restART Studio

A nonprofit organization

$5,336 raised by 18 donors

89% complete

$6,000 Goal

restART studio is a Colorado nonprofit that is transforming the lives of youth who are involved in the criminal justice system through the power of art therapy.

With your donation, you can join restART studio's pursuit to help end the school-to-prison pipeline and recidivism cycle.

The Need

Too many of our nation’s youth are being criminalized at young ages & getting stuck in a never-ending cycle of the justice system.

The “school-to-prison pipeline” is a disturbing national trend wherein youth are funneled out of schools & into the criminal justice system.

Disproportionately these are disadvantaged & marginalized youth – those living in poverty, BIPOC, and youth who have experienced neglect, abuse, and violence. The combination of traumatic and unjust circumstances and lack of support to process the psychological impacts leads many youth to act out in defensive and ultimately unproductive ways. 

However, there’s been a lack of capacity to address these behaviors in a healing way. Court systems and detention facilities are ill-equipped to address the trauma & mental health struggles that bring many youth into contact with the juvenile justice system. 70% of justice-involved youth have a diagnosable mental health condition.

The typical punitive responses place youth on a revolving path with the criminal justice system - one difficult to jump off of; resulting in further traumatization, substance use, and incarceration, in a group that is already at high risk due to their social vulnerabilities.

Our Program 

At restART studio, we are showing that programs leveraging art therapy can be an effective way to help justice-involved youth heal and begin rebuilding a life that taps into their enormous potential.

We provide weekly 1:1 and small group art therapy free of cost to justice-involved and at-risk youth, facilitated by licensed mental health, addiction, and art therapy clinicians.

We encourage youth to learn from their mistakes; 

to understand that they are worthy and valuable.

Our trauma-informed program is designed to work with each youth individually as people with unique talents, interests, and aspirations as well as difficulties, experiences, and trauma. This requires building a relationship based on trust to be able to meaningfully understand what drives their behavior and leads them to choices that don’t serve their ability to thrive.

restART studio youth receive help to process difficult emotions, increase their ability to express their thoughts and feelings in healthy ways, and gain support in efforts to avoid returning to the same behaviors and social groups that attributed to their legal involvement.

Please read more on our "Art Therapy" tab!


We work in partnership with the City of Longmont, CO's youth redirection program (REWiND). This allows us to divert youth away from the conventional court system by providing early intervention & therapeutic support through the use of art therapy. We hold youth accountable while also offering opportunities to use art to reflect & learn from their mistakes, instead of strictly receiving punishment for their maladaptive behaviors. 

After completing therapy, the youth are able to get their associated criminal charges expunged & their record sealed. This further aids in reversing damaging labels & validating new, positive behaviors & identities.


"[After participating in art therapy], I feel a lot more confident and sure of myself. I'm more self-aware, and I feel like I'm able to make good decisions."
"Before I was in art therapy, I definitely felt lost, but once I had someone to talk to, I felt more comfort and relief about myself."
"[After participating in art therapy], I view myself way differently, with better control of my behaviors."
"[Art therapy] was relaxing and easier to talk with someone while doing an activity I love. I enjoyed the flexibility and options that were available."
"[Art therapy] was helpful. [It] made me calm, more at peace, (and gave me) a better understanding of things."
"[After participating in art therapy], I am more self-aware and feel more care towards myself as a human. I treat myself with respect."
"[Before participating in art therapy], I used to make not-so-good choices, and now I make good ones."
"[Art therapy was helpful by] reconnecting me with my family."
"[Art therapy was helpful because] I had someone to talk to."
"[Art therapy] helped me put in words the things that I spent an enduring time thinking about and suppressing."
"[Art therapy] helped me express my feelings towards others in healthy ways."
"[After participating in art therapy], I view myself as more joyful."
"I am now able to openly talk about issues in my life."
"[Art therapy was helpful because] it was something to do instead of getting into trouble."
"I now know how to better access my emotions."
"[After participating in art therapy], I am able to express myself more than ever."
"[Art therapy helped me] expand my mind and see things in (the) bigger picture."


restART studio's mission is to harness the power of art therapy to help justice-involved youth understand their feelings & behavior and realize their potential.

Background Statement

restART studio was founded in July 2021 by Amanda Holst and Krista Marks, who are passionate about helping youth have the confidence and support they need to live a life outside of the criminal justice system.

Located in a cozy space in Longmont, CO; we work in partnership with a city-led youth redirection program that provides youth with an opportunity to divert from Municipal Court involvement by voluntary engaging in art therapy at restART studio as a more restorative practice than traditional juvenile justice experiences.

restART studio started as a twelve-month pilot art therapy program offering individual and small group art therapy to justice-involved youth. The art therapy pilot proved to be successful in reaching justice-involved youth in a unique and transformative way. In recognition of the program's success, we have continued to serve justice-involved youth with art therapy beyond the pilot and have the intention of scaling our program to reach more at-risk youth throughout the state of Colorado.

Organization Data


Organization name

restART Studio

other names

Foundation for Scalable Innovations

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, Youth Development

Organization Size

Small Organization



Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US



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