Heaven: Founder of Nonprofit Community Art Space

Name: Heaven Starr Baize-Garcia

Age: 24

City: Austin, TX

Main Hustle: I am currently attending school online to finish my associates of science while I travel. Once I receive my associates, I will continue my education in hopes to become an engineer with focus on Architectural Design.

Side Hustle: I opened Unit C in February of 2017. I am also a conceptual artist from South Texas who experiments with many mediums including performance art, film, and photography. With Unit C, I hope to create a boundless space to inspire artists to push themselves to their full potential. Unit C is an art space dedicated to providing opportunities for local and international artists to collaborate and grow. With a multidisciplinary focus, Unit C will showcase a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, film, performance art, poetry readings, live music, and more through diverse arts programming and monthly events.

How did you get started?: I opened Unit C Studio & Gallery in February 2017. Originally, Unit C was going to be my own personal space, but I wanted to explore ways to open the space up to the community. With many art spaces closing in Austin, I feel that it is important to provide a space where all artists feel safe and can thrive.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: We are working to improve Unit C everyday. We host drawing classes every Thursday from 8-10 pm. Our team is very communicative, so we are always looking for ways to incorporate and support the community. Not just within the arts, but we hope to support other small local businesses as well.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: A current challenge is not having enough volunteers. We love our volunteers and find them necessary to be able host more classes, such as writers groups, poetry slams, yoga sessions, therapeutic dance, and more. I want Unit C to be available for everyone and anyone. We need more volunteers who believe in Unit C and our vision.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: My biggest reward is seeing our community appreciate and utilize Unit C.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My greatest supporter is my business partner, Nora Rosenberg. I came very close to giving up my dream of Unit C last year, but Nora joined our team and inspired me to keep going. Nora is absolutely inspiring to me; she is an incredibly strong woman and so very driven. I am forever thankful for  and Unit C has benefitted exponentially from having her with us. I wouldn’t be able to do it without her.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: What inspires me the most is the people who have supported us. Our BYOMedium class attendees who keep coming back every week. Seeing the faces of artists when they’re showing in a gallery setting for the first time.

It gives me a warmth in my heart and soul to be able to provide for my community, and it’s what drives me to make Unit C better.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I hope to expand Unit C Studio & Gallery in Austin into a larger space and work toward a more professional setting. I would like Unit C to not only be in Austin but explore other parts of Texas and the US. I hope to provide multiple locations in low-income areas to give all artists more opportunity and introduce them to a network of people who appreciate and support their art. I would also like to work toward being able to create/open a facility for children to be creative and explore different mediums.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Don’t let your life stand in the way of making your dreams a reality. You are in control of your future and, I promise you, anything is possible.

Check out Unit C’s website, follow along on Instagram and Facebook, or reach out to Heaven via email to connect or collaborate!

Photography by Chris Corona

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