• Hannah Kamath

Spotlight On Upstream Arts

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

What is Upstream Arts?

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

Who do they serve?

Upstream Arts has designed programming to serve individuals with disabilities of all ages. They partner with school districts to offer programming for students receiving Special Education services, from birth to age 21. They use the arts to support community services; produce performances and exhibitions, and join cross-sector dialogues. They partner with Adult Day Programs and other service providers to offer programming for adults with disabilities ages 21 to 75+. Finally, they provide professional development opportunities for artists, organizations, educators, and cross-sector leaders.

What are they doing for those they serve during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

For people with disabilities, isolation isn't new, but it's intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even two weeks before the state of Minnesota started to put restrictions on how people moved around spaces, our child was already segregated from his community in his group home because of the compromised immune system that he lives with every day,” Julie Guidry, Upstream Arts Executive Director and Cofounder recalled.

In a matter of days, they impressively closed all in-person classes and moved classes to a Virtual World to continue their service. Now they offer:

  • Community Videos: A short activity anyone can participate in

  • Partner Videos: Signature curriculum designed for teachers and caregivers.

  • Live Stream Classes: Live and interactive classes

How can I support their work?

In support of their work you can:

  • Watch and share their studio Access videos here.

  • Attend a FREE open enrollment class. High school students/Transition age register here. Adults register here.

  • Donate to Upstream Arts here.

Visit Upstream Arts online here.

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