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Side by Side Studio Director/Founder Kim Frazier-Pirog’s story and learn how this impactful organization uses the arts to provide joyful learning and family and community engagement.

The Story of Side by Side Studio

“School was not something that came easy to me. I recall my 7th period class my senior year of high school. It was a basic hand sewing class, and was pretty much used as a place to stick the ‘bad’ or ‘failing’ kids. However, I quickly discovered how much I and the other kids really seemed to enjoy the class! I remember that there were no real behavior issues like there were in the other classes, yet this was a class full of the ‘bad’ kids. I liked it so much so that I would actually stay the whole day of school, usually I would cut class, just to go to that class!

“I had independence in that class, there were no worksheets or standardized test telling me what I was doing right or wrong, or pointing to my failures. I easily picked up quilting, angles and math which are heavily used in quilting came easily to me, that had never been the case in traditional math classes. Math was a huge struggle of mine, but through simple hands on interaction and creative freedom I was able to learn more in that class than I did my whole high school career! After I graduated, and it was a miracle that I did, I became very thankful for that 7th period sewing class and realized that the joy I experienced in that class was the joy that carried me to graduation.

“Fast forward a decade, a few college degrees, a growing family, and the search for the right job. I never found the right job. I wanted to do something that would change how education is taught, give children and communities a voice, and create a safe comforting space for families to gather. In short I wanted to give kids the 7th period class that saved me and the family support that helped to pull me through.

“Welcome Side by Side Studio!

“We generally work with underserved populations, those with learning differences or those seeking a ‘whole child’ and joy filled approach to life and learning, and women and teen girls who have experienced trauma and/or violence.

“When forming Side by Side I heavily researched education philosophies that would help to shape the organization. Our education and community philosophies are built upon fostering confidence, compassion, happiness, peace, creativity, and respect.

“The Imagine 2020 grant has allowed our organization to begin new programming for school aged children and their families in small community friendly childcare centers in the Park Hill, Chickasaw, and Park DuValle neighborhoods. It has also allowed us to maintain our long term relationships with the children and families in those communities. Our programs are heavily built upon the importance of relationship.”

—Kim Frazier-Pirog, Director, Founder

Side by Side Mission: 

  • To provide joyful learning as well as family and community engagement through art.
  • 250 children and women served weekly

Side by Side Studio‘s recent project, “Community Strengthening and Peacebuilding Through Art” is funded by Imagine Greater Louisville 2020, supported by the generous gift of Louisville Metro Government in partnership with Fund for the Arts.


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