Groups Encourage Art in Des Moines - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Groups Encourage Art in Des Moines

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by Phil Prazan


Art inspires young Iowans every day and two local groups hope to bring more painting, music and theater to our community.
High schoolers burst through a door with a task: to learn video basics after school.  They try to get long shots, medium shots and close-ups.

They later discuss it with John Mark Feilmeyer of Art Force Iowa.
"They come here and they gain skills in something and maybe they aren't good at math or English, but maybe they're good at drawing or maybe they're good at production and it gives them courage and confidence and the ability to think positive, this is what I can do with my life," says Feilmeyer.

Art Force Iowa brings art to at-risk, court-involved and many other Iowa youth.

They have workshops for the visual arts, drawing, cultural art and hip hop production.  That's Kevin Molina's workshop of choice.

"I feel like rap is expressing my feelings you know," says Molina.

This Hoover Sophomore enjoys how Art Force Iowa is not regimented or strictly scheduled like normal classes.

It's a distraction from every day life in the urban core.
"I come here cause it's peaceful, everyone is cool with you, we all get along, I guess nothing bad happens," says Molina.

Across town at Creative Visions, a cast rehearses the new play, "The Tragedy" that shows April 6th at the Des Moines Historical Building.

Director Claudine Cheatem runs through lines with actors and actresses.

The play is put on by Team Strong Inc.

"We really want to focus on self-empowerment, self-confidence, especially with our young people now days," says John Martin from Team Strong Inc.

John Martin started Team Strong in 2011, starting with family friendly comedy shows.  This new play is meant to be a vivid portrait of urban reality.  It takes on issues like homosexuality, HIV and domestic abuse.

It follows five characters and the choices they make.
"They all have instances where it can turn into a tragedy or it might not, you just have to come check it out and see what choices these folks make," says Martin.

For more information on Art Force Iowa, click here.

For more information on Team Strong Inc. or to get tickets to "The Tragedy," click here.

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