Teaching Artists sing and ASL interpret songs from past Art of Me performances. Photo by Jason Bucklin.

The Art of Voice and Choice

The Art of Voice and Choice revolves around the core values of We All Have Value, I Deserve to be Listened To, and My Relationships are Balanced. Teaching artists work alongside individuals with disabilities to explore self-expression and self-advocacy, leveraging collaborative group experiences in visual arts, poetry, dance, music, and theater to investigate new ways of identifying and sharing personal interests, needs, desires, challenges, and important life decisions. The program provides a safe venue where participants can develop a deeper understanding and confidence around how to activate and amplify their own voice and choice, move beyond the limiting labels and assumptions so often imposed upon them, discover new concepts of identity and self, and gain an awareness of the many options and choices available to them in their communities.

Support staff and family members/caregiver who participate gain a greater understanding of the importance of their own role in the self-advocacy of those with whom they work, and how to better offer and guide choices that support an individual’s interests, goals, and preferences.

We adapt this program to be relevant for adults with disabilities at any stage of life, as well as for individuals who are transitioning from youth into adulthood, together with family members, educators, and support staff:

  • School Programs: High School and Transition Programs
  • Adult Programs: Adult Day Programs or other Disability Service Providers
  • Community Programs: Community organizations, Friendship Clubs, Parks and Recreation

Want to learn more? Read our residency FAQs.

“The work of Upstream Arts is not just about the disability community. It’s about all of us. Healthy, strong communities are inclusive communities. ”  

-Matt Guidry,  Artistic Director, Upstream Arts

 Curious about bringing Upstream Arts to your school or organization?

Contact us at [email protected] to set up a 1 hour FREEBIE!

This session – absolutely free of charge – can offer insight into how we work to support individuals with a range of cognitive, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities.