Yesterday was ArtForceIowa’s Back To School Open House – an event showcasing the work of youth artists in street art, screen printing, filmmaking, video production and music by the ArtForceIowa band. It was incredible to see the art and the artists behind it all.

The first line of text on ArtForceIowa’s website: “Transform youth in need through art.”

Isn’t it great how powerful art can be? Transforming lives of young people in need. Amazing.

Below is more information on ArtForceIowa (taken from their website), along with photos from the open house – just a tiny glimpse into the world of art they have created.

What is ArtForceIowa?

Connecting Creative Passion to Career Pathways

ArtForceIowa is an ambitious non-profit with a mission “to transform youth in need through art.” The organization offers arts-based solutions to youth’s needs by encouraging the growth of creative expression coupled with education and workforce support.  ArtForceIowa’s Creative Pathways targets juvenile court-involved youth, offering workshop opportunities in performance, visual, and media arts, as well as wrap-around casework that provides holistic support.

Every aspect of the program comes from Art and returns to it. Research shows that visual, performance, and media arts have a profound impact on youth. With access to the arts, ArtForceIowa participants will improve academically and develop emotionally, preparing them for a lifetime of success, with the force of art at the core.

Who participates in ArtForceIowa?

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.

The program pillars of ArtForceIowa:

Art Force. Work Force. Life Force.

Art Force: Expression leads to transformation. The arts have powerful influence over youth. When youth learn that they can own that power, they can use it to improve themselves and their community. At ArtForceIowa, youth “get their hands dirty” right away, and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops including performance, visual, and digital arts.

Work Force: Finding a creative pathway. ArtForceIowa participants gain resume-worthy experience by working with professional artists who are masters of their trade. In house cooperative internships in video production, digital media, and screen printing allow youth to gain skills and experience. We help youth to build resumes, apply for jobs, and practice the life skills necessary to maintain employment. ArtForceIowa is their best advocate as they seek to take on the workplace.

Life Force: Someone to lean on. We don’t dwell on boundaries. With open minds and empathetic hearts, staff members listen to the problems that youth face and help them to seek solutions to live in a dignified and fulfilling way. Whether it’s at juvenile detention, the court house, or school, we advocate for youth as they tread through difficult times. We might help with homework, scheduling an appointment, or by getting youth referrals to other services and programs.

For more information on ArtForceIowa, visit

Artists and Writers ArtForceIowa

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