“I like being able to present myself truly without being judged or laughed at.”

—Theronne, age 17, PATHS

Since 2003, our expressive, interactive programs have offered a healthy alternative to destructive behaviors, academic disengagement, and substance misuse to more than 14,000 young people struggling with physical abuse and violence, poverty, racism, depression, and low academic engagement.

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 recognize and reveal their creativity and realize it is within their power to choose a healthy, productive life.

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.

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

Youth Empowerment Programs

Please Note: Art from Ashes requires our partners to introduce a minimum of four Phoenix Rising workshops to introduce the creative power of language and metaphor before beginning any other program.

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 visual and tactile art, the Drawing on Air program helps youth find a powerful non-verbal outlet for expression that complements the impact words have on our perception.

Still in Development:

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

Art from Ashes 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.

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.

Contact our Director of Programs

“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
“I 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

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.