Our programs during COVID-19

Since 2006, Street Lab has created programs for public space that bring New Yorkers together. In response to COVID, we re-designed our programs from the ground up, to help the city bounce back safely. Here’s what we’re deploying right now:


PLAY NYC supports safe, hands-free play for children on closed-off streets in high-need neighborhoods. The set-up includes a no-touch obstacle course and learning experiences. We’re determined to make a safe place for play, so kids in these neighborhoods don’t fall behind. Thanks to SPIN for early support. Learn more here.

Street Marker

Street Marker is a new program that experiments with ways to mark streets, starting with a custom tool kit that allows communities to create striking patterns for COVID distancing, colorful communal murals, and more. The tools encourage New Yorkers to draw together, while helping them remain safely apart. Learn more here.

Homework Hubs

As part of our COVID response, we’ve launched pop-up, open-air meeting places for NYC students. At Homework Hubs, students of all ages can meet up with classmates, find a book to read, and do homework together, all while staying safe, socially-distanced, and outdoors. Our staff and volunteers will be on-hand to offer help. Learn more here.

New program development

We’re always working on new programs for the street, in partnership with designers, fabricators, educators, and many others. Contact us to get involved and support this part of the work.

Inside Out

During COVID, we’ve expanded our partnerships with NYC cultural institutions to bring programming out from behind walls into a safe, open-air setting. Our partners in 2020 are the Queens Museum and The Drawing Center. Thanks to the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund at the New York Community Trust for initial support of this vision. Learn more here.

Art Lab in the Park

Art Lab in the Park is an open-air art studio in Flushing Meadows Corona Park created by Street Lab and Queens Museum. It offers art making workshops for children of families visiting a food pantry at the museum and will also feature Street Lab’s no-touch obstacle course and PLAY NYC program. Learn more here.

DrawNow! DibujaAhora!

DrawNow!DibujaAhora! is a socially distanced, outdoor art workshop created by Street Lab and The Drawing Center. Led in Spanish and English by teaching artist Ada Pilar Cruz and focused on the exhibition 100 Drawings From Now. Learn more here.

The Uni Project

The Uni Project is our ongoing initiative to use pop-up to bring opportunities for learning to the public spaces where at-risk NYC kids gather. When we launched a portable reading room for NYC in 2011, we understood the impact it could could have for kids in low-income neighborhoods who are at risk for “summer slide” and achievement gaps. Thus began our work to transform the street-level environment of the neediest NYC streets with pop-up reading rooms, drawing studios, and more. Learn more here.

Get involved

Artists, educators, designers, and fabricators can play a role in re-opening NYC public space. Offer your expertise to our effort.


Sponsor our work on the streets of NYC, and learn about opportunities for employee engagement and more.

Host us

We work in prominent public spaces and neighborhoods alike. Grants can often help cover our programming costs. Reach out!

Adapting our longstanding programs

Over the years, we’ve deployed the programs shown below more than 800 times in 229 locations across NYC. We’re hard at work adapting these programs so they can return to the street, safely. Stay tuned.