ArtWorks gets a new face behind the scenes

Published 7:01 am Monday, May 19, 2014

Grace Heimsness has been hired as intern for the Austin ArtWorks Festival. Eric Johnson/

Grace Heimsness has been hired as intern for the Austin ArtWorks Festival. Eric Johnson/

A new face will be working the Austin ArtWorks Festival both behind the scenes and out in front of it.

Austin native Grace Heimsness has been hired as intern for the festival by the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.

Her duties will be taking minutes for committee meetings, digging into the social media aspect of the Austin ArtWorks Center and website and contacting and staying in communication with the artists.

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“It’s great,” Heimsness said. “It’s been super fun. I love the amount of ideas flying around. It’s been kind of a whirlwind and a learning curve. I’m learning a lot about the inner workings of the festival.”

Heimsness spent a lot of time on the ice, playing hockey through school, but art and writing had always run parallel with that. However, it wasn’t something Heimsness advertised about herself. Instead she chose to work on her craft privately.

“I kind of kept it to myself,” Grace said. “I was always into it especially being raised by my mom who was an artist. I was always drawing or coloring.”

Art and writing also included a passion for music having played the cello through school, but it was the writing that took her to California where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, a splinter of the screenwriting interest that initially brought her to the University of Southern California.

“I took a screenwriting course, but it felt too competitive,” Heimsness said. “There wasn’t much helping each other develop in class.”

Heimsness then veered into creative writing after taking a few courses until finally admitting, “I guess it’s my major.”

The opportunity to get involved in the festival came about after talking with Jennie Knoebel, executive director of the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.

“Jennie told me about the opening for an internship,” Heimsness said.

Heimsness, like many in Austin, has been able to watch the arts grow in Austin and is excited by it. She saw it flourish at Austin High School where each year for the last 17 years they have held the Artist of the Year assembly. But at the same time she never really thought that much about it or the development of the arts in Austin.

“It was something that wasn’t even on my radar,” she said, acknowledging how the growing of the arts at both the school and town are playing off one another. “It’s encouraging for the kids to see a community support the arts and not just at school.”