Upstream Arts partners with school districts to offer programming for students receiving Special Education services from birth to age 21. Our proven program model and curriculum engage students with intellectual, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities, those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and those who are Blind or have visual disabilities in theatre, music, dance, poetry, and visual arts activities aligned with the Minnesota Academic Standards for the Arts. Each activity is designed to cultivate fundamental skills in a range of art forms, as well as develop self-expression, social interaction, and group participation skills essential to Social Emotional Learning.
Embedded professional development for teachers and school staff is available in most school programs, including pre-, post-, and midpoint program meetings, and a rigorous evaluation tool developed with the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Community Integration.
We carry out programs in multiple school districts in the Twin Cities area, and have particularly in-depth relationships with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Fridley Public Schools, where we are Community Partners and work closely with Special Education departments at a district level to align our content with students’ needs and classroom curriculum. On average, we run 30+ MPS residencies every year across the district.