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Upstream Arts will present “Ready for Work,” free programs of theater and dance activities, visual arts, music and poetry designed to develop social and communication skills for workplace readiness, for adults of all abilities, including those with disabilities, at two Hennepin County libraries in September:
Hennepin County Library – Ridgedale, 12601 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka.
Thursdays, Sept. 6-Oct. 11, 4-5 p.m
Register Online or call 612-543-8800.
Hennepin County Library – Southdale, 7001 York Ave. S., Edina.
Thursdays, Sept. 20-Oct. 25, 3:30-4:30 p.
Register Online or call 612-543-5900.
Upstream Arts offers an arts-based approach to help people with disabilities develop social and communication skills that are vital to success in school, the workplace, and life.
Its teaching artists are accomplished, professional Twin Cities artists who have received specialized training to work with students of all abilities. The artists lead program participants in arts activities that nurture self-expression, conversation, and group interaction skills.
Upstream Arts was founded in 2006 by a professional theatre artist and educator who successfully used the arts to engage their son, who was born with a syndrome that affects his physical and cognitive development, and is non-verbal.
The nonprofit organization’s mission is “to enhance the lives of adults and youth with disabilities by fostering creative communication and social independence through the power of arts education.” It provides programming to schools, agencies such as adult daycare agencies and service providers, and individuals.
“We do community programs to reach different people in different places, and to raise awareness of how the arts can impact people of all abilities,” said Bree Sieplinga, associate director of Upstream Arts. “Social skills can impact a person’s ability to get and keep a job,” she said. “We do role playing and act out different scenarios so people can practice different workplace situations.”
"Upstream Arts has led similar programs designed to cultivate workplace readiness at several different adult day programs for individuals with disabilities,” Sieplinga added. “Due to the overwhelming success of these initiatives, we now are thrilled to be partnering with community organizations and government departments like the Hennepin County libraries to help an even wider range of people develop skills vital to getting and keeping jobs."
Attendees needing one-to-one support should bring their support person with them.
The programs are presented in collaboration with Upstream Arts. For more information, call the libraries.
(Program title in headline corrected 8/2/12.)