Upstream Arts, Inc.

Mission Statement

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

Impact and Programs

Accomplishments In our most recently completed fiscal year, Upstream Arts reached 3100+ individuals of all ages and abilities through: SCHOOL PROGRAMS: 56 interactive arts residencies in pre-K-12 Special Education classrooms and Transition programs throughout Minneapolis Public Schools, Saint Paul Public Schools, and other districts in the Twin Cities metro area, serving 756 students with disabilities; ADULT PROGRAMS: 26 interactive arts residencies carried out in partnership with Adult Day Programs and disability service providers throughout the Twin Cities metro area, serving 367 adults with disabilities. Partners include: Midwest Special Services, Opportunity Partners, Lifeworks, Hammer Residencies, Community Involvement Programs and Merrick; MILWAUKEE PROGRAMS: 21 programs/freebies in Milwaukee serving 295 youth and adults. Includes programming with the Milwaukee Jewish Community Center, 1 to 2 week programs in 5 Milwaukee Public Schools, and 4 freebies for potential partners; COMMUNITY PROGRAMS: 8 interactive Arts residencies carried out in partnership with community organizations throughout the Twin Cities serving 115 individuals of all ages and abilities; COMMUNITY EVENTS: 7 art exhibitions, performances, talks, and other public events featuring individuals with disabilities of all ages, serving 909 people. Highlights include a public concert and conversation with musician Gaelynn Lea, and two evenings of performance and conversation, featuring adults with disabilities from our programs at St. Catherine University’s Frey Theater; PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: 17 trainings, led by our Staff and Teaching Artists, sharing our inclusive arts-based teaching methodology with other artists, arts organizations, educators, nonprofits, and social service organizations for 715 participants. Representative examples of participating groups include Minneapolis Public Schools, The Southern Theater, Central Lakes College, Perpich Center for Arts Education, and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. In 16-17, we saw a 20% increase in total income, including a 42% increase in earned income, meeting our goal of further diversifying funding sources. Overall our budget increased 18%. We ended the fiscal year with a surplus. Our financial situation is healthy and we maintain a cash reserve.
Current Goals In Upstream Arts’ 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, we outlined the following goals for this three year period: 1) Infuse the creative arts into education, work, and community settings to advance the social/emotional skills of people with disabilities and of those who live and work alongside them; 2) Advance the dialogue about disability by sharing and showcasing what we know and are continually learning; and 3) Maintain a nimble, sustainable organization with a culture that values artists as agents of social change. Annual objectives toward these goals include: 1) Continue core programming of arts residencies for individuals with disabilities in partnership with schools, Adult Day programs, and community organizations; 2) Produce community events with and for individuals who may or may not be part of other Upstream Arts programming, growing public awareness; 3) Expand professional development trainings; 4) Further diversify funding sources to ensure sustainability; 5) Continue our commitment to appropriate compensation of staff and artists, in recognition of the often undervalued role of artists in our society
Community or Constituency Served Our interactive arts programming serves Individuals ages 0 - 95+ with disabilities including those with intellectual, developmental, behavioral, emotional, physical, those with are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and those with visual impairments. Our community events, performances and trainings serve individuals of all ages and abilities, including educators, artists, arts organizations, social service organizations, families and staff of individuals with disabilities and the general public.
Geographic Area Served The majority of our programming is held in Minnesota, primarily in Minneapolis and St. Paul and the Twin Cities 7 county metropolitan area. We also carry out quarterly programming in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from time to time carry out programming in greater Minnesota and other states or cities by request.

Reports & Finances

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Major Program Expenses
Programs, including residency programs, community events and professional development:
3 Year Average Expenses
Program Services
Unrestricted Net Assets
End of Year:
Beginning of Year:

Notes from the Council

Organization Last Reviewed on 01/16/2018

This date is representative of when we completed our initial Accountability Wizard® nonprofit review, and provided the organization with their results. This review is good for three years from the date provided
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3501 Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Phone: 612-331-4584

General Information

Alternative Name: Upstream Arts
EIN: 20-4451219
Principal Staff: Julie Guidry
Number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE): 9.75
Number of Volunteers: 25
Number of Clients: 3500
Ruling Year: 2006


Board Chair: Margaret Quinlan
Number of Board Members: 7
Board Meetings with Quorum: 9
Average Member Attendance: 5.2

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1915 Highway 36 W Ste 133 • Roseville, Minnesota 55113-2709
Phone: (651) 224–7030 • E-mail:

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