Nancy Helmsworth

Nancy is a midwesterner who moved to Portland Oregon 30+ years ago. The Pacific Northwest is the place she always thought she belonged. The rich and natural beauty of the land inspires her in her daily life and the state of Oregon provides an amazingly diverse landscape.
The region has been where she raised my family and worked most of she professional life as an art educator. She has taught in a variety of venues, working with students of all ages, from preschool through adults. She has also developed and facilitated public participation art projects - (short term events) and worked in public schools - where she wrote/taught all the visual art curriculum, thus having the chance to work with long term art goals and guide students’ art development.

As an arts education advocate, which is an unofficial part of every arts teaching job, she strives to understand the external parameters that might support or limit access to arts education. She did this at her school, her district, in public testimony to City Hall, and by participating in the Arts Oversight Committee. These efforts reflect many, many hours of time after the work day, but she wanted to be active, rather than passive in her advocacy.

She is a practicing artist and has kept up on learning and growth while teaching full time. She recently retired from Portland Public Schools (June 2021), and now has more studio time to develop her ideas and bring them to fruition.