ArtForce Iowa is a 501c3 non-profit that was founded in 2012 by a group of concerned citizens. Our mission is to transform youth in need through art. All programs are based on our three force model. The model incorporates life and work skills, mentorship, and advocacy into the art of creative expression. A variety of programs have been designed to focus on this model: Creative Pathways,  DSM Heroes, and StreetCred Studios.  

  

CREATIVE PATHWAYS is a supportive arts-based community for youth who have had involvement in the juvenile or family court system.

We recruit and train professional artists in our community to become Artist Mentors and spend quality time with struggling youth. Artist Mentors help define a safe space and help youth artists find their creative voice.

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

  • Have juvenile or family court involvement within the past year

  • Live in Polk County

  • Show an interest in the arts

  • Be between 12 and 19 years old

  • Receive free or reduced priced lunches

  • Be available to participate in at least 1 to 2 workshops per week.



DSM HEROES is a supportive arts-based community for immigrant, refugee and first-generation American youth who have experienced violence and trauma.

Artist Mentors create friendly opportunities for arts experimentation and learning in a multi-lingual atmosphere. Weekly workshops based on young people’s individual interests and informal field trips help them adjust to a new culture and build resiliency.

DSM Heroes is designed for youth who fit a specific profile.  Participants should:

  • Be a refugee/immigrant

  • Live in Polk County

  • Show an interest in the arts

  • Be between 12 and 19 years old

  • Receive free or reduced priced lunches

  • Victim of crime including, but not limited to hate crimes, sexual abuse, child abuse, trafficking. (We consider their refugee status enough evidence of crime and do not need to pry further.)

  • Be available to participate in at least 1 to 2 workshops per week. 



STREETCRED STUDIOS:
Launched in 2016 as a social enterprise to lift employment obstacles for young adults with criminal backgrounds, StreetCred Studios is a full-service screen-printing shop.

StreetCred Studios offers choices and opportunities for individual expression, and encourages independent decision-making in every workshop. We offer small group and one-on-one instruction at times convenient to young people’s individual schedules. Mentors model workforce behavior at all StreetCred workshops as well as infuse fun and community building activities. StreetCred Heroes’ research base consists of Self Determination Theory and Trauma-Informed Care Principles.