Teaching Artist Norah Long in an early Upstream Arts program

​Teaching Artist Norah Long on the far left, admiring a group of Upstream Arts participants rehearsing a dance in an early program


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!

Fun Fact #8: Our Artists Are Committed

Our Teaching Artists are the backbone of our organization. They are highly accomplished professional actors, musicians, dancers, directors, writers and visual artists that work locally, nationally and internationally. Our roster includes an opera singer that regularly performs with the Minnesota Orchestra; actors who have played leading roles at the Guthrie, The Jungle, The History Theatre, Pillsbury House, and Ten Thousand Things; Playwrights’ Center McKnight and Many Voices Fellows; plus critically acclaimed directors, dancers, visual artists, and poets. (Every month we post “Artists Around Town,” a round-up of their current projects on this blog – check it out!) All of our artists are trained extensively to teach to individuals of varying abilities; and because they teach in teams, they relate as a company of actors would, growing and thriving in artistic collaboration.

In addition to co-founders Julie and Matt Guidry, several of our Teaching Artists have worked with Upstream Arts for a full 10 years, including Norah Long (pictured above), Matt Sciple, and Charles Fraser. Many others who have joined since then still teach with us today, too. This high retention rate speaks to the strong commitment that our artists have, not only to their artistic process or to Upstream Arts as a whole, but – most importantly – to the youth and adults that they teach.


Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and Staff, Fall 2015

Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and Staff, September 2015


We believe in the societal role of the artist in uncovering collective creativity, connecting us to one another, and leading us toward learning. As such, we strive to be a leader and model for other organizations in how we employ, train, and compensate artists to be agents of inclusion and social change.

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 GiveMn.org. Thanks so much in advance for your belief and support!