Video: Beats, Books, and Spray Paint at the North-East Branch

It takes a community to raise a mural. This past October, working with Northeast neighborhood kids and parents, the Hip-Hop Academy covered two walls outside the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library with graffiti goodness. Watch a video documentary of the project on our blog.

As we reported last month, the Hip-Hop Academy guided students in designing and executing a reading-inspired, double-decker mural that reflects the community around the North-East Branch.

Students of all ages cut out stencils and plied spraypaint to cover a mural that had been painted three years ago and was peeling away. As you'll see in the video above, the new masterpiece is nothing less than epic.

Big thanks to Academy ringleader Jeremy McConnell, to all the parents and kids who participated, and to all North-East Branch staffers, especially Branch Manager Claudia Visnich and technical assistant Shirl Maldonado, who know how to get their hands dirty having a good time!

The Hip-Hop Academy conducts classes every Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. at the North-East Branch. Kids aged 10-17 are invited to come learn the fundamentals of hip-hop, including rhyming, DJing, dance, and art. All classes are free.

-- Jason Harper