NEAR creates multi-modal expressive arts programs and projects in response to individual, family and community needs. Our focus is on serving multicultural and underserved communities, including immigrant, indigenous, low-income, and LGBTQIA+/SOGIE populations throughout the state of Washington and the United States.
NEAR responds to local, regional, national and global events.
We are committed to building community and promoting healing through the arts.
We help celebrate healthy change and success.
“NEAR is committed to principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all our endeavors, including the composition and operation of our Board, in our day to day actions; in listening thoughtfully and respectfully to our partners and stakeholders, and in all the services we provide for community members.“
Nan is the executive director of NEAR, offers expressive arts focused therapy in the following areas:
Nan is a dedicated lifelong practitioner and advocate of creative expression, social justice, civic engagement, learning, and teaching. She was separated from her mother at birth when her mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis; her Irish Catholic grandparents provided not only a home for her, but a house full of humor, song, magical gardens, and mysteries of spirit. A former welfare mother, hospice nurse, university adjunct professor, and mental health therapist, Nan believes that everyone has the right to be seen and heard. Her first volunteer experience was at a Head Start in its very early days. In high school, she led fellow students as assistant teachers in a migrant farm community in central California. Over the years, Nan has worked closely with the communities she’s lived in, serving on nonprofit boards and creating expressive arts opportunities during times of transition and trauma. In 2003, Nan arrived in the Kittitas Valley in Washington state to be near her daughter and young grandchildren. Her daughter died from complications of cancer in 2004. Over the next few years, Nan developed the Flying Pig Expressive Arts Ranch south of Ellensburg. Today, with Northwest Expressive Arts Response as catalyst, she is dedicated to providing the healing tools of trauma-informed expressive arts to individuals, families and communities, with a focus on immigrant, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and homeless populations