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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bronx Children’s Museum Gets Wheels

The Bronx Children's Museum's new tricked-out mobile home.
Although the Bronx Children’s Museum does not plan on opening their building until 2013, Bronxities can expect to see a mobile museum cruising down their street much sooner.

That’s right, the Bronx Children’s Museum now has wheels after receiving a donated school bus, which is literally a vehicle of hope.

A couple from Potomac, Md., donated the bus, which now sits in the Bronx Atlantic Express bus yard, in memory of their late daughter, Sarah Malawista. (The mobile museum will make its debut at the Bronx Day Parade on May 22.)

Her parents said it was Sarah who first had the idea of creating an “art bus,” which would expose inner-city kids to arts, mainly because budget cuts have led many inner-city schools to cut their creative arts programs.

Donating the bus to the Bronx Children’s Museum was a way of honoring Sarah, who suffered from bipolar disorder and committed suicide in 2006 at the age of 18. "My husband and I thought, what a perfect way to continue her dream," said Sarah's mother, Kerry Malawista.

"The brilliantly colored bus will be a visible symbol to the borough that a children's museum is finally coming to the Bronx," said Carla Precht, founding executive director of the museum, in a press release.

The Bronx is the only borough in New York City without a children’s museum. A permanent home for the Bronx Children's Museum will open in 2013 at Building J in Mill Pond Park near Yankee Stadium

Precht said the “art bus” will travel to schools, community organization, parks and neighborhoods in the Bronx with exhibits and hands-on programs.

"Sarah dreamed big, and through the bus her dream lives on,” Precht said.

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