About The Hive


Teaching somebody something is giving them a gift that they can never lose, that stays with them for the rest of their lives, and only gets better as they use it.  The Hive exists because we want to gift as many people as we can with the empowerment they feel when they learn that they're capable of changing their world.

At the Hive we are interested in the future of our world.  Our workshops provide opportunity for sustainable skill set development for our participants.

We also know that the power of connecting people through compassion, art and creative expression is a way to weave positivity within our community. 


About Us


Mary Strawn,

Queen Bee

... is an MIT-educated medical doctor, an artist and a consummate creator. She is a driving force in the Walter Project, which is an artist collective, community, and recently a production company based in Phoenix for the last decade. As an accomplished painter, she leads therapeutic art activities for children through other non-profit organizations. Mary is the very heart of The Hive, our Queen Bee, reminding us to always JUST. BE. NICE.


NAN mccoy,

executive director

... has been an all-star in the world of non-profit management and community building throughout her career. She is the brains, brawn and the calm in the storm that carefully cultivates the creative chaos of The Walter Hive. Nan believes that in all things we should "start with heart" and lead by example in the community. Through her leadership, The Walter Hive is building community partnerships throughout the region.


Ryan McDermott,

Program Director/Bee Keeper

... has been involved in the world of maker spaces and STEAM education for the last decade. For three years he was the president of HeatSync Labs, a community maker space in Mesa, Arizona. He has also served on the board of directors for MACH 1 at the Phoenix Burton Barr Library, and is a founding member of Southwest Maker Fest in Mesa. Professionally, he combines skills in software development, hardware robotics, and interactive art into large-scale, immersive advertising installations for clients like Amazon, Tostitos and Carvana.


Alyson Zepeda,

Program Manager/Swarm Leader

... is a high-end software consultant, foster-care advocate, political journalist, and teacher who has brought her skills to workshops all over the world. She has taught kids how to build their dreams, and taught some of the next generations of teachers how to do the same. She has served on the board of directors for Heatsync Labs, one of the first makerspaces in the western US, as well as the board of advisors for MACH1, one of the premier library-makerspaces in Arizona.


Charlotte Strawn, Gallery Manager/Office Administration

Charlotte Strawn is an artist who has grown up around creativity, positivity and the Walter Project’s community of makers, artisans, and hard workers all of her life. After working in several different branches of the organization, Charlotte now supports the Walter Hive as full time manager of the Walter Art Gallery. Her artistic, interactive, and administrative skills play an integral role in accomplishing our mission of empowerment, and her positivity inspires us all.




...is a visual artist and actress, who is currently a student of Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. Always looking to help, Anna has volunteered and worked with a variety of communities in Phoenix from St. Vincent De Paul hosting charity events to caring for and running art programs for children. Wherever she goes, Anna hopes to bring a positive change and bright experience to others. As an intern at the Walter Hive, Anna designs and conceptualizes engaging community workshops and events. Above all, Anna aims to support the Hive in cultivating a welcoming and inspiring space for all to come and experience.