DES MOINES, IA – (September 8, 2016)  - ArtForce Iowa is proud to launch a new program called DSM Heroes. The program will provide a supportive arts-based community for refugee, immigrant, and first generation youth between the ages of 13 and 19 who are survivors of crime. DSM Heroes will have weekly after school workshops exploring performance, fiber, visual, and digital arts.

DSM Heroes hopes to increase the quality of life and academic success for refugee and immigrant youth by creating a supportive arts-based community. In the inaugural year the program will enroll 75 youth.

“This program goes hand-in-hand with our interest and mission to transform youth in need through art,” said DSM Heroes program manager Christine Her. “We are excited to have the opportunity to serve, and provide love and support for the youth in Polk County.”

DSM Heroes is funded in part by the State of Iowa Attorney General’s Victim Support Services Program through funding from the Victim of Crime Act. “We are proud of the new initiative programs we have funded for the coming year. Beginning July 1, crime victims and their families throughout the state will have access to dozens of additional resources to help and support them through the challenges many face when crime happens. We look forward to working with these new agencies, and are anxious to see the impact they make in their communities,” said Crime Victim Assistance Division Community Specialist Natalie Scarpino.

ArtForceIowa, founded in 2012, is an arts-outreach organization in Des Moines that seeks to “transform youth in need through art.” The organization offers targeted arts programming for some of the hardest-to-reach youth in Des Moines. For more information, visit




Media Contact: Liz Adelman

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