springs Festival, and Concerts by the Springs. We also offer a variety of education programs for kids and adults, like Turtle Tours for the little ones, and the American Girl and Boy club for kids 5-12. We also offer field trips and Badge Day programs for Girl and Boy Scouts. Most of these programs are available via Zoom or Facebook Live as part of our “Virtual Goody Bag.” This initiative provides resources and links to our favorite podcasts, documentaries, books, virtual museum exhibits, and activities you can do from home. As a nonprofit organization, maintaining strong community partnerships and collaborating with our neighbors are some of our key values. We’ve all had to adapt in recent weeks, but through community support and solidarity, we’re all going to be okay.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have a BFA in Musical Theatre and up until fairly recently I had been working as an actor/ performer based out of Atlanta. I have performed in regional as well as local theaters, including at Actors Express, The Alliance Theatre, Seven Stages Theatre, and The Center for Puppetry Arts. I’ve also appeared in the odd commercial and voice over. In addition to being a performer, I’m also a visual artist. I love to paint and craft and some of my work has appeared in shows like Ozark and the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. In the midst of all this, I found my true calling as a creative educator. Between gigs, I have led countless field trips, summer camps, and workshops that mix the arts into education. After working as a museum interpreter at the Atlanta History Center for six years, I began working at Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park as Education Manager last August. This May I’ll be graduating from GSU with an MA in Creative and Innovative Education, with a concentration in nonprofit leadership. In these uncertain times, we need creativity and innovation now more than ever.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Well, I’d definitely take my friend to the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park, although Sandy Springs became it’s own city in 2005. If we’re visiting my favorite spots in Atlanta, I’d start us off with brunch at West Egg Cafe, an afternoon trip to Ponce City Market for snacks and shopping, and then finish the day with drinks on the rooftop bar of the Hotel Clairmont. I’d also take her to my favorite mystical shop, Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore. Then we’d journey down to Candler Park for tea and snacks at Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party and window shop for boho wedding dresses at Kelly’s Closet next door. In the evening, we’d enjoy a touring show at the Fox Theatre. Another day, I’d take her for lunch at Salata in Atlantic Station. You can make your own salads and wraps and they’re so fresh and tasty. We’d then make our way down to Hapeville and pick up a growler at Beer Girl Growlers & Bottleshop. They have an amazing selection and ( shameless plug) I painted a mural on the wall of their back patio. We’d then catch a show at Horizon Theatre and enjoy the nightlife of Little Five Points. And of course, my friend cannot leave Atlanta without visiting some of my favorite museums and cultural organizations. There are so many amazing ones, but If I had to pick my top three, I’d say The High Museum of Art, The Atlanta History Center and The Atlanta Botanical Garden. After a full day of museums, we’d catch a movie and some retro vibes at the Starlight Drive In. For her last night in town, I’d take her to Canoe for dinner. It’s a little on the fancy/ expensive side, but the food and service is top notch and you can’t beat how beautiful it is to dine next to the waters of the Chattahoochee.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shout out to the rest of the Heritage Sandy Springs team! It takes a village to run a nonprofit and I am grateful to be a part of this amazing group. I want to extend a huge thank you to our Interim Executive Director, Deborah Minor, our Museum Curator, Allison Moore, our Events and Rentals Directors, Autumn Washington and David McCulloch, and our Farmers Market Director, Lori Coombs. I also want to thank Bob Beard, our Chairman of the Board and the rest of our dedicated Board of Directors. Lastly, I want to thank the City of Sandy Springs and the Sandy Springs Society.

Website: Heritagesandysprings.org
Instagram: @heritagesandysprings
Twitter: @HeritageSS
Facebook: Heritage Sandy Springs
Other: I manage the HSS social media accounts but my personal instagram handle is @slloyd3. I also teach online singing lessons as a fun side hustle. You can find more information at fortevoice.com.

Image Credits
I took most of these myself. Some of the photos are old marketing photos/ photos from our website, but I’m honestly not sure who the photographer is. I can check with our previous Marketing Manager if need be.