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.
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.
We partner with school districts to offer programming for students receiving Special Education services, from birth to age 21.
We use the arts to support community services; produce performances and exhibitions; and join cross-sector dialogues.
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.
Join Upstream Arts in collaboration with Eden Prairie Parks & Rec for a week-long summer camp: Join Upstream Arts for a second summer camp program in collaboration with Eden Prairie Parks & Rec: The Art of Working in August. The Art of Working Summer Camp This...read more
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
Join Upstream Arts in collaboration with Eden Prairie Parks & Rec for the first of two week-long summer programs: Join Upstream Arts for two summer camp programs in collaboration with Eden Prairie Parks & Rec: The Art of Social Skills in July and The Art of Working in...read more