Logo

Improvisational storytelling for caregivers at You Are a Work of Art retreat. Photo by Mike Rollins.

ArtStream, Inc.

What We Do

ArtStream is a nonprofit that teaches art, social, and pre-employment skills through participation in the performing arts . We create inclusive arts programs that are accessible, empowering, and engaging.

Inclusive Theatre Companies

Inclusive Theatre Companies develop and perform original musicals that feature adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) — including autism — and other social and behavioral needs. The companies include professional directorial and design teams as well as volunteer mentors. Actors develop original characters and plots based on their own ideas. A play is scripted, choreographed, memorized by the actors and performed for the public. The final production is designed to showcase each actor’s unique talents.

My Big, Fat, Greek Myth, 2013 Gaithersburg Inclusive Theatre Company B. Photo by Lyle Ganz.”

My Big, Fat, Greek Myth, 2013 Gaithersburg Inclusive Theatre Company B. Photo by Lyle Ganz.

“I was nervous at first but I got through it and I was relieved. Now I want to try it again. I felt I was climbing a mountain and I got to the top. The feeling of being on stage was amazing. I can’t believe I did it.” — Nadia Abouraya, Inclusive Theatre Company actor

Learn more about the Inclusive Theatre Company development process.

Inclusive Theatre Company performances can be an audience member’s first meaningful experience interacting with individuals with disabilities. In this way, they are transformative for the audience as well as the actors.

“They see that she is a person who can really stay on task, can follow a role, and she can focus. So what we’ve noticed is that after people see her in a show, they are more likely to engage with her.” — Paula DeRoy, parent of an Inclusive Theatre Company actor

Find upcoming Inclusive Theatre Company performances on our calendar.

Or contact us to find out how you can get involved at 301-565-4567.


Inclusive Drama and Social Skills Classes

ArtStream teaches acting techniques and communication skills in inclusive classes designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) — including autism — and other social and behavioral needs. Classes build skills that are applicable in all aspects of life: from the stage, to the family dinner table, to Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and the workplace. Class subjects may include comedy, music theatre, improv, public speaking, role-play, party dancing, and social skills.

Public speaking workshops with Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County. Photo by Nicolette Stearns.

Public speaking workshops with Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County. Photo by Nicolette Stearns.

“Chris has shown tremendous growth in his language and social skills. We credit this to ArtStream, its volunteers and ongoing encouragement.” — Tess Corbey, ArtStream parent

Find upcoming class offerings on our calendar. No experience necessary to join a class!

Or bring ArtStream to your community — download our Menu of Services to see what we can do for you!


Military Hospital Programs

Patients, their families, and caregivers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) connect and heal through participating in bedside and group arts sessions. Through “Allies in the Arts” (designed for patients and families) and “You Are a Work of Art” (designed for nurses, medics, and technicians), ArtStream teaching artists provide sessions focused on music, creative writing, visual arts, and improvisational expression. Sessions are designed to give participants a feeling of creativity, resilience, and community in the hospital setting.

Relaxation techniques for caregivers at You Are a Work of Art retreat. Photo by Mike Rollins.

Relaxation techniques for caregivers at You Are a Work of Art retreat. Photo by Mike Rollins.

“You made our evening perfect. You really gave us a big lift when we needed it. Thank you so much.” — Spouse of a patient at WRNMMC after a music session

Military Hospital programs are closed to the public and do not accept volunteers.