AXA social media campaign _edited.jpg

The Story of AXA

“To cultivate an environment in which the creative class thrives

through community works of art

and community partnerships.”

STATEMENT OF INTENT | AXA was founded in March of 2020 by artist, advocate and mentor,

Jill Wells BFA, CADC who draws from her experiences as an Artist and Iowa Board Certified Substance Use Counselor to bring together youth, artists, educators, advocates and community organizations. The intent of AXA is to foster clear direction for underserved youth in Des Moines by engendering community pride through wide connections, deep appreciation, and representation of cultural identity.  A.X.A. Mentorship Program is an investment in a broad community, measured by quality of life and the expression of cultural richness.

MISSION + PROGRAM | The mission of A.X.A. Mentorship Program is to ease the academic and social/emotional transition for graduating high school students in the Des Moines community who are going directly into higher education or a career in the arts or advocacy fields of work. The program is open to 11th – 12th grade students attending Des Moines public high schools. A.X.A. provides mentorship programming to connect underserved Des Moines youth with emerging and established artists, and other career professionals. Mentees will also co-create a public work of art with AXA founder and primary mentor Jill Wells. The six-month mentorship program includes two, 3-month long mentorship slots. Each mentee will receive:

  • weekly one-on-one mentor/mentee sessions (Frequency: 1x weekly sessions @1 hour per week. Any additional time invested by Mentee, outside of the listed frequency, is unpaid and at the mentee’s discretion).

  • mentee stipend: $500.00

  • a series of community engagement workshops, podcasts, and interviews

  • mainframe studio space

  • a resume/portfolio prep workshop 

  • professional photography headshots

  • creating an original public work of art

  • professional network development

  • social/emotional support

  • practical experience working with professionals in a variety of creative/corporate disciplines

  • community involvement through creating a public work of art/art performance

  • Due to COVID-19, A.X.A. Mentorship Program will be conducted: 1) following Federal CDC guidelines 2) via a hybrid in-person and virtual schedule


 The AXA strongly believes that engendering community pride and providing quality art programing includes collaboration with community organizations and is currently partnered with: 

  • Drake University

  • ArtForce Iowa

  • Mainframe Studios

  • Iowa Department for The Blind

  • Iowa Arts Council: Iowa Arts & Culture Resilience Grant funding with a 1:1 match up to $5,000.00

Let’s Work Together

Mainframe Studios

900 Keosauqua Way

Studio 447

Des Moines, IA 50309

Tel: 515.803.6344

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
Thanks for submitting!