About Nurturing Arts

Nurturing Arts works with balancing the forces which live in the human.  

Through thinking (drawing), feeling (painting), and willing (modeling), the soul begins to experience polarities.  These polarities help to form healthy soul and spirit experiences.

Based on the work of Dr. Rudolf Steiner and further carried

by Dr. Margarethe Hauschka, Eva Mees-Christeller and Maria de Zwaan,

this work is hygienic and seeks to encourage health with and between individuals.

Nurturing Arts was introduced to the United States by Maria de Zwaan, an Anthroposophical artistic therapist from Holland who after training students in her own school for many years mentored several initiatives; Sebastopol CA, Spring Valley NY, Bulgaria, among others.


Your Facilitators



Anne Haendiges

Anne Haendiges has extensive training in therapeutic art and health studies. She has 12 years experience in adult group facilitation working with ongoing groups in her home as well as leading Nurturing Arts sessions for conferences, trainings and faculty meetings.

With a background in chemistry and biology she received a BA in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1988. Since then she has earned an M.Ed and Waldorf Teacher Certification from Antioch New England Graduate School, followed by seven fruitful years in CA raising a family and working as a class teacher and training in Nurturing Arts. This work led her to Gloucestershire, England, where she completed a BA level degree in Art and Health Studies as well as a Masters level degree in Art Therapy. During her time in England she lived and worked with adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder. She has used therapeutic art to treat people, both young and old, who have suffered from “burn-out”, addiction, stroke, adjustment to life changes, those learning to live with post- concussion, chronic fatigue, diabetes, MS, lupus, cancer. 

Mary Bowen

The quest for a life centered in social arts led Mary to the work of Rudolf Steiner, to Waldorf Education and to an initiative in the United States of Nurturing Arts. After living and teaching in Hawaii for l4 years she and her family left the islands in 1980 to train and become Waldorf teachers. As a wife and mother and juggling the tasks of a teacher, she began to wonder how one could live life in a more artistic way. At that time she met Maria deZwaan, an Anthroposophical Art Therapist from Holland, who brought the Nurturing Arts work to the United States. Mary had the good fortune of studying with Maria for over five years in Berkeley, California and in France at Chartres Cathedral. That work led to the founding of The Center For Nurturing Arts in Sebastopol, California. Mary serves as Co-director for the School and has facilitated many training courses through the School for the past twelve years.

Denise Sacks

In 1984 at a parent education class I was given a chunk of clay and encouraged along with the other unsuspecting parents to make a ball. We passed our completed pieces carefully then made a container. It was a peaceful centering experience. Next we were given more clay and exchanged our sculpture with another attendee and were asked to create something to put into their work. Now the inner experience became a social experience. When my vessel returned with a snake coiled in it I was hooked. Hooked on this interesting approach to connecting to our selves while also connecting to each other and the greater world. I continued to follow my teacher at every possible opportunity. Never thinking I could offer this to others, I did take up the training when encouraged, graduating in 2000 with our group at Chartres Cathedral in France. Since then I keep a regular practice in artistic exploration and continue to expand my circle of ongoing programs.