New to ArtStream
Who We Are
ArtStream’s classes, workshops, and performing companies fuel each student’s imagination, creativity, and focus. And that’s not all. Students improve communication and social skills and develop friendships. Newly discovered talents and capabilities improve self-esteem, poise, and confidence that extend into their daily lives. All students are valued for their creative contributions. ArtStream’s demanding and very entertaining process encourages students to discover their creativity and strengths and perform with confidence!
ArtStream programs are open to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), including autism. Participants should be able to function in groups of up to 30 people with 1:4 staffing; independently meet self-care needs; follow directions; and demonstrate respectful, safe behavior at all times. Unless otherwise noted, ArtStream classes and performing companies are open to adults 18+. You do not need to have any acting experience to take a class or workshop. Click the button below to visit our class registration page:
"I signed up for a fall music and dancing class. My family was amazed at how well I was able to learn choreography and all the words to songs from famous musicals. Up ‘til then, most of my dancing looked a lot like just hopping."
–ArtStream actor since 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
What Will I Learn at ArtStream?
After participating in an ArtStream class or performing company, students perceive themselves as markedly improving in both their performance and communication abilities, making new friends, trying new things, and being comfortable working in a group.
Where is ArtStream located?
ArtStream’s administrative office is located at 8401 Connecticut Ave Ste, 1230, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Programming is NOT held at the office. Programs are offered at many different locations throughout the Washington DC Metro region.
Who teaches ArtStream classes?
ArtStream Teaching Artists have degrees in special education, fine arts, performing arts, drama therapy, acting, dance, music, and related fields. They receive on-the-job training from Master Teachers and attend bi-annual training sessions. Teaching Artists have an average tenure of nine years with ArtStream. All Teaching Artists are certified in CPR.
Are scholarships available?
ArtStream services are eligible for LISS and Respite funding. ArtStream students are eligible to pay in installments or receive full or partial scholarships.
How do I register for an ArtStream class?
To see class listings and register for classes, go to ArtStream's class registration site.
(For step-by-step instructions on how to register for an ArtStream class, please see our YouTube video tutorials below.)
How to Register for an ArtStream Class - ArtStream Tutorial:
What happens in a class?
ArtStream’s theatre and performing arts classes feature music, dance, acting and improv games that teach communication and social skills. ArtStream’s class curricula build skills that are applicable in all aspects of life: from the stage, to Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, to the family dinner table, to the workplace. The final class sharing session offers family and friends an opportunity to see what has been learned.
What happens in a Workshop?
ArtStream regularly offers several different kinds of workshops. In our “Super Social Saturday” workshops, students practice socializing skills, let loose, and have fun. “Positively Speaking” workshops offer public speaking skills and tools to help students feel more comfortable and confident in the workplace, at home, at school, and everywhere in between.
What happens in an Inclusive Theatre Company?
Actors develop and perform an original musical. The company votes on a theme, creates original characters, and improvises scenes. Scenes are then scripted to create an original one-act musical performance.
What happens in a Cabaret Company?
Actors agree on a theme for ensemble music and dance performances, and then each actor works with the choreographer and music director to develop solo and small group music, dance, or drama performances.
How can I act with an Inclusive Theatre Company or Cabaret Company?
In order to participate in an Inclusive Theatre Company or Cabaret Company:
- you must be 18 years of age or older
- you must have participated in at least 8 weeks of ArtStream classes in the past two years.
Auditions for the Inclusive Theatre Companies occur in the fall for shows the following spring. Cabaret Companies hold auditions in the fall and winter. Visit the Perform with Us page to learn more about performance opportunities with ArtStream and register for a spot on the audition waitlist.