Free Arts NW was founded by Kris Bella and Sylvia Hartowicz in 2009. Kris and Sylvia had a powerful vision of positively impacting the lives of youth and developing community within the Portland metro area by utilizing various forms of art.
Free Arts NW is modeled after and affiliated with the national Free Arts movement that provides various forms of access to the arts to children and youth throughout the United States.
Beginning solely with Kris and Sylvia, Free Arts NW has become a movement of mentors, volunteers and partners within the Portland metro area who believe in the value of our youth and understand that art is an effective way to engage youth in sharing their voices with the community.
Free Arts NW Founders:
Kristine Bella, MA, ATR-BC, CADC1 is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Free Arts NW. Kris is a Nationally Board Certified Art Therapist and a founding member of the Portland Creative Arts Therapy Coalition. She graduated from Marylhurst College in 1997 and has worked as an adolescent and family therapist in the Portland area. She is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of youth.
Sylvia Hartowicz, MA, ATR-BC is a co-founder and Board Member of Free Arts NW. Sylvia is a Nationally Board Certified Art Therapist and a founding member of the Portland Creative Arts Therapy Coalition. She graduated from the University of Illinois (Chicago) in 2002 and has worked as an art and family therapist in New York City and Portland. She is committed to bringing empowering art activities to children.