Upstream Arts uses the power of the creative arts to activate and amplify the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities.

Upstream Arts logo
A person using a wheelchair dances in The Art of Me performance. Behind her, a person helps to move the chair, and in the background sit other performing artists.

You’re Invited!

Join us for our annual community
celebration and fundraiser

Wednesday May 17th, 2023 / 6-9pm

Join us Online via Zoom or In Person at the
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407


Self-Advocacy classes run weekly
February – May, 2023

Online MONDAYS 4-5pm CST


In Person WEDNESDAYS 11.30-12.30pm CST

Class Registration

Our Self-Advocacy classes offer a fun, creative, and experiential learning environment for participants to strengthen self-advocacy skills with and alongside Upstream Arts artists, and peers.

BI, CAC, CADI and DD Waivers now accepted.

Join our growing community

of self-advocates expanding our

voice and choice through the arts!



Inclusion happens in the
ordinary moments

True access can be achieved through a consistent and intentional practice of doing the little things that say “I see you. I hear you. I notice you.”

We Assume Ability

Participation looks different for everyone, but through creativity, flexibility, and choice, all can be included and find success.

Access is an Attitude

Creating physical access with automatic doors and ramps is necessary and vital, but none of that matters if you don’t feel welcome when you enter a space.


Julie and I created Upstream Arts because we recognized that at the core of engagement and communication is a give and take, an action and reaction, a listening and responding. We knew from personal experience that the arts were a perfect medium through which to practice these fundamental human skills.”

Matt Guidry

Co-Founder and Artistic Director


Finding the Rhythm to Start Our Dialogue

Finding the Rhythm to Start Our Dialogue

My voice has value. I have the right to be listened to. These are the first two themes we focus on in our Art of Self-Advocacy classes. The first two weeks of a session are all about getting to know one another, finding the rhythm of each class, and using our themes to start our dialogue about self-advocacy.

Join us for The Art of Me performance with Merrick

Join us for The Art of Me performance with Merrick

Join us for The Art of Me: A Community of Sunshine, a multidisciplinary performance co-created by Upstream Arts and Merrick. Drawing on structured improvisations from Upstream Arts classes, the show features creative contributions of artists with disabilities from the...