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The Walter Hive Raises $100K in Support of Arts-Driven Mission at Big Buzz Fundraiser
By Brian O'Malley - Friday Apr 05, 2024
In support of its mission of building resilience, promoting healing and fostering creativity through the arts, The Walter Hive recently hosted its annual Big Buzz fundraiser on Friday March 22 at The Walter Dome in Scottsdale. With more than 350 supporters on-hand, the 501non-profit exceeded its fundraising goal of $100,000 to support the many programs they offer to the community.

This unique event combined all that the Walter family of organizations has come to be known for in the valley with live music, interactive art activities, food, drinks, and special appearance by Big Red, one of the original art cars produced by Walter Productions.

Throughout the evening, guests were encouraged to enjoy the numerous experiences available including a special exhibit featuring local artist Diane Sanborn, virtual reality sculpting by Kuba the Cybermonk and live art instruction by well-known graffiti artist SAR.TMB. The evening culminated in a live paddle raise with renowned auctioneer Bobby D. During this portion of the event, attendees helped the Walter Hive achieve and surpass their fundraising goal to continue their work with organizations like Hospice of the Valley Dementia Care, Voices for CASA, the Arizona Burn Foundation, Girl Scouts Cactus-Pine Council and more to heal trauma’s and inspire creativity across the Valley.

“We are fortunate to have so many friends come out and show their support of the Walter Hive as we know the power of art to bring people together, heal and foster connection, but for everyone to be so giving of their time and financial resources is humbling,” says Kirk Strawn, founder and chairman of the board for The Walter Hive. “We formed the Hive with intent to give of our talents and energy to support those who need it most, and the funding we received from this very giving community will go a long way to extend that programming to the organizations and individuals we assist.”

The Walter Hive was established in 2017 by Mary and Kirk Strawn following many years of volunteer support by Mary with young burn survivors at the burn center at Valleywise Health (formerly Maricopa Integrated Health System). It was there she understood the power of arts in therapy and she continued this work with the Arizona Burn Foundation. From this work, spawned a bigger idea to create a space dedicated to empowering arts and run by a community of like-minded indivudals which is now The Walter Hive.

The Walter Hive is host to two unique spaces, the Walter Dome and Walter Gallery. The Dome is an upcycled former lumber warehouse turned makerspace with fabrication tools such as a wood shop, welding, laser cutter, 3D printer where the majority of programming occurs. The Gallery frequently houses art shows with featured artists, but is also home to unique fabrications produced by the numerous nonprofits and program participants that come through their doors.

The event was made possible by key sponsors Mi-Pod, Alerus, SRP, Ogeez!, Agital, Southtown Dental, Venture Projects and Blick Art Materials with in-kind donations from Walter Station Brewery, OHSO, JAJA Tequila, Six Byrd Ciders, RNDC, Liquid Alchemist, Alstrin Photography and Ritual.

For more information on The Walter Hive, its programming and the availability of its art-forward coursework to nonprofits, companies and general public, please visit www,