In a time of sudden change, all of us at Upstream Arts are jubilant to welcome two new people into our community, Sylvan Igneous Madaus Derenne and Elle Thoni! 

Sylvan is the newborn of Theresa Madaus, Upstream Arts’ Communications and Programs Assistant since 2017, and her partner, Beth Derenne. Sylvan was born at 9:20pm on Thursday, March 26th. We’re happy to share that the whole family is doing well and safe at home. Congratulations Theresa and Beth, and welcome, Sylvan! Your life brings more light into the world.  

Now that Theresa is a full-time parent, she is no longer working at Upstream Arts (although mommas and baby have already made an appearance at our daily all-staff virtual physical therapy break). We will miss her, but are glad that she and Sylvan have this time together. Caregiving is essential work!

With this transition, we are thrilled to welcome Elle Thoni to the team in the new role of Communications and Development Assistant. Elle brings a decade of experience in arts administration with a background in designing and implementing new projects/programs that forward human and climate justice through the arts. Elle is also a professional playwright, performance-maker, and public art producer, creating theatre that tells stories about how our sense of identity, belonging, and loss are changing with our climate. “I couldn’t imagine a place I would rather (virtually) be right now than Upstream Arts, an organization that has always centered the creativity and wisdom of those we need to listen to most right now: our disability community. I am humbled and motivated to be working collaboratively to co-create a world that is accessible to all through the most life-giving means I know: the arts.”

You can learn more about Elle and the rest of our amazing staff and roster of over 30 teaching artists here. We’re so glad to be in community with such incredible people as we navigate this new world together.