All humans have a fundamental need to be accepted and valued by others. Celebrated psychologist, Abraham Maslow identified the “belonging need” as an essential need for human development and survival. The sense of belonging and group acceptance empowers youth – through a nurturing and safe environment – to face challenges, to seek and receive support, and to build self-esteem.

I liked being part of the youth leadership group, I felt like my opinions matter.
– Jonathan, age 15

Free Arts NW creates a space where children and adolescents feel safe, comfortable and accepted. They are guided by inspiring, professional artists who also serve as nurturing mentors. Free Arts NW establishes an environment that fosters positive peer relationships and encourages learning new skills and facing challenges together. When youth are able to develop a sense of belonging within a group, their ability to explore their artistic talents and expressions can flourish.