Music is escape for library’s ‘hip-hop intern’ – Charlotte Observer

Music is DeAdria Brown’s escape.

Since she was 9 years old, Brown hasn’t hesitated to try out for school musicals or the choir. Music is her way of expressing herself.

“I’m in my happy place when I sing,” Brown, 18, said. “As soon as I start, I’m being myself and enjoying myself.”

A passion for music is what landed the Bosse High School graduate the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s paid summer internship through a new program sponsored by the Public Library Association. The Inclusive Internship Initiative is a public library internship awarded to about 50 high school juniors or seniors across the U.S. who come from diverse backgrounds.

With individual guidance from a mentor, interns experience a variety of facets of library life, from administration to programming to user services. Throughout the 10-week program, interns and mentors develop and complete a project with a goal to cultivate their passion and explore library careers, according to Charles Sutton, the EVPL’s library experience manager.

The internship also allows Sutton and Brown to work together on a project of his, “A Year of Hip Hop,” which begins next year and aims to support musicians and artists in the community.

“Libraries have always wanted to be more reflective of the communities they serve, which is a diverse population of people,” Sutton said. “The Public Library Association wants to address this earlier and try to get youth – (high school) juniors, seniors – as they’re starting to make career decisions.”

Brown’s connected learning project is designed to network with peers who are also interested in music. Some of her goals include recording videos to post on her YouTube channel, as well as to social media. She also developed movement activities with song for youth story time.

Brown is developing skills of a librarian through research and networking to learn about the music industry, with the hope to share the information with other aspiring artists in the community at the end of the internship.

“Doing the research, I had to learn that you have to dig deeper and you can’t just skim through everything,” she said. “I had to read through the details and actually look stuff up. It’s important for me to know those skills going into school in the fall.”

Brown recently collaborated with local musician Gracie Moore for a cover of “Just Friends” and posted it to her YouTube channel. She plans to do more collaborations and videos.

“I’m trying to learn how to build my brand, market and update my YouTube channel and social media,” she said. “To learn what to post and what not to post.”

As a mentor, Sutton guides and supports her work, sets up opportunities and makes connections to her project and library careers.

Sutton said benefits of the program include: library staff will better understand early career pathways to librarianship; students will understand the ways librarians positively serve communities, and gain tools to make decisions about potential library careers; and interns will have the opportunity to connect with one another and share knowledge.

“DeAdria is a talented singer with an interest in music production,” Sutton said. “With a YouTube following of over 14,000 people, as well as a viral video with more than 8 million views, I am excited to co-develop a project with her that will allow us to explore music and hip hop culture in the Evansville community.”

In the fall, Brown plans to start classes at Ivy Tech Community College Southwest. Her goal is to earn a degree in audio engineering.

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Source: Evansville Courier & Press, http://bit.ly/2w43plW

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