A Participants paints from his wheelchair while a Teaching Artist kneels behind him, watching.

This fall, Upstream Arts committed to carrying out six 12-week Art of Relationship classes with middle and high schoolers, with plans to facilitate an additional four 12-week residencies during the our winter/spring season. These vital residencies not only provide relevant sexual health information that many individuals with disabilities are denied, but also create cultures of consent and lay the foundation for prevention of sexual violence.

Our work was funded through a multi-year grant from an organization who received federal funding specifically for work focused on the prevention of sexual assault and violence. Recently, through no fault of theirs or ours, the grant was suddently canceled, effective immediately. This is an unprecedented loss. Our programming with 73 students is already underway, providing the essentials of healthy relationships and consent. It would be negligent to withdraw these classes mid-program and against everything we believe in.

We will not leave our community behind.

And we know that you will not either. It will take $65,000 to cover the immediate loss of funds, ensuring that our Teaching Artists continue to share this vital information with students and continue to build classroom cultures of consent that resonate outward in the broader networks of school, home, and life.

So many of you have already stretched with us, digging deep into the conviction that every individual deserves safe, healthy relationships.

If you have already invested in our work, thank you.  And, we hope you will consider sharing with others the importance of this work. 

If you’ve not yet made a contribution to Upstream Arts, we ask you to make an investment  today. Together, we can continue to show up for students receiving Special Education services, providing this essential, critical education.

Invest in Upstream Arts’ Art of Relationship programming today.

“The students are so primed for this material. When we plan the curriculum, we lay out certain bullet points of the things we’re going to cover that day, and, without knowing our plan, students keep raising their hands asking questions that perfectly tee up the next discussion.”

Upstream Arts Teaching Artist

“I honestly wish my students could take this class every year. So many of the topics and themes discussed are crucial for kids but also, these are lasting behaviors people really need to know about through adulthood, and I truly think they can’t be practiced enough. I’m just so grateful we were able to do this with Upstream Arts, and I think it’s desperately, desperately needed.” 

Minneapolis Public Schools educator