Side Street Projects is an entirely mobile artist run organization.

Our mission is to give artists of all ages the ability and means to support their creative endeavors. All of our programs connect professional artists directly to communities to facilitate creative problem solving within a contemporary arts context.

We teach children design and fabrication through a mobile tool-based program “The Woodworking Bus”. We present community based Artist Projects at our temporary headquarters; and off-site in collaboration with local businesses and government agencies. These projects are integrated into the free community programming offered every Saturday. We provide support services to artists with programs including a Best-Professional Practices Podcast Series, Skill Share Workshops, and an Equipment Co-Op.

Our programming can be divided into 3 categories:

Youth Education

Our Mobile Youth Education program teaches tool-based design and fabrication aboard mobile fabrication studios housed in buses and trailers. This program serves youth throughout Los Angeles County, through in school and after school programming, museums, community events, private parties and special events. This program is free for over half of the students through grants. The program takes a holistic approach to integrating core curriculum, particularly Math and Science. It teaches children creative problem solving and how to use tools safely, effectively, and (ultimately) independent of adult assistance. There are currently two buses with 15 workstations each, and two trailers with 16 workstations each, for a total of 62 workstations.

We recently developed a 2nd grade public art curriculum in PUSD, which pairs artist –led public art field trips with an in-classroom project. Our teaching artists lead the field trip, and then go into the 2nd grade classrooms to develop a collaborative public art piece for each school. We piloted this curriculum in 2015/16. In 2016/17 are serving all 1,500 2nd graders in PUSD with this curriculum. Our youth education program continues to be a model of artist-led, project-based learning that is integrated into a core curriculum. The program’s hands-on model is designed for a range of learning styles and multiple intelligences.

Community Programming

Each Saturday, we offer free art workshops from 11-1 for our neighbors. We also regularly offer programming off-site at community events. Workshops often feature guest artists from the community including the artists who we present in our artist projects. Many of the youth who participate are PUSD students who have participated in programming at their school. This program is a training ground for artists working in communities. It is a space where we can work with a trusted group of students to experiment with new curriculum.

Artist Programs

For over twenty years, we have been supporting artists who make work that is not easily bought or sold. Our artists choose to work in communities instead of galleries. This is often referred to as “Socially Engaged Art” or “Social Practice”. We host Artist Projects at our temporary headquarters; these projects are integrated into the free community programming offered every Saturday. We also facilitate interactive projects off-site in collaboration with local businesses and government agencies. We work with artists who are on the brink of taking their work to the next level, and teach them the skills they need to expand their practice. Artists are given professional development support for each stage of their project, from fundraising and community outreach to project management. We take what we learn from each project and feed it back into our professional development program. We are currently working on a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant in partnership with the City of Pasadena and facilitating 12 interactive projects in the civic center. Side Street Project is W.A.G.E. Certified, which means that we are committed to paying artist fees that meet a consistent standard.

Artist Services

Professional Development: We provide pragmatic support services for artists including Skill Share Workshops, and on-line resources. As we expand our Skill Share Program, we will use material from the workshops to expand our podcast series, and produce new free on-line resources for artists who work across sectors.

Our Equipment Co-op puts cost prohibitive tools into the hands of artists. With a $35 membership fee, artists and community members have access to tools, video projectors, scanners and cameras for far below market rate. Members can use our shop and equipment on-site for $20 a day; if artists cannot afford the rental rate, they can trade volunteer hours for equipment use.