Julie Guidry, Executive Director
Julie Guidry co-founded Upstream Arts in 2006 and has lead the organization since its inception. In 2013-14, Upstream Arts will facilitate more than 2000 teaching hours with 50+ partners. Julie has been working in the non-profit and disability communities since 1999. For the past 7 years, she has worked closely with Minneapolis Public Schools’ (MPS) Special Education Directors to develop a model for integrating Upstream Arts’ unique arts-based curriculum into social skills learning. Previously, she worked with Wilderness Inquiry, recruiting and training staff to lead integrated wilderness trips, and with Youth Frontiers as Director of Operations and New Programs, where she was responsible for the development and management of character-building programs for youth within the metro area. Julie is the former co-chair and current member of MPS’ Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) and a member of the MPS District Parent Advisory Council.
Matt Guidry, Program Director
Matt Guidry co-founded Upstream Arts in 2006 and has served as Program Director for the past 7 years, designing curriculum for the organization’s multidisciplinary arts programs for individuals with disabilities. He manages 65+ program residencies a year, as well overseeing the training of the organization’s 18 teaching artists. Matt has been a professional in the Twin Cities theater scene since 1993, in which he has worked as an actor, director, producer, educator and choreographer. He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota, where he has been an affiliated faculty member of the Theater Arts and Dance Department. He is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of The Burning House Group Theater Company, located in Minneapolis, and a member of the Acting Core of Ten Thousand Things Theater Company. In the Twin Cities, he has also performed for The Guthrie Theater, The Theater Exchange, Park Square Theater, Frank Theater, Pillsbury House Theater, Actor’s Theater of Minnesota, Margolis Brown Theater and The Old Log Theater, among others. Matt’s film credits include roles in the films World and Time Enough, Ramming Speed, Sugar & Spice and in David Lynch’s The Straight Story.
Bree Sieplinga, Associate Director
Bree Sieplinga has 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. As Associate Director at Upstream Arts, she oversees program evaluation, grantwriting, and finances. As part of the leadership team, she also develops programs and professional development in line with emerging trends in arts and education. Prior to this work, Bree worked in the Program and Advocacy Department at the New York office of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) where she coordinated advocacy activities with the United Nations and US government offices on conflict situations and global public health issues, including access to essential medicines and HIV/AIDS treatment. She was also the liaison to MSF’s European offices on private grant-making and oversaw 95 million dollars in private grants to international field projects. Previously, Bree held development positions at the Center for Assistive Technology and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, both in the Bay Area. Bree holds a BA in Literature from Northwestern University and a Masters Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Amsterdam.
Charles Fraser, Program Associate
Charles Fraser is an actor based in the Twin Cities, where he has worked for the Guthrie Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Jon Hassler Theater, Park Square Theatre, Minnesota Shakespeare Project, Minnesota Festival Theatre, Brave New Workshop, Illusion Theater, and Thirst. He has also performed at New Stage Theatre in Jackson, Mississippi, Lincoln Amphitheatre in Lincoln City, Indiana, and aboard Disney Cruise Line’s flagship, Disney Magic. He is featured in the films Pull, Jurisprejudice, Hinkleton, and The Completely Remarkable, Utterly Fabulous Transformation of a Regular Joe. He has taught in elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States as part of the Guthrie on Tour as well as the Guthrie’s Schools on Stage, Summer Conferences, Summer Camps, Target Play Dates, and Guthrie in the Parks. He also teaches adult and teen acting classes at the Guthrie Learning Center. Charles is both a Teaching Artist and Program Associate with Upstream Arts.
Rachel Jendrzejewski, Administrative Associate
Rachel is an interdisciplinary artist and writer who moved to the Twin Cities in 2011 as a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center. As an arts administrator, she has worn a variety of hats in communications and development with Cornerstone Theater Company, Padua Playwrights, and The Grotowski Institute, as well as numerous independent and community-collaborative projects. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University.