What We Do

The Walter 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 Walter Hive we are interested in the future of our world. Our workshops provide opportunities 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.

Engaging Workshops

Dedicated Educators

Longlasting Impact

Who We Are

Nan McCoy

Executive Director

Nan believes in building community connections that create a sense of ownership for everyone involved.  The arts are an essential element of education and a tool for communication.  The belief in bringing people together through artistic expression is the foundation for her commitment to The Walter Hive.  Passion for family, swimming and throwing frisbees for the Aussies provides sweetness to every day.

Ryan McDermott

Program Manager Fabrication/Tech

Ryan McDermott is a lifelong artist and educator. He has advised educators on starting and running creative spaces, as well as led hands-on workshops for both students and teachers at schools and conferences all over the world. His passion is helping students and educators realize that they are capable of more than they had imagined. This passion is lived out through his work developing curriculum for and leading empowerment-through-art workshops, as well as hands-on instruction in topics ranging from interactive and public art to robotics, circuit design, and CNC fabrication.

Alyson McDermott

Support Staff

Alyson McDermott 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.

Anna Douglas

Program Manager of Fine Arts

Anna Douglas is a visual artist and graduate of Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. 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. As Program Manager at the Walter Hive, Anna designs and helps to conceptualize 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.

Charlotte Strawn

Gallery Manager

Charlotte Strawn is an artist who has grown up around creativity as part of the Walter Projectʼs community of makers, artisans, and hard workers all of her life. She currently serves as full time manager of Walter Art Gallery and also contributes as an instructor of Walter Hive workshops. Her extensive skills play an integral role in accomplishing our mission of empowerment and her positivity inspires us all.

Dianne Haws

Events Manager

Dianne Haws comes to The Walter Hive with experience in event and program management
from a variety of nonprofits serving youth. She was born and raised in Arizona and currently
lives in Tempe with her husband and two boxers. She re-charges through creative expression
and believes in the power of healing through the arts.

Patricia Turpin

Volunteer Curator 2013 to present

Patricia Turpin is a local artist specializing in mixed media art. She is a native Phoenician with long, deep ties to the Valley’s art community. Trish assists us with artist selection and communication, show installations, and marketing. She loves art and artists and helping to make our gallery a vibrant, relevant, fun place in the local arts scene.

Board Of Directors

Mary Strawn

Founder & Chairman of the Board

Mary is an M.I.T. graduate, physician, and artist. Her background in healthcare along with her  artist’s passion have led to an approach to wellness through therapeutic art. Mary loves to offer  creative opportunities to others and puts her heart and hope into The Walter Hive. Her husband  and daughters fill her life with joy.

Dave Edwards

Board Member

Dave Edwards is a retired Phoenix physician and former Chief Medical Officer in Banner Health. He loves to tinker and is excited to impact the community through art, fabrication and technology. He and his wife Nancy also enjoy hiking and conspiring with their grandchildren against their parents.

Anita Lang

Board Member

Anita Lang is the founder and principal of one of the southwest’s premiere interior design firms, IMI Design. In addition, she has her own furniture line, Design 528, and her nonprofit The Inspire Foundation. Feeling blessed by all of the incredible opportunities her creative career has provided, she feels compelled to forward the channels of the arts as much as possible to bring self expression, empowerment, and joy to others.

Seth Philbin

Board Member

Seth Philbin has more than 20 years of financial industry experience. As a lead business advisor for the East Valley, he serves as the trusted point of contact for business clients and works closely with experts across Alerus to deliver comprehensive financial advice and access to the company’s full suite of diversified financial services. Seth enjoys meeting with business owners and learning about their operations, then finding the right solutions to help them achieve their goals. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona. He is actively involved with the Executive Council 70, Junior Achievement of Arizona, and also sits on the board of directors for The Walter Hive.

Jennifer Erickson

Board Member

Jennifer L. Erickson joined eScribers in March of 2020 as the Chief Operating Officer. In her career, Jennifer has extensive experience in senior and executive level management with several companies in a variety of industries including: healthcare, importing, consulting, and entertainment.  She holds a B.A. in Accounting from Arizona State University, and is an Arizona certified CPA.  Jennifer spends many hours volunteering with several charitable and professional organizations such as the Arizona Animal Welfare League, Pink Boots Society, and The Walter Hive.  She and her husband are partial owners of Walter Station Brewery, where her husband also serves as the Master Brewer.

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