The Linger Longer Living Cultural Lifestyle Experiences series began in 2006 and was created to bring performances, exhibits, excursions, lectures and instruction to the members of Reynolds Lake Oconee. The former Reynolds membership director and real estate agent took the job in a flurry of excitement, eager to shape the program.

There was only one problem, however. Garrison had no idea how to do it. “I had a completely blank canvas,” she laughs. “It was terrifying.” But if the idea was terrifying, it was also electrifying to the petite, bohemian director with the quick laugh and sparkling eyes. After mulling it over for a few weeks, however, she started doing what she does best: forming relationships.

“I just began researching, exploring, designing and then implementing the program. It was just this journey,” she says, adding she ventured into the surrounding communities of Greensboro, Madison, Athens and Atlanta to seek out artists. “For six months I really just began making relationships.”

And that, surprisingly, has been the core of the job. For, as Garrison explains, to create an “upscale, very exclusive” cultural arts program, all she really needed to do was open the door, and then step out of the way. “Once I create relationships with artists, I bring the artists here to create relationships with the members,” she says.

The very distinct interactive formula now colors the member experience today, no matter the event. “We include all of the disciplines from literature, art and music, to natural sciences, world affairs and competition,” Garrison says. “But the most popular overall discipline is music and the most popular format is multi-faceted.” From foreign language instruction to author Q&As and ultra-exclusive jaunts to places like Scotland, the programs Garrison introduces engages every attendee.

“And that’s what makes the program different,” Garrison says. That, and her energy, which makes it hard for the event director to sit still. Even now, she’s off in a flourish of peacock blue, heading to the next adventure. 

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