At Upstream Arts, we believe in the power of art for all ages, and we are working with individuals at every stage of life, from birth through retirement. As we gear up for our annual celebration and fundraiser on Monday, May 18, 2020, we’re highlighting programs for our youngest community members: 3-5-year-olds who are receiving Special Education Services. 

This 19-20 school year, we’re working in seven Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classrooms. We have another seven classrooms waiting for us to say yes to programming in the 20-21 school year. That’s why we’ve set our event Fund-A-Need for $50,000, the amount it will take to close the gap and fund these programs, ensuring that over 100 pre-school age students have the chance to build a solid foundation for greater growth and learning. 

The Art of Social Skills with ECSE is Upstream Arts’ programming specifically designed to serve our youngest students, inviting the creative play and exploration that children need to build strong social bonds, learn about their environment, and develop social/emotional skills. Emerging field research has shown what we already know to be true: through arts activities, pre-schoolers develop skills that are key to child development, school readiness, and provide specific advantages to children with disabilities.

Upstream Arts programs play a crucial role in the development of these children, who benefit from learning through the arts and creative play, the best way for all children to learn.

“Without them even realizing it, [students] were learning about tone of voice, body language, taking appropriate risks, being open to feedback, and regulating emotions. There are students that I have never seen engaged in anything (even one on-one attention) that Upstream Arts has fully, actively engaged. Not only are they engaged, they are enrapt.” –Special Education Teacher

While schools contribute a small portion of the cost, it can be difficult to find full funding for these programs. The bulk of this work is supported by you, our individual donors, and the generosity of our community. With this in mind, we are featuring our ECSE students for this year’s Fund-A-Need. With your support, we can say yes to more innovative arts programming for our youngest community members.

You can be part of this growth in several ways: 

  • RSVP to our annual celebration and fundraiser, The Art of We: Grow Together in Practice, which takes place Monday, May 18, 2020 at the American Swedish Institute from 6-9pm. Experience Upstream Arts activities first-hand, win prizes, and contribute to the Fund-A-Need. Click here to see more details.
  • Bring a friend! Encourage your friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues to attend as well. Our celebration is completely free, family-friendly, and fully accessible. Just like our programming, we welcome everyone from birth through retirement and will have activities for 3-year-olds, 90-year-olds, and everyone in between. The annual event is an excellent way to introduce people to Upstream Arts’ work while enjoying complimentary hors d’ouevres, a cash bar, and the joy of community.