The Current
Upstream Arts News | April 2014
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In This Issue
Be a shooting star. Be the sun.
Dear Friend, 
Happy April - and almost May! We can hardly believe how fast time is passing now that rainy spring has fully arrived.  
In this issue of The Current, we're excited to share a not-to-be-missed art i. fact from Linwood Monroe Arts Plus; a new reflection on our blog from Program Director Matt Guidry about our recent awesome encounter with AXIS Dance Company; an update about the first ever Upstream Arts Annual Meeting and Fundraiser that we're hosting in a couple weeks; plus more big thanks to our amazing supporters and an update on our funding gap.
We're so grateful for the enthusiasm, energy, and generosity of our community - and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Julie, Matt, Bree, and everyone at Upstream Arts
art i. facts
art i. facts are stories, poems, artwork, and other behind-the-scenes highlights from Upstream Arts programs, connecting you directly to the work that we do. 
Linwood Monroe Arts Plus artifact
Watch Upstream Arts Teaching Artist Norah Long create and lead a "Poetry Orchestra"

This spring, Upstream Arts has been running a residency with a fantastic new partner school, Linwood Monroe Arts Plus, part of the St. Paul Public Schools District. At Linwood Monroe, we've been working with 4th and 5th grade students with developmental and cognitive disabilities. 


One popular Upstream Arts activity, featured above, is called "Poetry Orchestra." Here's how it works:
  • One Teaching Artist guides students through questions and prompts related to a specific theme. In this case, the theme was friendship, so the students responded to prompts like, "What is a friend like?" "A friend should never..." and "What color is friendship?" 
  • Students explore creative ways to express themselves through language, imagery, color, and movement. 
  • Another Teaching Artist weaves the students' responses into a poem, which is revealed at the end.
  • Next, the Teaching Artists lead students in creating melodies for individual lines of the poem, playing with assorted styles of music. 
  • Finally, selected lines of the musicalized poem are assigned to small groups of student and conducted by the Teaching Artists like an orchestra. The group has a blast improvising with different tempos, rhythms, and dynamics.
In the short video above, watch Upstream Arts Teaching Artist Norah Long, a professional opera singer and actor, lead the Linwood Monroe "Poetry Orchestra" through the last few steps of this process with delightfully magnificent gusto! 
It's also worth visiting our blog to read the full original poem. The words of wisdom these students generated - "Be a shooting star. Be the sun. Be the drizzling rain. Be the rainbow." - are filling us with so much light through the stormy spring.


Inclusive Connections, Part I

Upstream Arts Program Director Matt Guidry is writing new series of posts, Inclusive Connections, for the Upstream Arts blog, reflecting on recent inspiring encounters with colleagues from around the world who are doing kindred work. In this first post, Matt spotlights AXIS Dance Company, who offered a workshop and performance at the Ordway in St. Paul last month. "For 25 years," he writes, "AXIS has been creating dance works with a mix of dancers with and without physical disabilities. Call it what you will, 'physically integrated dance,' 'mixed ability dance,' or 'adaptive dance.' What we experienced was simply 'dance' at its finest." Click here to read the whole post.
You're Invited! Annual Meeting and Fundraiser on 5/17
Earlier this month, you should have received an official invitation to our first ever Annual Meeting and Fundraiser on Saturday, May 17, 2014. We're super excited about this event, which will include: 
+ An overview of our plans for 2014-15 
+ Live music by No Reason 
+ UPSTREAM ANIMATED, an interactive animated poetry project by interdisciplinary artist David Luke in collaboration with Upstream Arts, sponsored by Arts on Chicago 
+ A performance by Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and students from Transition Plus
+ Food, drinks, and lots of festivity 
This family-friendly gathering is FREE and OPEN to the entire Upstream Arts community. That means YOU! During the event, you will have a unique opportunity to learn about our fundraising goals and make a contribution.
Please plan to join, raise a glass, and collaborate with us toward creating a more vibrant and inclusive world. If you are unable to attend, we hope you'll consider making a donation to Upstream Arts today.
Gratitude & The Work Ahead
Image via Ravi Raman

Enormous thanks to Allan and Susan CarneolDeborah E. CarneolDavid and Jackie GuidrySusan Haas and Michael SommersMelinda JacobsAlyssa KleinDavid and Kathleen Mortenson ("Honoring the work of Alyce Kuenzli. A star!")Marilyn Mounger, Rebecca Orman, and Curt Peterson for helping us meet and exceed our March fundraising goal!
To keep you apprised of our needs and your impact, we're offering a monthly update on our "funding gap" - the amount we need to raise before the end of the fiscal year to meet our financial goals. At this moment, we need to raise 
before June 30, 2014. 
Moving into May, we have a goal of securing 6 more contributions of $25. Will you be 1 of 6 people to help us get from here to there this month? Visit to make your secure online contribution today. We're so grateful for your partnership.
The All Star Archives
Upstream Arts was named a Constant Contact 2013 All Star for this monthly e-newsletter! Huge thanks to our regular readers and a great big "Welcome!" to all receiving The Current for the first time. To read past issues, check out the growing archive on our website. Please rest assured we will never share your information and that you can always opt out, or invite new friends to opt in, using the links below.
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Upstream Arts, Inc.
3501 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407 

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