The Current

Upstream Arts News
January 2016 

Welcome, New Subscribers! 
We hope you'll enjoy this monthly update on our work, events, ways to get involved, and more. We only include highlights here, so be sure to visit our website to learn more about our multidisciplinary arts programs for people with disabilities at every stage of life.
Feb 27-28: VocalPoint Concerts
As part of our 10th Anniversary festivities, Upstream Arts is honored to be the beneficiary of the 2016 VocalPoint concerts, Wind in our Sails: The Creative Art of Packing Our Boats for the Upstream Journey, February 27-28 at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul! What is VocalPoint, you might wonder? It is an intense choral experience that challenges people through music to build a better world. VocalPoint donates 100% of performance-driven donations to a worthy cause that will make a dramatic impact in everyday lives.

Join the Conversation 
In this corner of The Current, we regularly share videos, articles, and other resources that relate to our disability is not a four-letter word campaign.
This month, we're reading "Spotlight on: Diversability," an article by Tiffany Yu on Disability.Blog. Yu is the founder of Diversability, "an award-winning movement to celebrate disability pride and reshape conceptions of ability." In her post, Yu sums up the heart of our own disability is not a four-letter word campaign: "Something powerful happens when we bring people with disabilities and allies together and create a space where everyone is included and everyone matters. Inclusion plays a huge role in how we see ourselves, helps us feel empowered and builds self-esteem and self-confidence. We can start to change perceptions of disability when we connect in-person, humanize disability, and share stories."
Check out her full piece, then let us know what you think!
Painting created in an Upstream Arts program
Dear Friend, 
Happy New Year! This month in The Current, we're thrilled to share:
  • A brand new iteration of The Art of Me in Milwaukee
  • A sweet video peek into one of our recent school programs
  • An update about the VocalPoint concerts in February
  • A terrific new Disability.Blog post on "Diversability"
  • Gratitude and 3 unique ways to support Upstream Arts this spring
As always, this email only scratches the surface of all that is happening in the Upstream Arts community. Stay tuned to our website and social media for more!
We're so thrilled to have you in our community. Thank you for all that you do!
Julie, Matt, Bree, and everyone at Upstream Arts
The Art of Me - Milwaukee Edition!
Upstream Arts is thrilled to be returning to Milwaukee next week to collaborate with The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) to present our first The Art of Me in Milwaukee, a FREE public photography exhibit and performance featuring adults with disabilities from the JCC's Chaverim program. The public events will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2016 in the JCC’s Community Hall. The photography exhibit, which will open with a reception and gallery talk at 6:30pm, features self-portraits created by program participants; and a performance will follow at 7:15pm. Drawing on structured improvisations from Upstream Arts classes, this performance features the ideas and creativity of adults with disabilities in the program, providing a unique platform for self-expression through multiple artistic disciplines. Please join us! Click here to learn more.
Upstream Arts at Sullivan
Moving into Spring
We're currently wrapping up a big round of fall/winter school residencies - and gearing up to launch 35 new ones next month! One of our favorite things about this time of year is that stories start pouring in how much participants have grown over their 6-12 weeks of Upstream Arts classes. For example, last week, our Teaching Artists returned from their final class at Anne Sullivan, a community school where we worked with a group of first and second grade students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. When the program started back in October, many students were shy and hesitant to participate; but twelve weeks later, at the final class, every single student got up and joined activities alongside our Teaching Artists, working together beautifully as a team! Catch a brief sweet glimpse of a few of them in the video above, and learn more about our school programs (including how to bring one to your classroom) on our website.
The Art of Me participant
Sydney, participant in The Art of Me, Milwaukee
Gratitude & The Work Ahead
We're thrilled to share that, thanks to 36 generous supporters, we surpassed our $5,000 goal for December! 
As you know, we're celebrating our 10th Anniversary and have a big goal of raising $100,000 by June 30. That's how much it will take to keep providing the highest quality arts learning experiences for people with disabilities at every stage of life, from classrooms like Sullivan to community programs like The Art of Me, as we transition into our next 10 years.
You can always make a one-time gift to Upstream Arts online or by mail; but here are 3 other fun and meaningful ways to support in the coming months:
Come to a VocalPoint Concert. We can't wait to share the Upstream Arts story in a brand new medium! See the sidebar or click here to learn more.
Sponsor The Art of We, our 10th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser. We're throwing a big party on May 19 at the American Swedish Institute - and there are many ways to get involved! Click here to learn more or call our office at (612) 331-4584 to discuss options.
Establish a recurring gift. We're deeply grateful for gifts of all varieties; but being able to count on recurring support allows us to budget and plan in a whole new way. Setting up a recurring gift is easy to do; click here to set up one up.
Your belief and support inspire us every day. Thank you for all that you do!
Click to Donate Now
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