Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.
For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions.
We are proud to introduce the Next Leading Lady for March 2019: Andrea N Zoppo
Where do you work and what do you do?
I am currently self-employed and work for my company Ladybug Events. We are an education and entertainment agency with a focus on nature-based learning. I primarily teach Garden education and farm to early care. I also am a performer, artist, and entertainer. I teach an after-school elementary acting class and I produce, write and build environmental education themed puppet shows with my talented team for local festivals.
When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
My company is in its fifth year. I’ve been in this line of work, Environmental Education, since about 2008. I’ve been doing family fun programming since I was a child because my mother was a professional clown and had her own entertainment company. I’ve always loved art and majored in sculpture at GSU .
What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a photographer for national geographic. I loved looking through the magazines as a child and thinking about adventures and the beautiful wild places across the world. I’ve always been interested in our environment. I also wanted to be a baker but I think I wanted to be that so I could give people yummy treats. I find they like a bunch of fresh grown kale from the garden too. =)
If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
There’s so many women from history that Id love to talk with including Mary Queen of Scott, Nefertiti, , but more in recent history, Rachel Carson. She was a biologist and conservationist and her book Silent Spring advanced our environmental activism movement. I’d like to talk to her about little things. Little things like diatoms.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I’d have to say my grandmother is the biggest influence on me in my life. She passed away a few years ago at 99 and her heart encompassed our family. I always feel loved when I think about her and her love and joy for life and children inspire me everyday.
How is art a passion for you?
I realized last year that for some, art is how you move through life. I’ve learned what makes me special is my art, is how I do things. How I teach is an art form of passion. I am so excited by nature and the little wonders of life that it fuel my drive to create, reach and teach more. To spark wonder about our beautiful planet in the hearts of children is my passion.
What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
Because I primarily work with children, I’m in an industry or career path that is predominantly female. Women are teachers, caregivers and nurturers and we do so many creative things to liven up our classrooms, inspire, teach so many subjects. I feel that women and teachers are severely undervalued.
What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Arts in Atlanta in an ever opening flower. There’s always new things coming up. When I was in art school in the early 2000s we had the Eydrum near Daddy DZs as a Haven for creative expression and so much more. Now I’m excited about places like the Bakery that provide multimedia mixed-use space for community and art events. I love how the City and surrounding areas have embraced mural arts and new ones pop up all the time. That has happened only in the last 15 years thanks to organizations like Living Walls and others. It also seems that local cities have embraced Arts and creativity. The lantern parades are amazing to see all ages come out and participate, making creations and filling the streets with wonder. I love participating in them. Cheers to the Krewe of Grateful Gluttons and Chantelle Rytter for making the lantern magic happen and leading great wkshps!
What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I’d like to think of gardening as art. It’s living art. It lives and breathes and contributes to the beauty, the air quality, and is food for beneficial pollinators. Gardens are inspirations for the eyes , heart, and mind. Gardens are places to find peace. I hope that the work I do inspires people to join together and celebrate nature, gardens and the children I teach will continue that effort. I have grown a public Childrens Garden at the Lake Claire Landtrust. We are in our 3rd year and it’s a beautiful spot for all sizes to enjoy.
Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?