After winning the $10,000 grant from the MAKE 5X5 competition by People for Urban Progress, The Cool Bus is well on its way to becoming one of the coolest ideas out there today. Last year, the six who make up Word on the Street built the Micro-Library. The library not only created a sense of community within the Cottage Home neighborhood, but also brought forward the wonders that books can provide. Now Word on the Street is working on The Cool Bus, a mobile literary arts center for anything from editing papers to a class on creating comics.
I sat down with Kirstin Northenscold, part of Word on the Street and creator of The Cool Bus to find out how she came up with the idea, and where she hopes The Cool Bus will go from here.
How did you come up with this idea?
I wanted to explore the ways in which education can change the culture of communities and neighborhoods positively and this was the most feasible way to do that.
What are your hopes for The Cool Bus?
I am hoping that this can become part of a citywide mobile literacy effort. I am also hoping that we can partner with First Friday, and that it can be an art exhibit or installation. I want it to be an innovative design feature of the city as well.
What color do you plan on painting the bus?
Right now, we are thinking about hiring people to do a graffiti-esque mural on it instead of painting it.
What is the most unique part of The Cool Bus?
The whole thing is unique in itself. There are only a couple examples that I was able to find within the country. My favorite feature is the walk up food truck-esque window on the side. It provides a sense of openness as if we have a product. The window provides a magical aspect to the whole thing.
Shoutout to Kirstin and the rest of Word on the Street for this fantastic project. We can’t wait to see it evolve over time.
Note: Featured photo courtesy of Word on the Street.