Sponsored Programs


Two thirds of our students receive programming at no cost to them or their schools through generous donations and grants. Mobility allows us strategically to serve at-risk youth where there is the most need. We take a holistic approach to integrating art into core curriculum. We partner closely with PUSD administrators to ensure that we are working to provide art to all students.  All 5th graders at four PUSD Schools receive an intensive 10-week STEAM woodworking curriculum called “Kinetic Creatures” . Our 2nd grade public art curriculum serves all 1,500 2nd graders in PUSD as a part of the K-6 curriculum “My Masterpieces” that pairs our City’s cultural institutions to grade level curriculum. This year we are embarking on a new program working with a group of Rose City High School Students to Curate the PUSD District wide art exhibition “No Boundaries”. The schools we work with the most have over 90% subsidized lunches.


My Masterpieces

In 2007 Side Street Projects and 10 other Pasadena cultural institutions embarked on the pilot of the My Masterpieces Program. My Masterpieces: Discovering Art in My Community is a standards-based, supplemental elementary curriculum for the visual arts that connects Pasadena Unified School District (P.U.S.D.) students with the cultural resources of their community. Other approved My Masterpieces partner organizations include The Armory, The Norton Simon Museum, & The Huntington Library. We’ve collaborated with the District to develop a specialized curriculum that is vetted to meet California Visual and Performing Arts Standards. The 2nd grade curriculum includes a classroom pre tour Lesson, a field trip to the Pasadena Civic Center, and a hands on printmaking workshop with our Teaching Artists in which students design and fabricate a public art installation for their school. In 2010, P.U.S.D. was recognized by the California School Board Association with the “Golden Bell Award” for the My Masterpieces Program.

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This project is made possible through a grant from the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, The Tournament of Roses Foundation and the LA County Arts Commission.


No Boundaries

No Boundaries is a district-wide art exhibit that showcases the talents of the entire student body of the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). Side Street Projects teaching artists in collaboration with curators in the Los Angeles art community are working with a classroom of Rose City High School to produce and curate the exhibition which opens on Spring Art Night. Students are learning about every level of exhibition production from wall preparation to marketing to making decisions about how and where the art will be shown. 

Initiated and coordinated since 2006 by the District Art Team and Community Art Team, the event has been held annually for the past 14 years.  Due to budget cuts and limited recourses within the district this exhibition was in danger of being canceled. 2019 will be the first year that Side Street Projects and Rose City students will be taking the lead on the production of No Boundaries, and we plan to continue and expand upon this project and curriculum moving forward. 


Kinetic Creatures

Kinetic Creatures is an integrated 10-week kinetic sculpture STEAM curriculum for all 5th graders at four PUSD schools. This curriculum fits well into the core curriculum of 5th grade where students are really starting to develop critical thinking and creative problem solving. This curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore properties of physics and materials. Experiments take place using a combination of scientific and creative process. Students will design and create a kinetic creature, either animal or machine, with a specific function for the environment it lives in. Students will fabricate a wooden cam, lever, slider, and/or pulley mechanism to build their creature upon. Creatures can be abstract or figurative, and incorporate found images and objects.

This project is made possible through a generous grant from the Katharine Kaine Wanlass Foundation.


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