NOMAD LAB: A LABORATORY OF CREATIVITY, COLLABORATION AND COMMUNITY
Founded in 2010 by Serrano in collaboration with local residents, NOMAD LAB was located in the heart of the Valle del Oro neighborhood in Newhall and the Jakes Way neighborhood in Canyon Country. NOMAD LAB designed and implemented free inclusive arts, capacity building and leadership programs. It offered a brave forum for creativity, dialogue, and community engagement.
NOMAD LAB’s multigenerational and multi-locational programming made use of vacant apartments available in the community. For 5 years the program moved to different locations throughout the neighborhood as the apartments it occupied were rented, hence the “nomadic” nature of its programs. NOMAD LAB was a collaborative project that relied on the passion, commitment and strong partnerships with community youth, parents, teaching artists, property managers, policy makers, and City staff. Through its inclusive and innovative pedagogical approach and community-based programs, NOMAD LAB was a laboratory for “home-grown” change.
Beyond its impact in the Valle del Oro community, NOMAD LAB worked closely with policy makers, City staff, community organizers, and educators to design neighborhood-specific inclusive and integrated alternatives to traditional gang-suppression and graffiti abatement strategies. NOMAD LAB developed a successful community organizing and engagement model that could be replicated in other low and moderate-income rental communities in Los Angeles County dealing with issues of neighborhood violence and intolerance.