As told by ATXEquation student Katie Dahlstrom
Brain researcher, hair stylist, and steward in the Austin creative scene, just a regular day in the life of Marcy Hoen, the Executive Director for Austin Creative Alliance. Austin Creative Alliance, whose mission is “to advance, connect and celebrate Austin’s arts, cultural, and creative communities”, was born about a year and a half ago. The ATXEquation class had the pleasure of hearing Marcy’s journey from her internship at a brain research laboratory fresh out of college, to her current position. “An embodiment of the Austin Equation”, as Bijoy dubbed Marcy, began her Austin art scene stewardship working as a hairstylist and manager at Saks Fifth Avenue. Fed up with the tired, old hair photos adorning the walls of the salon, Marcy decided to instead fill the space with local artists’ work. Word got around and soon other businesses and clients wanted her to do the same for their spaces. Marcy’s local art expertise then led to guided tours of galleries and curating of shows at private homes which caught the eye of Austin Creative Alliance, where she has been since last March. Marcy described Austin Creative Alliance as a “scene of scenes, without one strength you do not have the other”, which is represented in its logo of overlapping circles. She went on to describe what she believes about stewardship, “stewardship is about leadership…people are becoming more aware that they don’t want to be led…the community leads itself.” It is about listening, and going out into the community and seeing what its needs are. In stewarding a scene you have to find partners that may not initially be seen as a fit, but best serve the community. When asked, “why Austin?” Marcy’s response was a speedy, “Austin is the ‘Marsha’, everyone wants to do things the way we’re doing them.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
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