The Current

Upstream Arts News
March 2016  

Hello, New Subscribers! 
Welcome! 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 public trainings and events.
Meet Our New Intern
We're honored to introduce you to our Spring 2016 intern, the brilliant Larissa Leshovsky! Larissa is a student at the University of Minnesota, where she's majoring in psychology and art. This semester, she's participating in a program called HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs), with a focus on Art for Social Change. Click here to learn more.

Join the Conversation 
In this corner of The Current, we share videos, articles, and other resources related to our disability is not a four-letter word campaign.
This month, we've been super excited to stumble across "Easter Seals Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities," a post by Erin Hawley on Disability.Blog. Easter Seals Thrive is an online network (with an offline mentorship program in Massachusetts) specifically created to connect and empower young women with disabilities.
"Growing up, I was one of the few visibly disabled people in my small town," Hawley writes. "I was immersed in an abled world by default, and often struggled with my identity and how I fit in. There were times when I didn’t even want to be associated with disability because I thought it was something negative... Looking back, I could have used the relationships I have now in online disability community."
How does this article resonate with your own experiences? We'd love to hear from you! Check it all out, then hit reply to let us know what you think.
Painting created collaboratively by Upstream Arts participants
Dear Friend, 
This month in The Current, we're thrilled to share:
  • A few delightful favorite Upstream Arts moments
  • How buying your dream home can support Upstream Arts
  • An introduction to our brilliant new intern, Larissa
  • A great article about an online resource hub specifically for women with disabilities
  • More VocalPoint gratitude, an update on our $100K fundraising goal, and a Save-the-Date
As always, this email only scratches the surface of all that is happening at Upstream Arts. Stay tuned to our website and social media for more.
We're so grateful to have you in our community!
Julie, Matt, Bree, and everyone at Upstream Arts
Upstream Arts high school participant dancing
Upstream Arts participant at Roosevelt High School (Photo by Matt Guidry)
What's One of Your Favorite Upstream Arts Moments?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been tapping some of our community partners, participants, donors, Teaching Artists, staff, and Board members to describe Upstream Arts in their own words, tell us what they love about this work, and imagine how they would be excited to see the organization grow in the coming years. We also have been asking them to tell us about a “favorite Upstream Arts moment.” We’ll be sharing many of these stories with you in different ways over the coming months; but the growing collection is SO lovely that we couldn’t resist posting a few on our blog right away - and would love to gather YOUR "favorite moment" in the process! Click here to read more.
Graham Smith
Realtor Graham Smith (Photo via Keller Williams)
How Buying a Home Can Support Upstream Arts
Did you ever imagine that, by buying your dream home, you could also bring valuable arts learning experiences to individuals with disabilities at every stage of life? We certainly had never conceived such a thing. But recently, our long-time supporter and Powderhorn Park neighbor, realtor Graham Smith, approached us with an amazing idea: He has decided to donate $200 from every home sale that he makes in 2016 to Upstream Arts! Needless to say, we’re blown away by this utterly creative and generous commitment of support. It would be a phenomenal gift even if he only sold one home; but Graham’s already off to the races and, in fact, has a goal of selling 100 homes this year! Click here to read more.
VocalPoint and Upstream Arts performing together in St. Paul last month (Photo by Bill Cameron)
Gratitude & The Work Ahead
We had an incredible experience with the VocalPoint concerts last month! Click here for a recap, and huge thanks to all our supporters, old and new.
Also, now that we have processed all the remarkably generous gifts from last month, we're thrilled to share that, to date, you have brought us TWO THIRDS OF THE WAY to our big goal of $100,000 by June 30! Only about $35,000 to go, and we have some fun plans underway to close that gap...
Starting this week (and depending on your communications preferences), you'll receive a series of 3 invitations to The Art of We, our 10th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser, coming up on May 19, from 6-9pm at the American Swedish Institute. We can't wait to gather as much of our community as possible at this family-friendly and fully accessible event! If you are traveling from out of town and have questions as you make plans, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our staff will be happy to assist you.
The Art of We is FREE to attend, but there will be unique optional ways to support our work during the event. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for details! If you can't join, but would like to make a special anniversary gift, click here to donate now or call (612) 331-4584 to give by phone.
Online RSVPs will open this Wednesday. If you wish to RSVP early and/or opt out of receiving invitations for this event, please feel free to email
We're so grateful for your belief and support!
Click to Donate Now
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