UA Swril



Upstream Arts News| January 2013 

In This Issue of The Current
Moving into 2013
Artists Around Town
art-i-FACT of the Month
Charities Review and More
reverse logo
Our Mission

The mission of Upstream Arts is to enhance the lives of adults and youth with disabilities by fostering creative communication and social independence through the power of arts education.
Partner With Us

Interested in booking Upstream Arts at your school or organization this spring? Curious to learn more before you commit? We would love to show you the work that we do first-hand. Bring us in for a FREE 1-hour session to gain a more specific understanding how we would work with your group. Just give us a call at (612) 331-4584 and we'll be happy to arrange a time, or visit our website to learn more about what we do.

Upcoming Events

Support Upstream Arts by joining us for TWO super fun upcoming events! On 2/16, Grammy nominees and former UA Teaching Artists The Okee Dokee Brothers will give a special concert at Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers; and on 2/22, current UA Teaching Artist Ryan Hoag will be doing the cha cha as part of Dancing With The Twin Cities' Celebrities. Proceeds from both events will benefit Upstream Arts - click here to read more on our blog.

Contact Us

Upstream Arts
3501 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Phone: 612-331-4584
Fax: 612-353-6638



Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter     View our videos on YouTube     Visit our blog      View our profile on LinkedIn
Moving into 2013

Happy New Year! We hope you had fantastic holidays and are kicking off the new year with energy and inspiration. At Upstream Arts, we're beginning more than 20 spring programs at schools, adult day programs, and other organizations throughout the Twin Cities metro - and a few beyond. Some of these partnerships go back to our inception, while others are forging brand new paths. If you're interested in teaming up with us, it's not too late! Click here to learn more about the opportunities we offer and how to schedule a 1-hour "freebie."


In the coming months, we look forward to sharing more of what we're calling art-i-FACTS - stories, poems, artwork, and other behind-the-scenes highlights from our programs. art-i-FACTS will appear regularly on the Upstream Arts blog, in our monthly emails, social media, and occasionally via good old fashioned "snail mail." We're including one gem below; make sure your communication preferences are up-to-date with us to receive more.


Also in this issue of The Current, learn about some great upcoming events featuring UA Teaching Artists; check out not one but TWO recently published articles by Upstream Arts affiliates; and join us in celebrating special recent recognitions from the Charities Review Council and several generous funders. 


Thank you for your support and commitment to the work that we do!


Julie, Matt, Bree, Rachel, Charles, and Jess

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Former UA Teaching Artists, The Okee Dokee Brothers 
Good luck at the Grammy Awards!

Artists Around Town

We just published the February installment of Artists Around Town, our monthly listing of professional performances and other events involving Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and Staff. Click here to check it out on our blog. Also, in case you missed them over the holidays, check out these recently published articles by members of Upstream Arts! Following the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, Teaching Artist Dylan Fresco wrote a reflection on the importance of art in civic healing for Minnesota Public Radio. Around the same time, Associate Director Bree Sieplinga also wrote a piece on art and community-building (through the lens of Arts on Chicago), which was featured in the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Both articles serve as beautiful reminders of why we do the work that we do.

Upstream Arts Teaching Artists warming up at a 2012-13 training session
Current UA Teaching Artists warming up for a training session
art-i-FACT of the Month

In many of our programs, participants collaboratively write poems, often expressing how the group is feeling on a given day. Below is a piece recently created by middle school students in an Upstream Arts program offered through Minneapolis Public Schools. Among other things, we were blown away by the effectiveness of its simple yet vivid imagery.


Love Sosa   

Excited, Happy, Fantastic

Fantastic like Friday afternoon

a pink orange moon.


Sad, Frustrated, Feelingful, Grey

Grey like "get out my face!"

"Get out my way!"


Happy, Supportive, Ready

Ready like yellow leaves in trees 

falling like weaves


Saying, "Yes!"

Saying, "Hmm"

Saying, "Hallelujah!"

"We did it!"


Making this poem required participants to exercise their creativity, collaboration, and focus - 3 of the "top 10 skills children learn through the arts," according research by Lisa Phillips summarized in a recent Washington Post feature. Click here to read more about why these skills matter, both within and beyond the arts.

Charities Review and More

Upstream Arts recently went through a review with the Charities Review Council, and we're pleased to announce that we meet all 27 of the Council's Accountability Standards - which means we have been awarded the official "Meets Standards" seal! The Charities Review Council reviews nonprofit organizations in four areas: Public Disclosure, Governance, Financial Activity, and Fundraising. The process works to ensure that an organization's operations, structure, and policies meet widely accepted standards for accountability and transparency. You can learn more about the Accountability Standards here and check out our new profile on the Smart Giver Network here.


Upstream Arts also is honored to have recently received a generous grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a contract with the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Enormous thanks to these amazing partners! Click here to see our full list of current supporters, including our ever-growing community of individual donors.


If you would like to become a supporter of Upstream Arts, visit us on to make a secure online donation or click here to learn about other ways you can give. Your contribution allows us to continue bringing a lifetime of arts education to individuals of all abilities.

UA bw logo
Upstream Arts, Inc
3501 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407