Upstream Arts

is the only arts organization in the Twin Cities, and one of only a handful nationally, that is focused specifically on developing social and communication skills through curriculum-based arts programming for people with disabilities at every stage of life. We integrate individuals with cognitive, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities into multidisciplinary arts residencies designed to develop social/emotional and communication skills vital to success in school, work and life.

In our programs, local professional artists—including actors, musicians, poets, visual artists, and dancers—teach fundamental skills in a variety of art forms through fun activities that nurture self-expression, conversation, and group participation.

Participants meet for 1-2 hours weekly over a designated period of time (most often 6, 12, or 18 weeks), usually in a setting where they already receive services.

“Historically, artists have played a role in bringing emotional truth to institutions. The arts have the potential to break new ground, to energize our personal connections, and to open new doors for invention and practice. These are the things that Upstream Arts is bringing to our services.” Rochelle Cox

Executive Director of Special Education, Minneapolis Public Schools

PROGRAM OFFERINGS

A typical Upstream Arts program is an arts residency in one of the following core focus areas. All of our residency program offerings are available for individuals of all abilities, and several are available for all age groups. We work with every partner to customize the structure and length of residencies according to the partner’s unique interests and goals.

THE ART OF PLAY

exploring creative play between babies of all abilities and their caregivers

THE ART OF SOCIAL SKILLS

fostering vital social/emotional skills while teaching the fundamentals of multiple artistic disciplines

THE ART OF ME

investigating self-expression, collaboration, and professional presentation of creative work through the development of a public arts event

THE ART OF RELATIONSHIPS

an innovative arts-integrated course on sexual health, self-advocacy, and positive, healthy relationships

THE ART OF WORKING

cultivating soft skills essential to employment while teaching the fundamentals of multiple artistic disciplines

THE ART OF RETIREMENT

nurturing interaction, creative expression, and social connection for aging adults with disabilities

THE ART OF ACCESS

interactive trainings that examine how to “universally design” performances, exhibits, educational programming, and other events for people of all ages and abilities

THE ART OF VOICE AND CHOICE

providing a venue to practice choice and self-advocacy needed for living a self-determined life

WHO WE SERVE

Our residencies are designed to provide a lifetime of arts learning experiences for individuals with disabilities, from birth to retirement and beyond. We also regularly offer community programs and trainings open to people of all abilities, including artists, educators, program staff, administrators, producers, and the general public.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS

We partner with school districts to offer programming for students receiving Special Education services, from birth to age 21.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

We use the arts to support community services; produce performances and exhibitions; and join cross-sector dialogues.

ADULT PROGRAMS

We partner with Adult Day Programs and other service providers to offer programming for adults with disabilities ages 21 to 75+.

TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

We provide professional development opportunities for artists, organizations, educators, and cross-sector leaders.

Announcements

Artists Around Town – July 2018

Our Teaching Artists and Staff are involved in a wide range of professional projects outside of their work with Upstream Arts. Each month, we post opportunities to see their performances, exhibitions, and other events as well as notable accomplishments. Nikki Abramson...

read more

In 2017-18, your contribution to Upstream Arts will impact

professional artists working at the intersection of the arts, disability, and learning.

cross-sector partnerships with schools, adult day programs, disability service providers, and community organizations across Minneapolis/St. Paul and beyond.

innovative multidisciplinary arts programs, designed to nurture vital social and communication skills for people with disabilities at every stage of life.

individuals of all ages and abilities receiving 16,000+ contact hours of instruction in the arts and social/communication skill development.

THANK YOU!

We are committed to providing more arts learning experiences for people with disabilities at every stage of life.

Will you join us?