Nancy Towne-Smith, Chair: Pacific Power: Nancy works at Pacific Power as a Business Specialist, Transmission and Distribution Operations Support. She is responsible for communications and documentation as well as research and analysis. During her free time, she enjoys volunteering and working with a variety of organizations. She has a degree in Art Therapy Counseling and has worked with both youth and older adults. Nancy’s love of art goes back to her early years, and she enjoys the opportunity to work with kids to help them discover and develop their own personal creativity. She especially enjoys the way that art is a bridge that spans perceived barriers, providing an inclusive and safe environment to explore one’s full potential.
Lauren Grant, Treasurer: Human Resources Coordinator at DoubleTree by Hilton: Lauren received her Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management, Management/Leadership, and Psychology (with a concentration in Family Studies) from Portland State University. She brings experience in nonprofit management and community outreach, as well as practical experience in business administration. She has a strong background in managerial accounting and corporate finance from her studies at Portland State. For nearly a decade, Lauren has worked directly with youth from a variety of backgrounds in both educational and research settings. As an Arts Facilitator for Free Arts NW, she has witnessed firsthand the impact of arts education in empowering growing adolescents. In her free time, Lauren plays guitar and ukulele and hopes to learn the banjo.
Kris Bella, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Free Arts NW: After assisting youth with severe mental health and drug and alcohol issues for many years, Kris developed a passion for prevention and community mobilization. Her love of art and desire to help others find their passion and purpose in life motivated her to co-found Free Arts NW. Being able to tap into one’s creative self, can bring about a level of change and transformation that may have seemed previously unattainable. Kris has had a love of art from a very young age and was supported by her family to fully embrace her creative outlets. She fully enjoys all visual arts, with a special interest in three dimensional art creations.
Trista Wolles, Secretary: Student at Marylhurst University: Trista recently received her Undergraduate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and currently attends the Art Therapy Graduate Program at Marylhurst University. As a PREVENT! steering committee and coalition member, Trista spends much of her spare time volunteering in events related to youth substance abuse prevention. As an artist, Trista enjoys painting and drawing and has a passion for helping others find their own inner artist.
Casey Layton: Casey Layton has lived in the Portland Metro area for almost 9 years with her family. Casey has worked as an instructor of management classes at Portland Community College and has worked in the hospitality industry as well. She has been an active volunteer for various community organizations throughout the Metro area as a youth basketball coach, elementary school classroom volunteer and high school college mentor. Casey’s action to get involved with FANW stems from her passion to see youth set and achieve personal goals. Casey spends her social time with her friends singing karaoke and taking dance classes.
Lizzy Freeman: Lizzy Freeman is currently a student at Oregon College of Art and Craft working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She’s been passionate about art her whole life and loves sharing the joy of art with kids. With skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, and many other mediums, she brings her knowledge to teach kids the power of art during the Free Arts Summer Art Camp, as well as other volunteer opportunities. Lizzy is always willing to provide a positive experience through these activities.
Vikki Allen: Vikki Allen has dedicated 15+ years working with children and families who are working to overcome barriers in their lives. She has been involved with Free Arts NW from the very beginning, providing children an opportunity to explore and discover their creative side. She recently received her MSW. Vikki studied dance 20 years ago and currently loves to write, paint, sculpt and make jewelry. She is honored to be on the board of directors for Free Arts NW.