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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Special Guests and MLAB at Thornden Park for Say Yes Celebration!

We had a special guest on the MLAB today! Mayor Stephanie Miner and her entourage visited MLAB today while we were recording Frazer's 601 Tully class' awesome song! HOW EXCITING!

MLAB will be at Thornden Park on Wednesday, July 28th from 9am-2pm as part of the Say Yes to Education Summer Festival!

We'll be staying cool near the pool! Come check us out for the art, music, creativity, and of course, AIR CONDITIONING!

For more info, go here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting ready to go and teach frazier students what the MLAB is about. Im really excited about what they are going to think about the bus. I will be there from 12 to 3 will Jessica and mike. I really hope they think its such a cool project like i do.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Can't believe say yes summer camp is almost over! Has been so great and worked with so many awesome young say yessers! Special Shout out to Porter Elementary, who knocked out socks off over the past three days! Ready for Frazer tomorrow and next week, to be followed up by the Say Yes Summer Festival at Thornden Park Wednesday, JULY 28th, 9-2!

For the Summer Festival, MLAB will become a LOUNGE/GALLERY, featuring the alter-ego portraits (photos!) and original hip hop compilations (audio!) of SAY YES SUMMER CAMPERS!

See you there!

More updates, pics, and videos soon!

Also, special shout out to Manny, who is the amazing 601 TULLY/MLAB intern made possible by the fabulous people at CNY WORKS.

for more info on Say Yes or to check out MLAB at the Say Yes Summer Festival at Thornden Park, check out the SAY YES website.

MLAB will be parked near the Thornden Park Pool at the
Say Yes Summer Festival at Thornden Park
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

See you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Experience On MLAB

My experience on MLAB has been great. I've had such a fun time teaching kids on the MLAB bus with my friends Jessica and Mike AKA ToT's. Going around the west side to diffrent elementary schools and having time to show kids such a cool project has been such a wonderful time for me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

july 14 2010 blodgett kids on MLAB

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MLAB Radio week one: ELMWOOD

The final group at Elmwood Elementary did such a great job recording their track that we celebrated with a dance party!  Thanks to Camp Councilors Miss Lizzy & Miss "Symphony" for all your help! We'll see you at the end of the month at Thornden Park (July 28th.)

click here to view the ELMWOOD website!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


This week was the start of our Summer Program, MLAB RADIO!!! We are working at five Say Yes to Education Sites during the course of the four week Say Yes to Education Syracuse Summer Camp!

What is MLAB Radio!?
MLAB RADIO! is the MLAB Summer 2010 program developed for the Say Yes to Education Summer Camp by MLAB Coordinator/Artist, Jessica Posner, and Performance Artist/ Potato Rapper Michael Heagerty (AKA ToTs). Both Jessica and Michael will be on the MLAB every day making MLAB Radio a huge success!

What schools will MLAB Radio! visit?
This summer, we will be visiting Elmwood, Blodgett, Seymour, Porter, and Frazer.

How does MLAB Radio! work?
MLAB Radio will spend three days at each school, during which students will participate in intensive workshops in which they will write hip hop/poetry/songs, develop performance alter egos as individuals and as groups (which they will document through photography), and record original songs on the MLAB. Mike and and Jessica will then produce all of the tracks and images from the summer into a MLAB/SAY YES 2010 compilation cd and package-- all of which will be available online too!

What will happen, specifically, during the three day workshops?
On day one, we will give students an intro to the MLAB and a special (surprise!) performance by ToTs (Mike's Potato-loving performance alter ego). Students will then write about their favorite things to mine material for their songs. On day two,  students will make both a group and individual M-LAB M-LIB (a mad-lib style writing exercise) to further develop their alter egos and provide more material for their songs.

On days two and three, students will work in groups both on and off the MLAB. On the MLAB, student work in small groups to learn the science behind audio, and to perform and record songs based on both their written and improvised material. Off the MLAB, students work in pairs and small groups using digital cameras to take thoughtful portraits of their performance alter-egos and groups.

What happens at the end of the session?
By the end of each session, we will have all the raw material we need to create original tracks featuring the words, voices, and beats of our students. Additionally, Mike and Jessica will curate student artwork into an MLAB RADIO! multimedia package. Jessica and Mike will produce all raw material into one polished package, which will be available online and in limited hard copy quantities at the end of the summer.

How do I find out more information?
Stay tuned for frequent updates, we will be updating this blog frequently!
You can also be our fan on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter
Also, you can always email Jessica (the MLAB Coordinator) at

Will you be updating with photos, videos, and more?
Of course!

How do I participate in MLAB Radio!?
The best way to participate in MLAB Radio! is to stay tuned to our blog, join our facebook page, and follow us on twitter! Additionally, MLAB works with many educational and cultural institutions within Syracuse, as well as makes public appearances in Syracuse and beyond. Stay tuned for updates of our appearances!

How do I contact MLAB?
Please email Jessica Posner, the MLAB Coordinator at

More to come soon!