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.

The Art of Me
We're so excited to be partnering with Highland Friendship Club (HFC) on a FREE brand new edition of The Art of Me program that will culminate this March in two public performances and a photography exhibit at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul! For those interested in participating, HFC will open online registration on December 15. Programs will begin the first week of January, with public events taking place on March 25. Click here to learn more in HFC's Winter/Spring 2017 catalog.

Save the Date: Feb. 20
On the evening of Monday, February 20, Upstream Arts will host a concert and conversation with National Public Radio's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Winner Gaelynn Lea at Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis! Tickets will go on sale in early January; but start getting excited now for phenomenal music and conversation with this remarkable artist and disability advocate. We're deeply grateful to Surly, The Bush Foundation, and The Graham Smith Team at Keller Williams Realty for generously sponsoring this event. 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.
This month, we're appreciating a blog post by Vu Le, "25 simple ways we can all be more disability-inclusive." Le writes, "If we are to achieve equity, we must all do our part to address injustice in its various forms, and be willing to stumble, learn, and improve. We all need to do better for our community members with disabilities. Because it is intrinsically the right, the equitable thing to do. But also because it is in our own best interests to create a community that is accessible and inclusive to individuals with disabilities, because any of us and the people we love, with age or with life events, may now or in the future have a disability."
We'd love to know how this piece resonates with you! Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Dear Friend,
Welcome to the last edition of The Current for the year! This month, we're thrilled to share with you:
  • A powerful new blog post by Upstream Arts Co-founder and Artistic Director Matt Guidry
  • New staff and artist departures and arrivals
  • A "save-the-date" for an exciting music event
  • A great piece on how to be more disability-inclusive
  • Gratitude for recent gifts, plus a fall fund appeal update
Please note, the Upstream Arts office will be closed from December 22 through January 2. We hope that you enjoy a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season!
Julie, Matt, Bree, and everyone at Upstream Arts
Matt and Caleb, stnading together next to a window projection of the original Upstream Arts logo
Matt Guidry with son Caleb at Upstream Arts’ 1st Annual Meeting and Fundraiser, 2014 (photo: David Luke)
Perspectives on Inclusion
In a powerful new post on our blog, Upstream Arts Co-founder and Artistic Director Matt Guidry reflects on 25 years of navigating the world as the parent of a child with disabilities. "My work and my personal life are much about advocating for individuals with disabilities. Not advocating for something special, but for basic respect, for acceptance and empathy and understanding in our communities and in our society. For well informed medical and therapeutic care. For grace, and for an invitation." He also asks that each one of us consider our own relationship to inclusion: "Our work, all of our work, asks that we keep showing up, speaking out, and creating a space for others to re-imagine the value that exists in all of us."  Click here to read more.
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists silly group photo
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists, Fall 2016
Departures and Arrivals
This fall and winter, we're making some fond farewells and warm welcomes in our company of artists:
Charles Fraser, Upstream Arts Teaching Artist and Program Associate, departed last month after nearly a decade of work with us. We are so grateful for his immense contribution to this organization over the years and wish him the best of luck in all of his new endeavors!
Jen Wang, who joined our Teaching Artist roster last year, has been accepted into a graduate program at Columbia University in NYC, starting in January! We're so excited for this new chapter in Jen's life and will be sending her off with lots of love.
This past September, we were thrilled to welcome visual artist Michele Spaise and choreographer/dancer Pedro Pablo Lander to our Teaching Artist roster. They dove right in and, unsurprisingly, have been doing incredible work!
Upstream Arts elementary school participant palm-to-palm with a Teaching Artist
Upstream Arts participant (photo: Theo Goodell)
Gratitude & The Work Ahead
In November, we launched our Fall Fund Appeal. Huge thanks to all those who made gifts since our last update
As you might already know, Upstream Arts has a goal of raising $100,000 from our individual donors by the end of our fiscal year on June 30, 2017. Thanks to your generosity over the past few weeks, we're 25% of the way there! Toward the big push ahead, we now have a mini goal of raising another $5,000 by December 31 (also the last day to make gifts for 2016 tax deduction eligibility).
To learn about other ways to support Upstream Arts, please visit our website. Your gift plays such a critical role in activating and amplifying the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities - from high-quality arts residencies in collaboration with schools and adult disability providers, to community events like the Gaelynn Lea concert in February, to advocacy efforts and so much more.
We’re grateful beyond words for partnership. Thank you!
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and participants dancing Upstream Arts Teaching Artists leading class
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