Art from Ashes (AfA) creative programs provide an innovative approach to addressing the issues that face struggling young people in our society. AfA’s programs use the power of creative expression to engage youth who live in hopelessness because of experiences and/or circumstances characterized by poverty, racism, gender identity, criminal activity and abuse.

“I like being able to present myself truly without being judged or laughed at.”
—Theronne, age 17, PATHS

Evaluations have shown that when young people recognize and access their creative genius, their awareness of their power and value help them make more positive choices.

“What I like best about coming to Art from Ashes workshops is that I can learn things I didn’t know about. I can make better choices on certain things that they teach me.”
—Izzy, age 15, Metro Denver Partners

Our expressive, interactive programs have offered a healthy alternative to destructive behaviors, academic disengagement and substance abuse to more than 9,000 young people struggling with physical abuse and violence, poverty, racism, depression, and low academic engagement over the past 11 years.

“I get to hear about how others feel or how they may perceive the world.”
—Leilani, age 15, Aurora Central High School

The core principles of every Art from Ashes creative program are EXPRESSION, CONNECTION and TRANSFORMATION.

  1. EXPRESSION facilitates a safe way for youth to tell their story, primarily using the language of poetry and other expressions of creativity;
  2. CONNECTION offers a safe space and healthy method of expression that allows understanding, acceptance and empathy to develop with peers, adults, and the larger community;
  3. TRANSFORMATION helps youth discover and express their creativity and recognize it is within their power to choose a healthy, productive life.

“A feel a lot more relaxed and open to sharing my emotions. I have become more confident in my creative ability and also talking in front of my peers.”
—Erica, age 14, Douglas County Student Support Center

Youth Empowerment Programs

Through poetry and spoken word, the Phoenix Rising program helps youth re-imagine their inner narrative, change their story and find their inherent creative genius.

Through creative play and theater, the Casting Shadows program provides youth with a safe environment in which to take risks, collaborate, and experiment with conflict through dramatic structure.

Through visual and tactile art, the Drawing on Air program helps youth find a powerful non-verbal outlet for expression.

Through aesthetic movement and physical expression, Wingspan invigorates the kinetic energy of creativity in marginalized youth.

Each creative program has one mission: to facilitate right-brain techniques that promote creative transformation among youth in desperate circumstances, encouraging them to recognize and utilize internal resources, allowing them to manage their perceptions and make informed choices, thereby creating hope and the resultant self-determination necessary for success.

Adult/Professional Programs

All adult and professional workshops fund our work with youth.

Art from Ashes Adult Writing Workshops allow participants to access seldom-used right-brain creative ability and discover the power of words to heal. Because the process does not focus on skills development, all levels of writers (including those who think they are not) are welcome and will benefit.

Apostrophe factor Professional Creative Workshops that focus on increased productivity through access to creativity.