Upstream Arts teaching artist and participant at Lifeworks (photo by Scott Strebel)


Hi all! Upstream Arts Intern Larissa Leshovsky here! With Upstream Arts’ 10th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser coming up fast on May 19th, we want to take time to highlight a few of our sponsors from whom we have sought support to create our event free of charge for all attending. This week we recognize our Adult Day program sponsors – Lifeworks, Midwest Special Services, and Partnership Resources, Inc. – who have answered that call. We, like they, fully believe that every individual serves a vital role on our community and strives to create a fully accessible society for all individuals within the community.

All three of our Adult Day program sponsors are non-profit organizations through which adults with disabilities receive training in daily living skills, social skills, recreational skills, and pre-vocational skills. In our residencies with Adult Day Programs, multidisciplinary arts activities cultivate fundamental skills in a variety of artistic disciplines while encouraging risk-taking, appropriate self-expression, and effective workplace communication.



Upstream Arts’ relationship with Lifeworks began with a cold call to them in 2006, creating our first relationship with an Adult Day program. Since then, Upstream Arts has carried out 17 arts residencies at Lifeworks locations around the metro, and has developed many of its foundational programs, including The Art of Working, out of conversation and collaboration with Lifeworks about the need for creative avenues for career and vocational development for individuals with disabilities.

Lifeworks is a non profit, social service organization that has provided customized services for people with disabilities since 1965 – including developing workplace readiness skills and providing social opportunities – that help them live full and meaningful lives. Today, Lifeworks is one of the largest Adult Day Programs in the Twin Cities, providing services to 2,500 adults with disabilities at 6 locations in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Mankato areas.

For more information about Lifeworks, visit http://www.lifeworks.org.


MattG Mike Norah and Faith

Upstream Arts teaching artists with participants at Midwest Special Services


Midwest Special Services

Upstream Arts has been fortunate enough to partner with Midwest Special Services (MSS) since 2013 and since then we have carried out 22 arts residencies! MSS and Upstream Arts have a special relationship as Michelle Dickerson, who is Vice President of Program Services at MSS, also serves on Upstream Arts’ Board of Directors. Additionally, Caleb – the son of Matt Guidry and stepson of Julie Guidry, co-founders of Upstream Arts – receives services from MSS.

Midwest Special Services is a non-profit social service organization that has provided career development and vocational services to adults with disabilities since 1949 with six locations in the Twin Cities metro area. Their mission is to assist people with disabilities in being active, vital members of the community by offering day training and habilitation services and career development services.

For more information about Midwest Special Services, visit https://www.mwsservices.org.



Upstream Arts teaching artists and participants rehearsing a performance at Partnership Resources


Partnership Resources, Inc. Partnership Resources, Inc. (PRI) is one of our newest partners who jumped on board in 2013 to start a collaborative performance-based experience with Upstream Arts. Since then, we have been lucky enough to carry out three residencies with PRI, including two The Art of Me programs (click here to check out our YouTube channel to watch The Art of Me programs).

PRI is a non-profit organization that has been serving adults with developmental disabilities since 1958.  Their mission is to create partnerships between individuals with disabilities and the community and is dedicated to providing support and opportunities that help clients work, develop creatively, and believe in their dreams. PRI currently serves over 230 adults in the metro area with two locations in St Louis Park and one in Minneapolis with programming focused mainly in three areas – employment, social integration, and the arts.

For more information about Partnership Resources, visit http://www.partnershipresources.org.


Once again, a HUGE thanks to our Adult Day Program sponsors who with their support have allowed us to throw our 10th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser free of charge! They have the bar set high in the quality of care our disabled community receives; and continue to push for a future where all individuals, regardless of ability, are engaged, connected, and included in all aspects of society. If you would like to become a sponsor for The Art of We, click here to learn more. For more general information about The Art of We or to RSVP, click here.