Determined 2 Make It on NPR

Cynthia Canty interviews director Juan Javier Pescador on NPR’s Stateside on Determined 2 Make It and the state of Juvenile Justice in Michigan.  The segment airs Jan 4, 2017 at 3pm and 10pm.screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-3-13-19-pm

To listen to the interview go to


Screening at Michigan Juvenile Detention Association

We are so pleased and honored to to announce that DETERMINED 2 MAKE IT will be screened at the MJDA Annual Higgins Lake Conference on August 11.  This is a statewide conference in Michigan for Juvenile Detention professionals.

It is our hope that the film will help organizations like Youth Arts Alliance! to provide creative arts workshops inside juvenile detention and residential treatment facilities in Michigan. YAA! connects youth and community artists in partnership to explore lives and futures; engagement in the arts provides tremendous vehicles for self-exploration, expression and coping.

Washtenaw County Youth Center, Mural Detail

Washtenaw County Youth Center, Mural Detail

Interested in a Youth Arts Alliance! training, Determined 2 Make It screenings, DVDs or more information? Email or  fill out the contact form below.


Imagination is Free

“When we think about our imagination we aren’t locked up, we’re anywhere we want to be.” – Mary Thiefels, artist
Determined 2 Make It, documentary on youth in the Michigan Juvenile Justice System.

Washtenaw County Youth Center

Production shot of youth painting a mural at the Washtenaw County Youth Center with artist Mary Thiefels. The title of the mural is Anything is Possible.

Determined 2 Make It

Determined 2 Make It

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System of Southeast Michigan search for ways to tell their stories through hip hop music, visual arts and public murals. Through their interaction with art, these boys and girls create a space to reflect on hardships, expectations and hope, revealing a unique perspective on who they are and what lies ahead.

Stay tuned for the trailer and information about screenings.