Hello, New Subscribers!
We hope you'll enjoy this monthly update on all things Upstream Arts. We only include highlights here, so be sure to keep tabs on our website to learn more about our multidisciplinary arts programs for people with disabilities at every stage of life, as well as community workshops and events.

This March: The Art of Me at Park Square Theatre
Save the date and plan to join us for The Art of Me, this time in collaboration with Highland Friendship Club (HFC) at Park Square Theatre! The performance, which will be shared twice on Saturday, March 25 (3pm and 5:30pm, with a reception between shows), features individuals with disabilities from the HFC community alongside Upstream Arts teaching artists. An exhibit of portraits, created by the performers in collaboration with guest photographer Jeff Cords, opens with a reception on Friday, March 24, from 6:30-8pm. Click here to learn more.
Sponsorship Opportunity
Interested in reaching a diverse new audience from across the Minneapolis/St. Paul disability, arts, and education communities? Become a sponsor for The Art of We: Upstream Arts' 4th Annual Community Celebration and Fundraiser at the American Swedish Institute this May! Click here to learn more.

Sensory Friendly Stories
Our friends at Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers are now hosting Sensory-Friendly Story Time on the second Thursday of each month! All events are free, and people of all ages and abilities are welcome. The next Sensory Friendly Story Time will happen on Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 11-11:30am. Click here to learn more.

Join the Conversation 
Each month in this corner, we share resources related to our ongoing campaign to generate artistic reflection and public conversation about stigma associated with disability.
To ensure you're excited for next week's concert, we're sharing more of Gaelynn Lea's advocacy work! This month, it's Episode 2 of the DIStopia podcast from last summer, featuring Gaelynn in dialogue with DIStopia host Chris Smit.
We'd love to know how this podcast resonates for you.  Please share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Dear Friend,
Happy February! This month, we're excited to share with you:
  • A very short but utterly delightful video clip
  • Last call for Gaelynn Lea concert tickets!
  • Save the date for The Art of Me at Park Square Theatre
  • Sensory Friendly Story Time at Wild Rumpus Books
  • A great podcast featuring the one and only Gaelynn Lea
  • Gratitude for recent gifts and a fundraising update
We're so happy to be in this community with you. Thanks for all that you do, and we hope to see you soon!
Julie, Matt, Bree, and everyone at Upstream Arts
Click here to watch Superintendent Graff doing a shark-inspired dance move!
3 Seconds of Dancing Joy
We loved hosting Minneapolis Public Schools' Superintendent Ed Graff at our Art of Social Skills class with Edison High School Special Education students and staff last month. As it was our 12th and final class for that residency, we decided to dance it out - Upstream Arts style!! This silly "shark" move, led by UA Teaching Artist Sara Richardson, was inspired by a poem that the group wrote collaboratively, then set to music and choreographed.
Gaelynn Lea Concert postcard image
A Concert and Conversation with Gaelynn Lea
A Concert and Conversation with Gaelynn Lea is coming up this Monday and tickets are selling like hotcakes! If you haven't reserved a spot for this intimate evening of music and stories at Surly Brewing Company, click here to book right now. We're hugely excited to gather our community in music and dialogue with with this extraordinary artist (winner of the NPR 2016 Tiny Desk Contest) and disability awareness advocate. Huge thanks to The Bush Foundation and The Graham Smith Team at Keller Williams Realty for sponsoring this event, which includes a reception with delicious complimentary snacks and a cash bar! 
Upstream Arts participant
An Upstream Arts participant in action at Sullivan Community School
Gratitude & The Work Ahead
Big thanks to Justin Lansing, The Graham Smith Team at Keller Williams Realty, Gillian Spence, and one anonymous donor for contributions to Upstream Arts since our last update; as well as to Ten Thousand Things, HUGE Theater, Penumbra Theatre, Sandbox Theatre, Barbette, Tiny Diner, W.A. Frost & Company for in-kind gifts toward The Art of We this May! 
We recently finished our fall residencies in Minneapolis Public Schools, which means we've been meeting with our partners to discuss how the programs went. Check out these "breakthrough moments" shared by one teacher at Sullivan Community School, where we serve students ages 5-11 who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (names have been changed):
  • "Jason is generally very shy in class and refuses to participate; but in Upstream Arts one day, he went up to participate willingly without prompting."   
  • "Mirah, who is four, usually only plays with one friend; but during Upstream Arts, we saw her picking other children to partner with, even some from other classes." 
  • "Nadia and Liliana were very eager to try new things in Upstream Arts. This is especially significant for Liliana, who immigrated to America in the middle of the residency and was experiencing hearing aids, formal sign language, and formal schooling all for the first time." 
  • "For all the students, Upstream Arts built confidence."
Those are just a few examples from 1 of 20+ classrooms served by Upstream Arts this past fall. Thank you so much for making these programs possible.
This month, we're launching a new round of spring residencies across the Twin Cities, nurturing social and communication skills vital to success for hundreds more students like Jason, Mirah, Nadia, and Liliana. We have a mini goal of raising $5,000 by February 28 to support this work, toward our overarching goal of raising $100,000 from our individual donor community by June 30.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and partnership. We’re grateful to be moving upstream with you!
Upstream Arts Teaching Artist Canae Weiss Painting created collaboratively by Upstream Arts participants Upstream Arts participant raising her hand to participate
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