Upstream Arts

A nonprofit organization

$3,821 raised by 17 donors

19% complete

$20,000 Goal

Group portrait of three UA Teaching Artists. Pedro, a long-haired, bearded, and nonbinary person; Nora, a Latine woman with long curly hair, and Chavonn a black femme with black curly hair, all stand in a row. Pedro and Nora are smiling big, Chavonn has their head up in laughter.We're changing mindsets about ability and disability.

At Upstream Arts, we believe there is no separation between art and advocacy, that by creating together we are expanding culture to be more accessible to everyone across the disability-ability spectrum and all its intersections. 

Our arts-based classes, taught by teams of professional artists, integrate theatre, music, poetry, dance, painting into a deeply human practice that creates meaningful connections, foregrounds choice and consent, expands self-expression, and strengthens self-advocacy and healthy relationships for people of all ages and abilities. 

We are proud that each year our programming reaches 3500 individuals through 100+ partnerships with schools, adult day programs, and community organizations in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and beyond. As a small organization with a tremendous impact, our work is only made possible by our community of supporters. Individual donors like you fund 11% of our programming, a percentage that we’re hoping to expand to remain resilient and responsive to the emergent needs of our community after our emergency grants expire.

For our year end goal, we are looking to raise $20,000 to support -
  • Creating classroom-based rituals to help our students process and adapt to change.

  • Facilitating Sex Education and Healthy Relationships classes for adolescents receiving Special Education services.

  • Expanding our arts-based Self-Advocacy classes to reach adults across the state through our new partnership with the MN Department of Health.

We hope you consider investing in access today and joining our growing community of artists and advocates working at the intersection of arts, disability, and learning!

With gratitude for all you do,

All of us at Upstream Arts

Upstream Arts uses the power of the creative arts to activate and amplify the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities.


We will change mindsets about ability and disability and promote more connected and engaged communities by increasing intentional opportunities for shared creative experiences.


Upstream Arts was founded in 2006 by parents that witnessed first-hand the positive impact of the arts education on their son, Caleb. Caleb, who is non-verbal, was born with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, which affects his physical and cognitive development. Caleb’s father, a professional theatre artist and educator in the Twin Cities, exposed Caleb to theatre and dance at a young age. Caleb, who previously had few tools to communicate, began to use the physical movements, body language, and facial expressions he learned through the arts to communicate and engage with those around him. Out of this spirit and determination, Upstream Arts was born.

Learn more about us and see what we're up to at

Organization Data


Organization name

Upstream Arts

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture


3501 Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407



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