ABOUT STREET LAB
Street Lab creates programs for public space.
We're a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and we do this work because we care deeply about shared public space and shared public experiences. It’s more important than ever that our towns, cities, and communities make successful public spaces. We're working on new ideas to contribute to that effort.
Since starting this work in 2006 and incorporating as a nonprofit in 2009, we’ve executed a range of projects, from small, one-day events to complex installations that operate as mini-institutions over several months. We’re currently working on a specific challenge: how to bring books and learning to street-level, and we’ve designed a new project called the Uni to do this.
MORE ABOUT US
We experiment, and we think this is a useful role for our small organization. We focus on piloting program ideas in public space, evaluating them, refining them, and reporting back so that others can learn from our work. We like new ideas, but we love new ideas put into action so they can be experienced today.
We're driven like entrepreneurs to create a competitive organization and outstanding projects. But the point is to create replicable solutions that others can use in our cities and towns. The more people doing this work and doing it well, the more fulfilled we are.
We’re evaluators. We measure everything we do in an effort to do it better.
We look for "lighter, quicker, and cheaper" ways to improve the public realm and provide public resources, in the spirit of Project for Public Space's "Eleven Principles for Place-making."
We have a small team that scales up during project production. For example, during the operation of the Storefront Library, Boston Street Lab hired a full-time program manager and part-time assistant, and recruited a rotating staff of 40 volunteers.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Leslie Davol, Co-Executive Director
Sam Davol, Co-Executive Director
Maggie Husak, Intern
- Lindsey Danis (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
- Chelsea Gunn (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
- Madeline Kelly (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
- Molly McInerny (Simmons GSLIS ’12)
- Helen Schubert (Simmons GSLIS ’13)
Leslie Davol, Co-Executive Director.
Leslie focuses on partnerships, strategy, fundraising, and administration. Prior to starting Boston Street Lab, Leslie was a consultant to the Boston Society of Architects on development of its Common Boston program. Prior, she was an Assistant Vice President at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, working on memorial, cultural and civic programs for the revitalization of Lower Manhattan after September 11. She has also worked in museums, including the Secretary and General Counsel’s office of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New-York Historical Society, where she oversaw development and construction of the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture. She has a MA in American Studies from the George Washington University and a BA from Barnard College. She and her family live in Lower Manhattan.
Sam Davol, Co-Executive Director.
Sam focuses on program development, communications, and production. Prior to founding Boston Street Lab, he was Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, conducting public interest class action litigation, and also working on community legal education and technology projects for the firm. For over 20 years, Sam has also been a professional cellist, recording, performing, and touring as a member of The Magnetic Fields (Nonesuch Records). He has a law degree from New York University and an AB from Harvard College. He and his family live in Lower Manhattan.
Margaret (Maggie) Husak, Intern
Maggie is working on developing and implementing one of Boston Street Lab's current projects, Work in Progress. Maggie is a candidate for a Master's from Tufts University in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (anticipated Sep 2011). Prior to enrolling at Tufts, Maggie was the Coordinator of Communications for the Harvard Green Campus Intiative at Harvard University. She is also a professional modern dancer and dance educator. She performs regularly with EgoArt and Weber Dance (based in Somerville), and with the Falling Flight Project (based in Cambridge). She has a BA from Brown University.
Storefront Library Volunteers:
- Devin Ashe
- Brianna Belanger (Simmons GSLIS '11)
- Lucy Borgheiinck (Simmons GSLIS '11)
- Jing Cao
- Kwan Cheung
- Amalia Child (Simmons GSLIS '11)
- Jewel Chin
- Susan Chin
- Michael Ho
- Tony Huang
- Julie Lam
- Rebecca Lee
- Cara Lei
- Cindy Li
- Heather Maclean
- Astrid Müller
- Patrick Murphy (Simmons GSLIS '10)
Storefront Library Volunteers (continued):
- June Ng
- Hope Nguyen
- Jane Polson (Simmons GSLIS '11)
- Sarah Price
- Jerry Russo
- Melissa Saggerer (Simmons GSLIS '10)
- Amy Sloper
- Sharon Tomasulo (Simmons GSLIS)
- Dat Tran
- Phoenix Wang
- Maria Wong
- Valerie Wong
- Annie Wu
- Emily Wu
- Cynthia Yee
- Shirley Yu
- Maple Zou
Partnerships are fundamental to our work, and we invest in developing and maintaining these relationships. We partner with private and public property owners and managers who want to improve the streetscape experience, increase foot traffic, and create community benefits. We partner with government entities and community groups who have ideas for improved public spaces that we can help pilot and evaluate. We partner with nonprofits and institutions seeking ways to experiment with new program ideas, and we showcase their work in public space, increasing their reach, effectiveness and experience.
A partial list of space partners, property owners and managers with whom we've worked to bring programs to public space since 2009.
- Archstone (donated temporary use of commercial storefront space)
- HallKeen Real Estate and Midway Studios (donated temporary use of raw commercial storefront space)
- Independence Wharf and Cushman & Wakefield (donated temporary use of waterfront commercial space)
- Wong Family Association and Albert Leung, Hei La Moon and Apollo Restaurants (donated temporary use of outdoor space)
A partial list of program partners, individuals and organizations with whom we've worked to bring programs to public space since 2009.
- Phil Amara
- Asian American Studies Program at University of Massachusetts, Boston
- Asian American Resource Workshop
- Asian American Civic Association
- Asian Community Development Corporation—HDOD Project
- Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence
- Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
- Bay State College
- Be The Match
- City of Boston, Talk Read Play
- Boston Children's Museum
- Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
- Boston Nature Center/Mass Audubon
- Boston Public Health Commission
- Boston Public Library
- Beatrice Chen
- Chinese Historical Society of New England
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Common Boston
- Drawing Lab, Deb Putnoi
- Jasper Goldman
- Grub Street
- Hep B Initiative
- Home Movie Day
- David Jenkins
- Jean Lukitsh, Films at the Gate
- Opera Boston
- Papercut Zine Library
- READ Boston
- Greg Tang
- Jon Turk
- Weber Dance
- Woo Ching White Crane
- Asian Pacific American Librarians' Association
- Sarah Baker & Tim Albright
- Homeless Rights Project in honor of Jane Bock
- Kate & Gerald Chertavian
- Leslie & Sam Davol
- Harpreet & Sharon Grewal
- Daniel Handler & Lisa Brown
- Carolyn Lattin & Venkat Venkatraman
- Rebecca A. Lee
- Bob McInerney
- Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center
- Peach Corporation
- PK Shiu
- Karen & Dan Taylor
- Elizabeth and Peter Thomson
- Brattle Book Shop (books)
- Cheng & Tsui (books)
- Design Communications Ltd (signage)
- Harvard/MIT Cooperative Society (books)
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (books)
- Qualtrics (statistical analysis tools)
- Penpower Technology, Ltd (input devices)
- Project_ (graphic design)
- Alice Hennessey, Special Assistant to the Mayor
- Amy Ryan, President, Boston Public Library and Boston Public Library Staff
- Christopher Adams, Boston Police Department
- Kevin Cameron, Archstone
- The Chinatown Coalition
- Chinatown Residents Association
- Frank Chin
- Denny Ching, Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services
- Stephanie Fan
- Anne E. Gancarz
- Courtney Ho Ha
- Debbie Ho
- Jerry Huang
- Dr. Peter Kiang (江念祖), Professor of Education and Director, Asian American Studies Program, UMass Boston
- Shirley Mark, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University
- Kenneth Morin
- National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (Senior Community Service Employment Program)
- Jeremy Osborn
- Fernando Silva, Archstone
- Woo Ching White Crane
- Ben Stumpf & Concord Academy
- Sarah Sze
- Jen Wang
- Cynthia Yee
- Raymond Yu, Pandamonium Design
- Tommy Yung, Boston Police Department
- Christina Afante
- Susan Saaz Barsky and Arthur J Barsky III
- Lisa M. Berger, MPH, CP-FS, Berger Food Safety Consulting
- Romualdo Faura Bernabé
- Boston University TESOL program
- Winifred Black
- Carl Brauer & Nancy Schieffelin
- Lois Bronnenkant
- Robert Bulger
- Naomi Bushman, Fletcher Copp
- CE Bilingual Books
- Kimberlee Chestnut Chan
- Caroline Chang
- Betty Chen
- Kathleen & Lawrence Cheng
- Kwan & Po Keung Cheung
- Chicopee Public Library
- Nancy Gwon Chin
- Susan Chin
- Chinatown Main Street
- Chinese Economic Development Corporation
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Tsang Siu Ching
- Laurie Collins & Newbury Town Library
- Garen Corbett
- Lenore J. Cowen
- Anna & Peter Davol
- Patricia Dilberto
- Willard Donham
- Dawn C. Donovan
- Julie Duncan
- Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP
- Phoebe Erb
- Linda Garrity
- Merla C Gaut
- Josh Goldfein
- Susan Goldsmith
- Myra & Roy Gordon
- Jared Green & Laurence Vanleynseele
- Municipal Government of Hangzhou
- June & Mac Harris
- Rita Harris
- Susan Hayes
- Höweler + Yoon Architecture
- Ching Hsia-Wu
- Chien-Chi Huang
- Brenden Hussey
- Alice Isenberg
- Fran Keenan
- Fredericka King
- Hiroko Kikuchi & Jeremy Chi-Ming Liu
- Richard Kiley
- Amy Koo
- Victoria Kuohung, in honor of Alden Shuen
- The Learning Project Elementary School
- Cindy Lee
- Jeanne M Lee
- John & Nancy Legates
- Moying Li
- Thomas W. Lincoln
- Matthew Littell
- Lisa Tang Liu
- May Louie
- Pong Louie
- Jean Lukitsh
- Thomas Ma
- Dwayne Martin
- Massachusetts Dept. of Children and Families
- Liz McNerney
- David Moy
- Astrid K Müller
- Northeastern University Asian American Center
- Yvonne Ng
- Yukie Ohta
- Sarah Price
- Deb Putnoi
- Alexandra Quinn
- Adam Robinson
- Social Action Committee at Beth El Temple, Belmont MA
- Susan Steinway
- Siri Striar and Francisco Hernandez
- Taipei Economic & Culture Office in Boston
- Iris Tan
- Lisa Thurau-Gray & Jack Gray
- Sarina Tcherepnin
- Irene Tsai
- Tufts University Exposure Student Photojournalism Group
- Emily Wade
- Cindy Wang
- Virginia Ward
- Susan Wayne
- Leah Williams
- Chauncy Wilson
- Lisa Wong M.D.
- Rose Wong
- Ziping Wu
- Shirley Yang
- Pai-Ling Yin
- Peter Ying
- Eva Young
- Tommy Yung
- Yali Zhang
RADIO, TV, PRINT
- WBUR [10/15/09] "In Chinatown, Borrowed Books On Borrowed Time"
- Boston Globe [9/21/09] "Residents Hope Storefront Library is Preface to Branch"
- Boston Globe [9/25/09] "Storefront Library Exposes Gap"
- Neighborhood Network News [12/11/09] "Chinatown Storefront Library"
- Architecture Boston—The Lurker "Lending a Library"
- Boston Herald [1/17/10] "Experimental library closes in success"
- Library Journal [5/15/10] A grass-roots library experiment brought temporary service back to Boston's Chinatown
- Sampan [2/5/10] "Storefront Library and Films at the Gate affirmed, civic institutions continue to grow and adapt."
- Boston Chinese News [12/18/10] 唐人街店面圖書館 位於臨街空置店面的臨時圖書館
- Sampan [11/20/09] "A work in progress, the Chinatown Storefront Library grows with its community."
- Sampan [10/23/09] Library finally opens in Chinatown, for a season
- World Journal [10/16/09] 唐人街店面圖書館 啟用
- Storefront Library Radio Feature by Abby Conway
- Storefront Library (alt.npr) by Mark S (Story also available via prx.org)
- Project highlights demand for permanent Chinatown branch by Caylan Davis on JSONS Journalism Students' Online News Service
- Chinatown Library Project (YouTube) by Ina Chu
- Boston’s Chinatown Storefront Library by David Cheng
BLOGS ABOUT LIBRARIES
- Eric Hellman: "Back to the Future at the Storefront Library"
- Richard Kong: "Chinatown Storefront Library"
- Asian/Pacific American Librarian Assn: Chinatown Storefront Library in Boston"
- Bryan Loar: Brave New World "Pop-up Libraries"
- Bookable "Library Space Re-imagined"
- PLA Blog "The Chinatown Storefront Library"
- Asian Voices for Organized Youth for Community Empowerment "Chinatown Storefront Library by MeiHua Li, Oak Terrace"
- Movements and Moments: Ethnic Studies and Asian American Activism "Open Mic at the Library"
- Storefront Library on The Communication Initiative Network
- Storefront Library Volunteer Emily Wu writes about her experience at Boston Ministry
- Wong/Yee Memorial Gallery "Come to the Exhibit Opening of Insert: Collaborations"
- A shout from a Storefront Library Volunteer on her blog: Library Hungry
- The Chinatown Blog "Letter from Chinatown Storefront Library"
- Storefront Library: Bringing Community to Downtown Boston on Apples and VCRs.
Films at the Gate:
- Boston Phoenix "Best 2010"
- Sampan [9/10/2010] "Fifth Annual Films at the Gate maintains Chinatown tradition, builds community"
- Jay's Movie Blog [9/2/10] "This Week in Tickets: 23 August 2010 to 29 August 2010."
- Boston Globe [8/22/10] "Open-air fest a kick.." by Taylor Adams
- Natural Resources Defense Council on Films at the Gate
- Pedestrian Friendly [8/27/09] "An urban vacant lot blossoms, if only briefly"
- Boston Globe [8/26/09] "A Weedy Lot Blossoms" by Yvonne Abraham
- Boston Zest "Dinner and a Movie Al Freco Style"
- Huffington Post [9/1/09] "Village Green: Boston's Asian Community brings Fun, Education, and Affordability to Chinatown."
- Boston Phoenix [8/30/09] "Event Picks"
- Boston.com [8/27/09] "Go To It: Hot Events Around the Hub"
- Bostonist.com [8/27/09] "Thursday Happenings"
- The Tufts Daily [9/4/08]
- Boston Globe [9/3/08] "Everybody is kung fu fighting"
- Boston Phoenix [9/2/08] "Giving voice to Red Heroine"
- Sampan 
- WBUR [9/15/06] (listen)
- Boston Globe [8/20/06] "Kung fu back on the screen"