Alumni Spotlight: Grace Haynes

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Grace Haynes November 6, 2017

Recent graduate, Grace Lynne (Illustration + Designmatters Minor) shares the ins and outs of her new job with local non-profit, Side Street Projects.

I was hired as Communications Manager at Side Street Projects located in Altadena, CA. I have been working here for around 4 months, and have already learned so much about what goes on behind the scenes in the non-profit world. Side Street Projects is a small but mighty mobile, artist-run organization that specializes in providing support for practicing artists and helps bring their unique voice to the community. We also host woodworking classes for children and adults in our yellow school buses. My job as Communications Manager is to handle anything and everything Side Street wants to communicate to the public; whether it be an email, designing a brochure, or going into the community to post our flyers in local libraries and coffee shops. I was also hired to help with Side Street’s social media presence and to contribute my illustration style to their new re-branding initiative.

(lft): Side Street Projects Logo and Sign (rt): Office Space in our mobile trailers.

The beginning of my day usually starts off with a cup of green tea and checking my email. Side Street Projects is a mobile non-profit so we work in trailers. Our style is very playful, innovative and open-minded like the people who work here.  As the day proceeds, I take care of any mass emails or general inquiries we need to send out to the public, or I work on a new design for a program or event. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Illustration, and a Minor in Social Innovation and I’m lucky to be able to apply illustrative elements to my designs here at Side Street. My manager is super open and gives me the creative freedom to draw as well as design. I am continuously developing new ways to brand and advertise our woodworking classes, as well as the various artists’ services we offer.

(lft): The beginning drawing phase for a poster for our woodworking classes (center): The final result! (rt): Our lovely Operations Manager Frances Kao driving our woodworking bus to a local Altadena School

Our woodworking bus and classes are what we are primarily known for, and are unique to Side Street. The classes usually begin around the afternoon. Our staff drive the buses to local schools in Altadena and teaches the kids how to make cool objects and toys. I love seeing the kids create, and they always end up making something inventive. The courses usually range from 6-16 weeks. This time gives the teachers a chance to develop a special bond with the students.

The beginning of a full house woodworking class.


One of our outgoing students excited about a toy he made!

Throughout the day we also manage requests and proposals for our funded art projects. A few times a year, we give artists an opportunity to create a community-based art project that is completely funded through our grants. We collaborate with different artists to create playful projects that engage the community and highlight the importance of creativity. As the Communications Manager, I develop different methodologies to help promote these art projects to have them receive maximum impact.

I usually end the day looking at my Google calendar to make sure everything has been completed. I also make some last minute design checks and get ready for my next workday.

If you would like to know more about Side Street Projects, feel free to visit our website:

Grace Haynes is a Los Angeles based Painter / Illustrator / Designer.  To learn more about Grace and her work, click here.