Creative Pathways



ArtForceIowa’s Creative Pathways program is a supportive arts-based community for youth who have had involvement in the juvenile court system. We use an arts-integrated approach to build life and work skills, as well as mentor and advocate for the youth we serve.


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

With Creative Pathways, ArtForceIowa offers youth who are 13-19 and juvenile-court-involved a positive, arts-based community. By building relationships with youth through common interests in art, youth develop a healthy sense of self-expression, home work and life skills, and create positive relationships with supportive adults.



ArtForceIowa makes contact with youth through the following types of programs: Workshops, Internships and Apprenticeships, and Individual Support.

Creative Pathways Workshop- ­ During this weekly workshop, youth artist and artist mentors join together in community. Weekly activities introduce youth to a variety of art forms, integrating work and life skills as well as academic and civic engagement. Examples of topics include setting priorities through creative time-­mapping,  job interview skills using theatre exercises, and coping with moods and emotions through abstract painting. The group also completes quarterly service projects. Examples of this include making and delivering Valentine’s Day cards for the homeless through Joppa; and screen­printing canvas bags for ‘Adoption Sunday’ though the 5th Judicial District and Iowa KidsNet.

Arts Workshops - In the Creative Pathways program, youth have an array of opportunities for arts exploration. Each workshop lasts 2 hours. In any given week there are 15-18 hours of small group arts taking place, offering as many as six different artistic mediums. The Artist-Mentor listens to the interests and desires of the youth and creates a responsive path for their sessions. Workshops include mentorship in Digital Arts (Video Production, Graphic Design), Performance Arts (Piano, Guitar, Drums, Singing, Ensemble) and Visual Arts (Drawing, Painting, Sketching, Screen-Printing).


Exhibits and Presentations - Youth present their work through exhibits and performances in the community, as well as at ArtForceIowa’s open houses throughout the year.  During these events, community members, families, and service providers celebrate the achievements of our youth.

Advocacy and Support -  Artist-mentors and program staff develop supportive and healthy relationships with youth, advocating for them in the court and school system, and give them moral support through life’s hardships.

Participant Profile

Creative Pathways is designed for youth who fit a specific profile.  Participants should:

  • Have Juvenile Court involvement within one year of registration.
  • Live in Polk County.
  • Show an interest in the arts.
  • Be between 13 and 19 years old.
  • Be available to participate in at least 1 to 2 workshops per week.