The Art of Play at Minneapolis Central Library

Participants and teaching artists in The Art of Play, Minneapolis Central Library (photo: Chris Garza)


As many of you know, here at Upstream Arts, we’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary as a nonprofit working at the intersection of the arts, disability, and learning! In the 10 days leading up to Give to the Max Day (November 12), we’re sharing 10 fun facts about our work and our history – which double as 10 great reasons to Give to the Max, toward our big anniversary goal of $100,000 by June 30. Enjoy!

#5: We Serve People at Every Stage of Life

It’s true! We believe one of our strengths as an organization is our capacity to work with the broad diversity of people with disabilities and non-traditional learners of all ages, from birth to retirement and beyond.

While many other groups focus their arts programming on people with a certain type of disability or certain age groups, we work with individuals with the widest possible range of ages and abilities. In a typical day we may work with one group of seniors with developmental/cognitive disabilities, another group of preschool students with both hearing impairments and Autism, and a third group of high school students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders.


Upstream Arts participants rehearsing a dance at Opportunity Partners

Upstream Arts participants rehearsing a dance for The Art of Me (photo: Theo Goodell)


Yet that doesn’t mean our work is one-size-fits-all. Quite the contrary! Central to our ability to work with these varying groups is our unique, highly-tailored curriculum and program model, which draw on best practices to ensure the arts are accessible to individuals of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and learning styles.

Currently we’re working to expand our offerings for our youngest and eldest participants through The Art of Play, a series of workshops for babies ages birth-3 and their families at Minneapolis Central Library, and brand new programming in development for seniors with cognitive and developmental disabilities. We also have a dream of one day bringing participants from both of these programs to play and create together! 

Move upstream with Upstream Arts by making a special 10th Anniversary gift on Give to the Max Day! We’re looking for commitments from 10 supporters every day between now and November 12, with the goal of having 100 Give to the Max supporters giving $10 or more and moving us closer to our $100,000 anniversary stretch goal. Can you be 1 of 10 today? It takes only a few minutes to schedule a gift right now at Thanks so much in advance for your belief and support!