Bold banner with rainbow stripes and the text: Upstream Arts' Year of (R)evolution 2020-2021 No (R)evolution without inclusion!  A photo of Teaching Artist Theo doing a high kick with Art of Me participants onstage.

No (R)evolution without Inclusion

Every summer, Upstream Arts Staff and Teaching Artists decide on a theme that reflects our intentions for the year ahead. With the events of the last few months exposing the deep inequities that exist at the intersection of race/ability, Upstream Arts is committed to the external process of revolution and the internal process of evolution.
With the suspension of many Adult Day Programs and the moving of Special Education services online, we will continue to work with and alongside our disability community to amplify their voices and sustain important social connections through our shared creative practice. At the same time, we will investigate our own assumptions about Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and how we can model them in the most culturally-relevant and affirming ways.

Our Three Goals for the Year

Centering choice over compliance – This summer, our Staff and Teaching Artists read and discussed the article When SEL is Used as Another Form of Policing. From that rich discussion came the organization-wide priority of centering choice over compliance in all of our classes to prevent us from reproducing harmful standards and support our participants in living their most authentic, self-determined lives.

Incorporating aspects of healthy relationships into all of our curricula – This year, we are thrilled to be expanding the Art of Relationships, our residency on consent, healthy relationships, and bodily autonomy, to reach its youngest-ever audience in the Minneapolis Public School district. To further this work, our Staff and Teaching Artists will integrate the core messages of this residency throughout all of our curricula.

Listen to and amplify the voices of our participants – As many members of our community continue to experience heightened isolation and marginalization during COVID-19, we remain committed to listen to and amplify the voices and experiences of our participants in all of our programming and advocacy work.

Advocate with us all Year with the Hashtag