About Us!


Youth Arts Alliance (YAA) is a four-county art collaborative in Southeast Michigan. The project developed out of a commitment made by facility administrators to find more ways to color the black and white landscape that youth face in the Juvenile Justice System. With the support of community artists and dedicated volunteers our canvas screams prevention, possibilities and positive futures.

Youth Arts Alliance serves youth who are in residential treatment and detention services at Jackson County Youth Center in Jackson, Washtenaw County Youth Center in Ann Arbor, and Monroe County Youth Center in Monroe. Additionally, YAA offers youth involved with the Livingston County Juvenile Court community-based workshops in Howell.

Each week, over 125 youth, express themselves in visual arts, creative writing and theater. 92% of youth plan to participate in more creative arts activities upon returning to their communities.

Our Beliefs 

We believe in the power of potential. 

Youth Arts Alliance is built on the foundation that every young adult has the ability to excel if given the proper opportunity, platforms, and audience. And that lasting personal transformation begins with belief in oneself, fueled by others’ belief in them.

We believe in the power of creativity. 

Creativity gives individuals the ability to express themselves, work with others, build something significant, and claim some control in a world where they have little. It is not about the work itself. It is about the seeds that are planted in the process.

We believe in the power of results. 

Youth Arts Alliance is crafted to be approachable, creative, and fun. But we are an organization focused on the long term. We are not here to help pass time or to entertain. We are here to change life trajectories at a volatile and life-defining time.

We believe in the multiplying effect. 

Our work does not end with the young adults with whom we work. We see our effects changing their lives, but we also see it altering the very course of the future; their communities, their peers, their positive effect on society. We also believe in the model and are here to share, spread, and fuel success.