Some good news from 2020
As 2020 draws to a close, we at Upstream Arts want to take a moment to reflect on the opportunities we've found inside this year's upheaval; to deepen our investment in our disability community and our Teaching Artists, to be with and uplift one another, and to expand our accessible offerings, now and into the future.
So here we go - let's try it - our good news from 2020:
- We carried out an in-depth exchange with artists from zAmya Theater in-person and virtually – working for the first time with individuals who are unhoused.
- We conducted The Art of Voice and Choice residencies with five school district’s Transition programs for students with disabilities ages 18-21.
- Our Staff adapted all of our programming online in the span a week - not cancelling any of our classes.
- We embarked on our first collective summer arts camp with five other organizations/artists specializing in arts-learning for and with people with disabilities.
- We launched our school residency season virtually, without reducing any of our programming: running classes with 36 groups/week!
- We expanded our Art of Relationships residencies on healthy relationships, bodily autonomy, and consent to reach its youngest ever participants: adolescents in the Minneapolis Public School District
- We worked with a focus group of our Teaching Artists to increase the LGBTQIA2+ inclusivity of our Art of Relationships curriculum, and with our partners at Teen Annex to add more information-rich content.
- We received the highly competitive SEL Innovation Award to support our ongoing work in Minneapolis Public Schools.
- Throughout this year, we received overwhelming support from our community of supporters (thank you!), making it possible for us to reach every fundraising goal that we set in 2020, and for us to respond creatively to the emergent needs of our community.
We want you to know that you've been an integral part of our work. Every minute you engage with Upstream Arts is time spent centering the voices of our disability community, of refusing to let them and their experiences be invisibalized. While these daily actions may seem small, they are actions that undermine ableism and create a world where all of us, regardless of ability, are seen and valued. For your solidarity and support, thank you. You are Upstream Arts, moving with us against the current.