John Lennon Bus rolls through Chelsea during NYC stay

Students from Chelsea’s LAB School and Hudson High School on the Lennon Bus on Oct. 2. (Courtesy John Lennon Educational Tour Bus)

BY GABE HERMAN | The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is in the midst of a month-long residency in the city, giving students and community groups throughout the boroughs a chance to record in the nonprofit’s studio and promote activist causes.

The nonprofit, in its 22nd year, offers a state-of-the-art mobile facility and free workshops on using digital media equipment. Three on-board engineers help students through the process of creating and recording original songs, music videos, documentaries and other video productions.

This is the sixth annual “Come Together NYC” residency for the bus. This year’s theme is “Imagine a City with No Gun Violence,” highlighting that there have been over 1.1 million gun deaths in the U.S. since John Lennon was killed in 1980. Lennon would have turned 79 on Oct. 9.

Inside the bus on Oct. 2: Hudson High School teacher Rob McMahon, left, and Matthew Reich of the Lennon Bus. (Courtesy John Lennon Educational Tour Bus)

At a Sept. 16 event at City Hall, elected officials, Bronx-born musician Prince Royce and over 200 city students joined Yoko Ono Lennon to launch the month-long NYC residency for the bus.

“John would be very proud to know that this project encourages young people everywhere to embrace their creativity, and share their ideas for ending gun violence,” said Ono Lennon. “I am so happy to be celebrating the Lennon Bus’ 22nd year.”

NYC students in front of City Hall on Sept. 16, at the Lennon Bus’ launch event for its 2019 NYC residency. (Courtesy John Lennon Educational Tour Bus)

The Bus’ NYC stay has included an Oct. 2 stop at Chelsea’s Lab School for Collaborative Studies and Hudson High School, both at 333 West 17 St. Students from the Hudson and LAB schools created an original music video for a song called “Words Speak More Than Bullets.”

Speaker Corey Johnson, who represents Chelsea, said in a statement about the nonprofit bus, “John Lennon’s genius and commitment to peace is an inspiration to me and billions of people around the globe, and I am so proud to welcome the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus this year.

“Now more than ever, it is crucially important that we instill creativity and a desire for peace in our youth,” Johnson added. “It is my hope that people everywhere will give activism a chance, and in so doing keep this city, this country, and the world moving forward towards a peaceful future – a future I’d like to imagine.”

More information about the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and its schedule can be found at lennonbus.org.