Our 2014 Annual Report


Have you received your copy of the 2014 Upstream Arts Annual Report?

You’ll notice it’s different from reports we’ve sent in the past. We wanted to simply feature our friend and Upstream Arts participant Henry Brown, using gorgeous original artwork by our Teaching Artist Masa Kawahara, to show the impact YOU are having on individuals with disabilities at every stage of life.

If you’re not on our mailing list and would like to request a free hard copy, please contact us. FYI: The hard copy is in a fun format different from the online version!

Click here to watch a short video introduction of Henry and Masa (in which Henry opens his copy of the Annual Report for the first time)!

Click here to watch a short video about Henry’s birthday, which coincided with Give to the Max Day this year!


About Henry Brown

Masa and Henry at Upstream Arts

Masa and Henry

Henry Brown holding artwork by Masa Kawahara

Henry with one of Masa’s paintings

Henry Brown is unique among our friends in that he has grown up with Upstream Arts, alongside our own growth as an organization.

We met Henry at his middle school, during one of our very first residencies in Minneapolis Public Schools Special Education classrooms. He was an enthusiastic participant from the start, always ready to try new art forms and take creative risks.

Henry continued to act, write, dance, paint, sing, imagine, and thrive in Upstream Arts during high school and his Transition Program. Meanwhile, we started sharing our arts-based teaching tools with classroom teachers and school staff, so that students like Henry could continue to enjoy arts learning opportunities outside of our programs.

Henry even participated in Upstream Arts outside of school, taking advantage of programs that we carried out in partnership with community organizations like The Courage Center and Edina Parks and Recreation. As we watched him interact with people outside of school, we gained a deeper understanding of how our work with individuals with disabilities is relevant at every stage of life.

Now a young adult, Henry is pursuing a career in theater. This past summer, he was selected through a competitive process for a paid internship at Dreamland Arts, a professional theater company in St. Paul; and currently, he is working at Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts! Stay tuned to their calendar of events to find out when you can see Henry perform next.


About Masanari Kawahara

Masanari Kawahara


Masanari (Masa) has been teaching with Upstream Arts since September 2012. He is a performer and educator who incorporates puppetry, mask, and movement into his work. He is starting his own company MASAMADE for which he will be making paintings and one-of-a-kind handmade objects. He was a company member of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) from 1998 to 2009. As an actor, Masa has worked with Jon Ferguson in Pinocchio, Pangea World Theatre in Conference of the Birds, Illusion Theater in Cirque de Guerre, as well as with Theater Mu and the late Theatre de la Jeune Lune. As a teacher, he has taught puppetry, mask making, stilt walking, and how to create pageants. Visit our Staff and Teaching Artists page to read Masa’s full bio!