• Hold Up Podcast
  • Follow us on Instagram
    • The history of the entire Midwest recounted in one tiny
      2 weeks ago by urban_plains The history of the entire Midwest recounted in one tiny Iowan town: Walnut’s antique stores preserve even the lowest points of American history—and it’s all for sale.  #urbanplains  Link in bio  @urban_plains 
    • Underground lies a missile base shelter that could be used
      5 days ago by urban_plains Underground lies a missile base shelter that could be used in cases of extreme emergency. For now, its owners are renting it out on Airbnb. Read more about  @samanthaohlson  and  @elisej29 ’s journey to find out more about disaster resistance. Link in bio.  #UrbanPlains 
    • brettrosengren is our fun art director He calls Logan Iowa
      4 hours ago by urban_plains  @brettrosengren  is our fun art director. He calls Logan, Iowa home: “50% of the vehicles in Logan are riding lawnmowers.” “I’m hoping that people learn that the Midwest has a lot more to offer than just being a handful of flyover states.”  #UrbanPlains 
    • wmuckian is our other super cool senior editor Hes from
      5 days ago by urban_plains  @wmuckian  is our other super cool senior editor. He’s from St. Charles, Illinois: “I spent 30% of a conversation trying to list cities near my hometown that aren’t Chicago.” Will’s favorite part of  #UrbanPlains  is “driving to the middle of nowhere to talk to people who are excited to hear their stories are gonna be on the internet.”
    • This small town contains the stories of millions Senior editor
      1 week ago by urban_plains This small town contains the stories of millions. Senior editor  @wmuckian  explored this town full of antiques. Read more in our bio!  #UrbanPlains 
    • Your favorite podcasts hosts are back for a second Hold
      7 days ago by urban_plains Your favorite podcasts hosts are back for a second Hold Up episode. Listen in this week as hosts  @mitchellkedzior  and  @jessiespangler  talk with T.J. Juskiewicz about  @ragbrai  and his unique experience of small town Iowa. Link in bio  #UrbanPlains 
    • elisej29 is one of our detailoriented and creative senior editors
      1 week ago by urban_plains  @elisej29  is one of our detail-oriented and creative senior editors. Maple Grove, Minnesota is home for her: “it’s duck duck grey duck, and I will defend that to the ends of the earth.” “I hope readers feel like they get a sense of what the Midwest is really like and learn more about interesting things happening here.”  #UrbanPlains 
    • The stories of those who chose to ride the rails
      6 days ago by urban_plains The stories of those who chose to ride the rails are preserved in the  @hobomuseum  in Britt, Iowa. Learn more about the rich history of hobos by watching a video by marketing director  @mitchellkedzior  (link in bio).  #UrbanPlains 
    • Staff members samanthaohlson and elisej29 explored this underground missile silo
      5 days ago by urban_plains Staff members  @samanthaohlson  and  @elisej29  explored this underground missile silo and learned more about the importance of being prepared for the worst. Learn more by clicking the link in our bio.  #UrbanPlains 
    • Service dogs are extremely importantowners who pretend their dogs are
      2 weeks ago by urban_plains Service dogs are extremely important—owners who pretend their dogs are service animals pose multiple threats to real service dogs. Read more by reading the link in our bio.  #UrbanPlains 
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter

After-School Graffiti Workshop Changes Youth Perspective

Photos and video by Kenzie Petty

Kristopher Rollins and Emily Lang created Movement 515 as a branch of the RunDSM organization. Their goal is to shift young people’s negative perspectives about the classroom. It encourages students to become part of the bigger conversation regarding the power they should have over their learning.

“We created Movement 515 for a number of reasons that came out of public school initiatives that stereotyped students of color as illiterate, apathetic, and disinterested in the learning,” says Rollins. “We felt quite the opposite of these stigmas and wanted to try to push the system in a direction to get others making such claims, as well as the youth themselves, to see their power and abilities.”

Since its creation, Movement 515 has developed various programs that meet throughout the Des Moines area, including graffiti art, spoken word poetry, and breakdancing. These courses meet twice a week during their respective seasons. During the classes, students and teachers learn and grow together.

“As a white, straight, male, the youth have turned me into learner more times than I can count,” Rollins says. “Just because something worked for me in school doesn’t mean it’s going to work for the population I’m trying to inspire and reach. I’ve allowed their personal experiences and perspectives to further shape my own.”

These courses are beneficial to students both in and out of the classroom. According to ArtsEdSearch, students that enroll in arts-based programs, especially those in lower-income families, demonstrate higher efficiency in leadership abilities and social skills.

Movement 515 has worked tirelessly to shift the lives of kids, in order to help them succeed. They attempt to break stereotypes by integrating the power of the arts, and bring mutual respect and education between both instructors and students.

“I’ve seen Movement 515 provide young people hope, joy, community, and family. I’ve seen young people empowered to become local leaders and activists, regardless of their age,” Rollins says. “I’ve seen Movement 515 provide young people confidence, a hope for the future, self-actualization, and authentic representation.”

Tags:

  • Kenzie Petty

    I had a really hard time letting someone else take this picture.

You May Also Like

body positivity

Fashion is Afraid of Fat

Breaking down the flawed way the fashion industry depicts how women’s bodies “should” look

It Takes A Village

Youth program helps kids avoid juvenile court system and get their lives on track.

marijuana regulation

No Reefer Madness

Where the people who aren’t stoked about marijuana legalization find their common ground in ...

Top