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who we are

Paper Whale creates interactive experiences to inspire creatives in the Pacific Northwest. We began by offering the creative community a voice to contribute meaningful ideas that help create place and protect a unique artistic flavor on Bellingham's Waterfront District.   

our mission

Paper Whale’s mission is to cultivate community in an evolving program of multi-sensory events to inspire and creatively activate placemaking.  We are a social purpose venture, a hybrid between a traditional for-profit and a nonprofit organization, where we maximize social good as our top priority.  

the team

Gretchen Leggitt

Creative Director & Co-Founder

Gretchen Leggitt's art explores a diverse range of subject and medium, evidence of her passion for expansive investigations of the creative world. An avid adventurer and traveler, Gretchen's playful subjects are mused by influential places that have caught her eye along the way. Many of her patterns and landscapes are reflections of her roots in the Southwest, along with the cultural and natural influence of her current home in the Pacific Northwest. She resides, recreates and creates in Bellingham, WA.

Nick Hartrich

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Nick has spent his 25 years in Bellingham, WA working to inspire and influence creative change in community.  He has worked in global sustainability but his heart is deeply rooted locally.  He moves quick, takes risks and views "yes" as a currency. For those seeking an economically vibrant future that also includes our artists, storytellers and creatives - he is open to activating ideas into inspiring outcomes.  Paper Whale is one such project, and he invites you to participate.

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