ArtForceIowa transforms youth in need through art by developing innovative arts-based programs that integrate life and work skills.  Beyond our ongoing programs for court-involved youth (Creative Pathways) and immigrant and refugee youth who were victims of crime (DSM Heroes), we offer engaging fee-for-service programs that integrate art, work and life skills in a supportive community that encourages choice and autonomy.


DesignIT is a workshop series teaching graphic design, computer literacy, and workforce readiness skills.   Following a module-based approach, youth work on design projects that encourage concentration, introspection, and flexibility. Three base modules include logo illustration, vectorized portraits, and carefully designed resumes.  If more time is available, optional modules include poster and t-shirt design.

Key skills: introspection, graphic design, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, workforce readiness, Google Drive, file management
Ideal class size: 10
Requirements: one computer (and mouse) per student with Adobe Creative Suite installed (Illustrator and InDesign); access to internet and color printer
Budget: $175/hour; 15-30 hours


LiftOff is a workshop series on graphic design, entrepreneurship, and marketing.  Youth work furiously to develop different t-shirt designs. They host a focus group to identify which shirts are the most popular. They then have the opportunity to sell the shirts to their friends and family.   Each youth receives a percentage of profits on sales.

Key skills: graphic design, marketing, entrepreneurship, sales, financial management
Ideal class size: 7
Requirements: one computer (and mouse) per student with Adobe Creative Suite installed (Illustrator and InDesign)
Budget: $150/hour; 15-30 hours


MediaClub is a workshop series featuring youth journalism through digital media.  Youth learn how to film, shoot, and edit video that focuses on events and issues that matter to them.  They then create their own branded social media channels to diffuse the work that they have created.  

Key skills: Filming, editing, lighting, proper use of social media, impact of social media
Ideal class size: 7
Requirements: AFI provide basic equipment (cameras, lights, computers), if additional equipment is needed, the partner provides it.
Budget: $175/hour; Ongoing


Family ArtForce is a series of 2 hour multidisciplinary art workshop taught by professional artists. The workshops seek to engage youth and their parents/supports in art making, encouraging growth in communications and healthier relationships.  


Possible series:

-Visual Art - Over three weeks, discussion of self expression and self regulation lead to collaborative canvas projects between youth and their family supports.

-Improv - Over three weeks, youth and their supports learn a variety of improv games and performance techniques.  The program culminates in mini-performance of improv.

-Writing and Songwriting - A songwriter and poet work with youth and their families to express themselves through music and/or verse.  Participants leave with a printed copy of the final piece.

Ideal class size: 10-15 youth and families, around 30 people
Key Skills: introspection, self-reflection, nonverbal/verbal communication,
Requirements: art supplies
Budget: $300 per 2-hour workshop


Additional Services and Fees

Facility Fee - $50/hour. This fee pays for the use of one of our three workshop spaces.
Supply Fee - $5-$30/participant. This fee is based on workshop supply needs.
Communications Services - $50/workshop day. Use of aggressive communication tactics (text, call, social media, school reminders, etc.) to remind and confirm participant’s presence at activities.