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, October 12, 2009

MLAB hosts ART 21 screening this thursday!

SYRACUSE, NY – [October 12] – MLAB (The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus) + 601 Tully, in partnership with Art21, Inc. as part of its Art21 Access ’09 initiative, presents a sneak preview of the fifth season of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, the only prime time national television series focused exclusively on contemporary art, from 5-8 om, October 14th, at COLAB on the Fourth Floor of the Warehouse . The event features screenings of the Compassion episode, featuring Carrie Mae Weems, an internationally renowned artist living in Syracuse. The event will also feature the Fundred project by artist Mel Chin, profiled in season 1 of Art 21.

MLAB + 601 Tully are community based, collaborative design/build projects by an interdisciplinary design group of artists and architects who create sculptural spaces to address social need. MLAB + 601 Tully projects are directed by Marion Wilson, Artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts at Syracuse University, and are made possible through the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University.

Jessica Posner, MLAB coordinator and member of MLAB + 601 Tully describes the event, “This evening has the makings of an incredible night for art, community, and public exchange—organized not only to the work of a world-renowned artist who resides in our city, but will be contextualized within the city wide art night, Third Thursday, as hosted by some of Syracuse's most groundbreaking collaborative and community based arts initiatives: MLAB + 601 Tully.” A viewing of in-progress work by the 601 Tully team, currently working to design and build the 601 Tully property on the Near West Side, will also be open to the public. This event is free and open to the public.

Art21 Access ’09 is an international screening initiative created to increase knowledge of contemporary art, ignite dialogue, and inspire creative thinking through hundreds of public screenings and events that tailor the ideas presented in the series to the interests and concerns of local audiences. The season premiered on PBS October 7th with a new episode each Wednesday during the month at 10pm (check local listings). Through in-depth profiles and interviews, the four-part series reveals the inspiration, vision and techniques behind the creative works of some of today’s most thought-provoking artists.

This event is part of Art21 Access ‘09, a celebration of contemporary art and Season 5 of Art:21-Art in the Twenty-First Century sponsored by Art21. Art21 Access 09 is held at over 300 museums, schools, libraries, art spaces, and community centers and is organized in collaboration with Americans for the Arts’ National Arts and Humanities Month. Visit for more information.

EVENT DETAILS: Thursday October 15th, 2009 from 5-8pm at COLAB, located on the fourth floor of the Warehouse, 350 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202-1202.