tt_200_comboThis week, the Uni Project brought our reading room cart to the Talking Transitions tent in Lower Manhattan, where New Yorkers convened to discuss the Mayoral transition and the future of the city. This historic public forum was initiated by the Open Society Foundation and funded by a coalition of leading foundations, including the FordFoundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. (NY Times and NY Magazine). Although not organized by the DeBlasio campaign, the Mayor-Elect visited the tent and paid tribute to this remarkable effort to inject campaign-level energy into transition issues.

TalkingTransitionTent

The organizers clearly understand that we need to invest in our democracy generally, not just in taking political sides. To do so, they rapidly created a vibrant and engaging civic space (with beer!) where people could gather, share, listen, and learn. In a few days, the space will return to being a vacant lot, but the city will be permanently changed. In a small way, that’s exactly what we aim to do with a pop-up reading room. (Logistics lovers may enjoy this time-lapse video of the Transition Tent going up.)

Uni Talking Transition

The Uni cart approached the massive pop-up Transition Tent like an eager, younger sibling…

Uni Talking Transition

Can you spot the pop-up library in this shot? Being small until you need to go big is one of our assets.

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Jeff Malamy from NYC DOT Commissioner’s Office delivered a cube of DOT-curated books.

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

This woman said her sister was an aspiring writer. We told her about 826 NYC, the place for young writers in NYC. 826NYC has a curated shelf in the Uni collection.

Uni Talking Transition

At night, democracy heated up, and people were up on furniture. (We kept folks off the Uni though—safety first.)

Uni Talking Transition

Uni Talking Transition

Thanks to everyone who made this event and our participation possible. We were honored to play a role.

 

We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 700 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.

For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!