Let art transform you. 


If you know a youth who might benefit from our program please click here or call 515 777 3182.

Iowa Arts in Education's ArtForceIowa

Iowa Arts in Education is a new non-profit organization, created with the goal of improving access for Iowan youth to transformative arts experiences.  Project ArtForceIowa is designed to serve youth (ages 14 to 19) in high-crime and high-poverty areas of Des Moines.  With arts as its backbone, the project’s holistic approach will prepare youth with juvenile court pasts for successful and vibrant adult lives.

ArtForceIowa will form a group of 100 participants from the urban core of Des Moines, capable of creatively tackling the challenges of the future.  Each participant will work one-on-one with project staff to create and pursue their goals, build character through service to the community, and use positive media to express themselves.

Art Force

Art is a force for good. Every aspect of our project comes from Art and returns to it. Research shows that visual, performing, and media arts can have a profound impact on youth. With access to the arts, ArtForceIowa participants will improve academically and develop emotionally, preparing them for a lifetime of success, with the force of art at the core.

Life Coaching

Getting the moral and emotional support to pursue their life goals.  From the beginning ArtForceIowa participants are paired with a staff member. They develop education, employment, and personal goals, and work together to create thoughtful methods to pursue them. Participants have the opportunity to develop introspective arts projects, using a variety of media.  Participants get the support they need, be it through advocacy in the schools or private tutoring and test preparation.

Working for Justice

Finding a place in the community.   ArtForceIowa works with participants to serve the community in ways that are meaningful to them, permitting them to better understand their own struggles and the struggles of others.  Participants create their own restorative justice projects to seek out atonement for past wrongs and to advocate for a better community.  

Hands on Learning

Learning by doing.  Confucius says, “I do and I understand.” ArtForceIowa believes that hands-on-learning is the best way for participants to gain technical skills that will give them the boost they need to follow career pathways.  Students learn technical skills in multi-media production, as well as other artistic disciplines that interest them.  Participants experiment with a variety of career pathways that include those related to the arts (i.e. production, photography, sound recording, graphic design, etc). As their ambitions become clearer, participants begin focusing their education goals to reflect the pathways that appeal to them. This may include reevaluating elective classes at school, or beginning a technical or post-secondary education.

Exploring Career Pathways

Discovering the possibilities. As participants’ career related ambitions become clearer, ArtForceIowa provides participants with career-specific-mentoring. Mentors spend at least one hour a week with participant over a period of two months. During these sessions, the participants learn about what it takes to pursue their given ambitions. They also go to work with their mentors, gaining first-hand internship-like experience in their chosen career. In addition to mentorship, ArtForceIowa helps students to get part time and full time jobs, in order to build their resumes and gain useful work experience.



If you know someone who might benefit from our program please  click here or call 515 777 3182.