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, January 10, 2011

MLAB: McKinley-Brighton

DAY 1>> The first group we worked with was the 3rd graders in yearbook class.  They told us how they worked with articles, photos, drawings etc. and helped them create biographies/artwork to add to their final product.  After a brief tour of MLAB, we created lists of things that we like/dislike so we could learn how to turn the things that inspire us into creative writing/imagery for the yearbook. 

DAY 2 >>

   On Day two at McKinley-Brighton Magnet School Kim & I worked with the African Drumming class.  Here is a brief clip of the whole class performing one of their dances for us.