Upstream Arts Participant and Teaching Artist

School Programs Overview

We partner 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 a wide range of disabilities in theatre, music, dance, poetry, and visual arts activities aligned with Minnesota Academic Standards for the Arts. Every 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 learning. Embedded professional development for teachers and school staff (including pre-, post-, and midpoint program meetings, a rigorous evaluation tool, and companion curriculum) is available in most school programs.

Though we carry out programs in multiple school districts, we have a particularly in-depth relationship with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), where we work closely with the MPS Special Education Department and Arts Department at a district level to align our content with student need, classroom curriculum, and workplace readiness. On average, we run 30+ MPS programs every year.

Our most popular school residency focus areas are “The Art of Social Skills,” which focuses on cultivating social emotional skills; and “The Art of Working,” which helps students transitioning out of high school work on soft skills vital to obtaining and maintaining employment. Click here for descriptions of all Upstream Arts program tracks.

We typically work in classrooms over the course of a semester or school year (e.g. 12 to 24 weeks). However, the residency structure and length can be modified to your schedule and completed in shorter or longer amounts of time. We work with each partner to customize the residency according to their unique interests and goals.

Pricing ranges widely from $500 to $10,000, depending on the nature, breadth, and duration of the program. Please note that our willingness to help you think creatively about funding an Upstream Arts program is endless. We are happy to offer fundraising suggestions and grant resources. Please contact Julie Guidry, Executive Director, at (612) 331-4584 or [email protected] discuss possibilities.

Curious about bringing Upstream Arts to your organization, but having trouble imagining what we would actually do? Contact us to set up a 1-hour “freebie”! This session – absolutely free of charge – can offer you a better understanding of how we work to support individuals with a range of cognitive, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities.

Click here to visit the Upstream Arts Publications section of our website, where you can download our most recent Reports to the Community, highlighting evaluation findings, photos, stories, and artwork from our work in Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools.

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