Own Your Own Universe (OYOU) is a 501 C3 non-profit organization based out of San Marcos and Martindale, Texas. It is our mission to make the arts accessible to everyone, and particularly to empower and transform lives by connecting the mind, body, and spirit through music and the creative arts.
The OYOU’s story began when the OYOU's Executive Director, Terri Hendrix, was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of twenty one. Music, writing, and the creative arts helped her to thrive personally and professionally as a musician in spite of her own challenges with her health. Through personal experience, she discovered that her life’s passion was to introduce others to a wide spectrum of the arts, providing a path and the tools to live one's best life regardless of difficult circumstances, experiences or limitations. It started as an idea about creating a space where anyone; regardless of finances, social and or mobility issues, age or gender, can embrace and enjoy the creative arts without fear of bias or discrimination.
The OYOU hosts a variety of free and ticketed events and workshops. Our mission also serves more than just the participants at our events and programs. At OYOU we hire artists and musicians to lead workshops or perform at our community concerts; providing them with additional income and more importantly a format in which to inspire and teach.
We hire and pay professional musicians and artists to lead our workshops. By providing a modest stipend, we are able to give back to the artist community by providing a means in which to support it.
Some of our workshop leaders have been affected by neurological conditions, cancer, depression, and other health challenges. They have found a role in mentoring students with similar health conditions and inspiring others to rise above their own personal challenges so that they, too, can embrace and enjoy a higher quality of life.
In addition, the OYOU provides scholarships for every program offered, allowing those who would otherwise be unable to afford tuition to attend and learn. Scholarships are offered based on financial need and for teachers, veterans, special needs students, and patients who are suffering from medical conditions. The OYOU also has scholarships available for our children's music camp and kid's club, so that children in need can attend for free.
The OYOU creates a welcoming, non-judgmental backdrop that celebrates diversity through the creative arts. Our events help fill a void for arts based education that is increasingly absent in budget-strapped public schools. Our events also offer lifelong learning opportunities for adults and senior citizens.
In order to serve our mission to the fullest extent, OYOU is continuing to expand programming in our community, and at our venue on Wilory Farm, to positively impact as many lives as possible in Central Texas.