“Everyone has a story and they are all different and all can be special.” Liz Shenk says this because she believes it. Knowing about people, their attitudes, their ambitions, their likes, their fears – Liz has a knack for getting people to be open and share about themselves. She asks insightful questions and listens attentively. Liz trained in communication as a student at Goshen College. Her eagerness to learn about others and her empathy come naturally.
Liz came to Goshen from Pella, Iowa to continue her education. (Yes, it’s the Pella Windows place.) She likes the Midwest, enjoys small towns and Goshen “just felt like home.” Her time at Goshen College was good, but after graduation, she left for the west coast and a big city. She struck out for Seattle. She liked the northwest enough to stay a year, but Goshen seemed better suited for her. “I really missed the warm and welcoming community of Goshen,” she tells us. She certainly has no doubts about the place. “I thrive in a smaller town.”
Liz worked for almost four years for Eyedart Creative Studio. There she was involved in several projects. Learned a lot and grew professionally. By the end of 2018, it was time to move on. Liz is a part owner of Spacious Heart Yoga in Downtown Goshen. She is a dedicated practitioner and certified instructor. Her initial intent was to teach more and grow that business. That’s still in the plans, but something else popped up.
Over lunch one day, long time Elkhart County Arts supporter Steve Gruber told Liz of his plans to step away from the day-to-day work with the Elkhart County Arts Alliance. He wanted to bring on a person as a Part-time Program Director. He also was searching for someone to take over the Elkhart ArtWalk. This opportunity captured Liz’s attention and her imagination. She is now active with the Alliance and ArtWalk.
Since early February, Liz has been learning about the Elkhart County arts scene. She talks about how mind-blowing it is to find so many artists and so much support in the communities throughout the county. With Steve’s guidance and support, Liz is ready to make a real go of it.
The first ArtWalk under Liz’s watch is Wednesday, April 10. It will feature works from students of the Elkhart Schools. It is usually one of the biggest shows each year. If Liz is nervous about it, it isn’t showing. Is she excited? For sure. She will readily admit to that.
Liz believes that the artists of Elkhart County need to get their stories told. She wants to help make that happen. As she learns about them, about their talents and about their work, you can tell she is starting to work up their stories. She knows how important it is to get the word out.
Liz lives in Goshen with her husband Aaron. They met while they were both in college. They recently bought a house. It is going to take some time to make it just right for them, but they’ll get to it. There are other things they want to. Walking down Main Street on the evening of the second Wednesday of each month from April through October is surely on the list.
If you are at ArtWalk and see Liz, stop and say hello. Get to know her. Talk with her, but be forewarned. She’ll likely ask the questions and you’ll probably do most of the talking. She knows you have a story that wants to be heard.