A decade after Lisa Lounsbury started Art Lab Rx, she’s taking art therapy on the road—in a 45-foot Coach bus dubbed “Maggie.”
Until now, Minnetonka-based Art Lab has run its art therapy programs primarily out of clients’ facilities, like hospitals and treatment centers for people living with substance use disorders and other mental health issues. The idea for the mobile unit Maggie—named for art therapy pioneer Margaret Naumburg—came when Lounsbury was seeking a “home” studio.
“I was praying about a building … [and for] the first time I stopped thinking about myself and what I wanted and started thinking about what my clients need,” says Lounsbury, a licensed marriage and family therapist and board-certified art therapist. “Literally moments later, I heard a still, small voice whisper ‘Put it on a bus.’”
Maggie is the first of what Lounsbury hopes will be a fleet of mobile art studios. Complete with a restroom and ADA-compliant features, the mobile studio improves Art Lab Rx’s accessibility.
“Transportation can be a huge barrier. Access to mental health services is a barrier,” Lounsbury says. “If I can go to a community—talk to local doctors, churches, schools, find out who might be at risk—I could be busy just doing that.”
In addition to serving larger organizations, Lounsbury plans is to offer mobile wellness workshops for individuals, each aimed at a niche market: teens, Spanish-speakers, and Christian focused. She hit the gas in January with her first class for teen girls.