The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Open House and 40Below Summit!

We've had a very exciting week at MLAB! Thanks to all of the students and parents that came out Thursday evening at Fowler High School's open house night. It was great to have you and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

We've just wrapped up our participation at the 40Below "Exposed" Summit today. We partnered with the Community Folk Arts Center, parked next door, and met some amazing people and made some good connections. A special thanks to Cjala and everyone at CFAC, we look forward to working with you more in the furture! And a warm thanks to everyone who came in to check out MLAB today! We saw nearly 50 people today, many of them very creative and active individuals in the Syracuse Arts Community. I spoke with several people today that had many, many exciting ideas for making artwork with and about our communities, and we look forward to collaborating with you in the near future!

Also, I am currently working on putting together an MLAB list serve. If you are interested in getting periodic updates and information about MLAB sent directly to you, please email me (Jessica), at with "MLAB list serve" in the subject line.

Will be posting images from the events soon, (I apologize, I've gotten a little behind with updating the blog with all that's been happening), so check back soon and often!


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