Courageous heARTS was founded in 2013 by Lindsay Walz, a youth worker and survivor of the 35W Bridge collapse. After nearly losing her life in the currents of the Mississippi River, her dream of opening a youth center came into unquestioned focus. Five years later, after healing from a broken back and broken spirit—using art-making as a guide—she leaned on her courageous heart to make that dream a reality.


courageous heARTS’ is more than just an art studio, it is a community space driven by a variety of evidence-based practices. Our trauma-informed and people-centered approaches are truly at the heart of everything we do. heARTS offers a variety of experiences focused on three primary goals:

  • Creative Expression: We believe that everyone is creative and that, when it comes to art-making, the process matters just as much as the product. We serve as a safety net for creativity and offer support to reconnect with one's creative spirit if its been snuffed out. Our studio is as limitless as each person's imagination, providing the supplies and support for all kinds of artists to emerge.
  • Leadership Development: Everyone can lead, in big ways and small. We work with middle and high school youth to support their emerging leadership by providing real world experiences that can support the growth of their voice, their skills and their aspirations. We also believe that everyone is a teacher and a learner and we value exploration over expertise in our space.
  • Community Building: We believe that art is a bridge builder between people, ideas, and perspectives. In all our affairs, we seek to unearth connection, deepen collaboration and build community.

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