ArtForce Iowa is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Des Moines Iowa. Founded in 2012, ArtForce Iowa has a mission to transform youth in need through art. ArtForce Iowa has pioneered a non-pathologizing approach to working with children targeted as in need of services. We offer a critical humanizing perspective through case studies. Seven youth artists are highlighted to provide windows into complicated, troubling, and hopeful effects of their relationship with their own healing. This article aims to shed light on the promise and innovation of authentic supportive kindness and youth leadership to support the social and emotional lives of children from marginalized communities.

Author Biography

Christine Her

Christine Her is the Executive Director.

Christine is the daughter of Hmong refugee parents from Laos and a Des Moines native. She graduated from East High School and pursued her B.A. at Drake University. She is highly motivated to interrupt social and systemic injustices with hope and opportunity.

Yvette Zaród Hermann

Yvette Zaród Hermann is the Arts Outreach Educator.

Yvette is a passionate advocate for the rights of young people. As a New York City Teaching Fellow, Yvette earned her Master's of Science in Education from CUNY Lehman College while teaching English Language Arts in a public high school in the Bronx. She has 13 years of classroom teaching experience and her favorite projects involve poetry, dance and theatre.

Emma Parker

Emma Parker is the DSM Heroes Program Director.

Emma is a visual artist with a talent for envisioning collaborative projects. She graduated from Iowa State University with a BFA in Studio Art.

Streaming Media

Media is loading

Additional Streaming Media



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.