A note from Upstream Arts Artistic Director, Matt Guidry
I remember the moment I first recognized the empowerment that creativity in expression can offer.
It was in a dance studio, where I was working with a company of dancers. My 5-year-old son, Caleb – who is non-verbal and had just learned to walk – watched us intently. He circled the room to observe us from different angles. Then he approached the mirror and began to mimic our movements. We responded with more movement, and it soon became a back-and-forth dialogue.
At that moment, a new possibility for communication opened up for him, and for me.
Twenty years later, Caleb’s confidence and creativity are infectious. His language of movement, of dance, may be abstract; but if you listen closely, it’s not hard to understand.
In 2006, Julie and I created Upstream Arts, because Caleb reminded us that the core of communication is give and take, listening and responding – and the arts provide a perfect arena for practicing these basic human interactions. Upstream Arts now impacts thousands of people of all ages and abilities annually. But for every one classroom that we work in, there are 3 or 4 more classrooms in the same school that we could be engaging. The fact is, we’re barely scratching the surface. In 2016, our 10th Anniversary Year, we are poised to expand our reach and our scope, affecting the lives of so many more individuals with disabilities. And we need your help; you, our community, who have been so critical to our momentum.
No matter what amount you choose to give, you’re moving this work upstream into the next 10 years. Thank you for your belief and support.
Other Ways to Give
3501 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Also, if you buy toner or ink for your home or business printers, each purchase can help support Upstream Arts, you can contribute to Upstream Arts without spending any extra money. Simply purchase your toner and ink through Image One’s Toner for Autism Program! Visit TonerForAutism.com and select Upstream Arts at checkout. We will receive 5% of all proceeds from your toner and ink purchases.
We are honored to have earned the “Meet Standards” seal from the Charities Review Council! To learn more about what that means, click here.
Top image: Matt and Caleb at Upstream Arts’ first Annual Meeting and Fundraiser, 2014. Photo by David Luke.