Determined 2 Make It was made possible by Heather Martin, founder of Youth Arts Alliance! Martin arranged for filmmakers Gabrielle and Juan Javier Pescador to have unprecedented access to youth serving their sentences in lock up facilities and in other venues in which they were fulfilling community service.
Youth Arts Alliance! is an organization that provides creative arts workshops inside juvenile detention and residential treatment facilities in Southeast Michigan. Beyond the commitment to provide arts programming to youth who have very little access to arts resources, Youth Arts Alliance! establishes creative spaces where youth are encouraged to take positive, artistic risks while exploring the issues that have brought them into the Juvenile Justice system. As a result, youth have shared that they feel safe and free to express themselves.
Heather Martin founded Youth Arts Alliance! in an effort to establish opportunities for creative expression in the juvenile justice system. Martin has extensive experience in the coordination and management of innovative, creative arts programming. She has facilitated hundreds of creative arts workshops for youth and adults impacted by the criminal justice system. Youth Arts Alliance! celebrates a strong partnership with the University of Michigan’s Prison Creative Arts Project where Heather Martin coordinates training, programming and events. Heather Martin holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan.