Our Story

How a Philadelphia arts co-op turned into a sustainable international business.

SideArts’ artist wanted listings serves the international visual arts community and is based out of Philadelphia, PA.

In 2006, SideArts Founder, Todd Hestand, lived on a rowhome-lined carriage street in South Philly.  Most of the occupants of the block were involved in creating visual arts.

Neighbors got to know one another and had regular meetings, BBQ’s, and Friday night karaoke.  A common problem was the need to find opportunities to show and sell creative works.  Each person spent a significant time online, often duplicating work.

Todd developed a site, then called Phillyside, for the group to repost found opportunities.  As other visual artists discovered the service, more requested to join.  Some used it to find opportunities, while others created public profiles.  Artists included fine artists, craft artists, and photographers.

As the number of members grew, businesses began to express interest in posting opportunities directly to the site and were willing to pay for the service in order to extend their reach.

Phillyside relaunched in 2011 as Side Arts to focus on delivering trusted calls for artists, vendor events, grands, requestions for proposals and more from businesses and organizations from around the world.

Unlike many arts tech businesses that focus on emerging tech or sales platforms, Side Arts’ mission is that of accessibility – connecting artists with means of earned art income other than direct sales.

Today, over 200 new members join monthly and Side Arts is continually improving our search, delivery, and mobile features. Development is focused on simplicity and consistency of design.

On average, Side Arts Premium members earn 20% of their art income annually from opportunities found on Side Arts, proving that Side Arts pays for itself and then some.

To learn more, contact Side Arts at mail@sidearts.com.