Dear Friend of Side Street Projects,

As 2013 comes to a close, we are able to look back at 21 wild years. Just this year we hosted a dinner where guests could trade a flower for a plate full of food, we had psychics performing haircuts, and over the summer some kids made a whole lot of wooden food. Side Street Projects is an entirely mobile community based artist-run organization that gives artists of all ages the ability and the means to support their creative endeavors. Simply put, we teach artists how to roll up their sleeves and do things themselves. You are receiving this letter because you are a fabulous part of the community that helps make it all happen. We are growing and have some exciting new initiatives that you might want to support with your end of year gift.

Youth Education:

Since 1997, we have taught design and fabrication through a mobile tool-based woodworking curriculum to thousands of children throughout L.A. County. Our goal is to teach children creative problem solving and how to use tools safely, effectively, and (ultimately) independent of adult assistance. All classes are held in renovated transit buses and trailers where students learn about art, design, and engineering using only hand tools, raw materials, and their imagination. All classes are taught by professional artists. The program has now expanded to include other tool based curriculum including sewing and electronics.
Over the last few years we have tripled the capacity of our youth education program to accommodate increased demand thanks to the support of people like you. In partnership with the Gamble House, we continue to serve all third graders in the Pasadena Unified School District. It only takes $15 to sponsor a child or $400 to sponsor an entire 3rd grade classroom.

We are expanding our more intensive, artist inspired classes, which we have determined to have an extremely valuable lasting effect on a student’s learning. We are currently serving one hundred 5th graders with a 16-week kinetic sculpture curriculum with a strong physics backbone. This type of curriculum ties deeply to the new common core standards with a focus on project-based learning. This spring we will be piloting a new architecture inspired class in Glassell Park initiated by our board chair, Jeremy Levine. In this new class the students will work with professional architects to design something for their school that will actually be fabricated at a local design-build shop and installed at their school. The shop is walking distance from the school, which allows the students to be involved in every step of the process. We are excited to continue to develop innovative ways to connect professional artists directly to community.

Artist Projects:

Side Street Projects’ On-Site Artist Projects are growing and gaining momentum and international attention. In 2013 we hosted five On-Site Artist Projects with 17 events involving 38 artists! All of these artists are at the brink of taking their practice to a new level. We support our artists with everything from fundraising to project management and equipment needs. We are proud to say that after their residencies here, our artists are equipped to take their work to a new level. Sculptures from Elana Mann’s Listening as (a) Movement project were a part of her solo exhibition at Otis College of Art and Design last summer. She has now been commissioned to do a related installation in Grand Park in Downtown LA. Our Most recent project Psychic Barber by the collective, Finishing School is traveling to the Philip J Steele Gallery (RMCAD) and ArtPlant in Denver, CO, and the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA. All of our On-Site Artists are asked to engage the community and incorporate into our free community programs that we offer every Saturday. In this way we are able to support emerging artists and in-turn those artists support our community.

The forward momentum can be seen in all aspects of Side Street Projects. The artists on our staff are exceptionally invested in the organization and we are investing in them through training, increased hours, compensation and benefits as well as supporting them as artists. Your support right now will strengthen our core capacity and insure the quality of our programs while they grow.
I would like to personally thank you for being a part of the Side Street Projects Community. We are pretty excited to turn 21 this year! Stay tuned…The Phantom Ball might actually be a real Ball this year!

Wishing you a wondrous 2014!
Emily Hopkins
Executive Director