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.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Hello, All!

Hope all is well! Marion, YunPei, Samantha, and I (Jessica) are back from New Orleans... and ready to finish out the semester! Sadly, there are only a few more Fowler visits before the semester is over, but MLAB will soon be working on the BLAM! zine (little magazine of student work) for the final Fowler LCP (Mr. Luwin's First Period Class w. Stephen Mahan, John C., and their class) Gallery Show at the Warehouse coming up (very quickly!) in December. More Details to come soon.

I would like to encourage all of our readers/members/fans/friends/followers to please subscribe to our new EMAIL LIST SERVE! I've just set it up, and am currently ironing out a few wrinkles, but will be sending an update every few weeks with MLAB's activities and whereabouts. There is a sign up box on the right hand side of this blog (below the NEW MLAB interior photo): just add your email, click the button, check your email, and then simpy reply to the message sent to you by the MLAB list serve. You can also just send a blank email to:, and you should get subscribed!

I've been fooling around with some of the features on MLAB's blog (like SLIDESHOW!), so please check them out!

If you have any issues, questions, or comments, please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me at


Here's a small video clip from a Fowler High School session two weeks ago. During a discussion on Slam poetry, one of the students (Angel: right side of screen, second from front, wearing white hooded sweatshirt) spontaneously started playing the wooden benches, using nothing more than a pen and his hand.