Des Moines, Iowa – September 29, 2016  -  ArtForceIowa, Des Moines’s arts-outreach organization, released its annual report earlier this week detailing the success and expansion of programs during the 2015–2016 program year.  The report shows that for the second year in a row, recidivism rates are significantly lower for juvenile offenders who participate. Additionally, seven of eight youths who were seniors this year, graduated from high school — a stunning graduation rate considering that studies show between 30–40 percent of youth who endured incarceration drop out of school. 


During the 2015–2016 program year, ArtForceIowa received funding to launch two major programs. The Community Innovation Investors’ Ignite Innovation Grant was awarded to the screen-printing and job program, StreetCred Studios. A three-year grant was also awarded by the Victim Services Office of the Attorney General of the State of Iowa to serve immigrant and refugee youth through DSM Heroes.


“Our mission is to transform youth in need through art,” reported Executive Director, John Mark Feilmeyer. “I see our staff, artists and volunteers having a positive impact on the youth we serve every day. This support is leading to better academic success, better quality of life and better futures for our youth.”


The annual report is available on the organization’s website at




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



Liz Adelman

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