AAPI Heritage Month is wrapping up, but an Iowa nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for youth through art is far from done.
In fact, ArtForce Iowa is currently full to the brim with young artists.
"Right now, our programs are on hold because we're at max capacity of young people, but I want to invite the community to always come to our events," said Christine Her, the executive director for ArtForce Iowa.
Based out of Mainframe Studios in downtown Des Moines, the nonprofit outlines three main priorities: centering young people, advocating for youth and strengthening communities.
Her shared that, oftentimes, when young people are feeling angry or lost, art is a place to turn to for creativity and safety.
"For us, it's just being able to say, 'Hey, what kind of artist are you? Who do you want to be? And, when you're feeling mad, how do we help you regulate that feeling?'" Her said.
That's why ArtForce Iowa has spaces for artists and mentors to work together. Her said it helps them see art as not only a valuable outlet, but a viable career path.
"They say that, 'Hey, maybe I can take photos for a living, maybe I can make this art, maybe I can make this t-shirt,'" she said. "And then they start to see the pathways of what it could look like to be an actual artist."
For more information about ArtForce Iowa and their upcoming summer events, click here.