Philadelphia nonprofit works to redefine libraries as we know them
Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) is a nonprofit organization that wants to get kids off the couch and into the neighborhood library. One way to achieve this goal is to change the way libraries are seen by today's younger generation. FLP Community Organizer Fred Ginyard believes by working with The Guitar Center Music Foundation, children and teens will be drawn to its unique and engaging programs compared to libraries of the past.
"We want to ensure Philly youth have access to music equipment and a space where they can build their craft," he says. "(FLP) wants to elevate our libraries as national leaders in music education."
The Logan Branch and Nicetown libraries have been approved for a grant of Mitchell and Rogue guitars, which are just two of the more than 60 libraries FLP supports in Philadelphia. Fred anticipates the instruments will be used as "...tools of self expression and give teens a voice." He says the goal is to support youth who may want to start a rock band and be successful like "The Roots".
The Guitar Center Music Foundation Ambassador, Austin Hendrix, who Lives in Philadelphia, advocates the benefits of music education on our behalf, and when he was hired as the Afterschool Leader at Logan Library it was a perfect fit. Fred says this is how the two of them met and together they create exciting classes and events for the youth to participate in.
'Brotherly love' for his community
Austin Hendrix of the
Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation says he is passionate about music education and one goal in life is to help FLP and its Youth Services Program division secure musical instruments.
"Something that attracted me was the community's authentic desire to strengthen music education and provide access to better resources for the youth," he says. "I took on this challenge because it's fulfilling to work with my community and I enjoy being part of institutions committed to educating youth."
The Foundation has approved instrument grants for 9 more music education programs and will be sending guitars, drums, and accessories to schools by the end of September!
Ha Ha Hamoney
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