ExpoDesign worked with Ball State University, specifically through communications professor Beth Messner and her spring semester students. Beth and her students also collaborated closely with the Martin Luther King Dream Team, Miles Printing and several other donors in the community for this unique Freedom Bus project. Beth had reached out to Miles Printing for graphics, but there were elements of the project that they could not provide. Miles Printing referred Beth to ExpoDesign to complete those elements.
The Martin Luther King Dream Team was gifted an old city bus. They wanted to create a mobile museum, the Freedom Bus, that illustrated the local fourth grade curriculum on the Civil Rights Movement. The Dream Team was collaborating on this project with Beth Messner of Ball State University and Miles Printing. They wanted to build out eight different exhibit displays with interactive features: Introduction, Background, Local Leaders, Hate Crimes, Public Accommodations, Education, Employment and Call-to-Action. Beth incorporated the design project into the syllabus of her communications course. Her spring semester students were to work closely with ExpoDesign in order to design the arrangement and composition of each element in the Freedom Bus.
The ExpoDesign team met with the students several times at both BSU’s and ExpoDesign’s facilities. Collaboration was key in planning such a unique project. After weeks of working with the students, ExpoDesign was able to nail down a specific design for the mobile museum, and production began. ExpoDesign finalized the specifications and composition. We then joined forces with Miles Printing in order to fabricate and install each of the eight exhibits inside the repurposed city bus. BSU brought the bus to the ExpoDesign studio where we carefully demolished and rebuilt the vehicle per the collaborative design. We framed out each area of the bus. Each facade was then carefully templated and given an automotive finish to create a distinctive look for each exhibit. Interactive pieces were incorporated, including working phones playing stories of segregation from local participants, a school locker defiled with hate signs and a faux-finished log cabin to represent stops on the Underground Railroad.
The result was a fully-mobile and functional museum that traveled to local elementary schools. Students were able to tour the Freedom Bus and learn about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Everyone involved in the project was very satisfied with the results.