Media Academy 
The Media Academy provides Madison teens the opportunity to work with music and film industry professionals on the development and publishing of music for social justice. By pairing teens with adult mentors to work on group-oriented and self-guided digital learning projects of interest to them, this 8-week Summer course is prepared to produce beats, lyrics, music videos, documentaries, DVDs/CDs, package design, marketing and promotional plans, and live performances.
During the summer of 2018, north side teenagers chose an album release as their featured project.
Thank you to the many other artists, educators and activists who made the 2018 Media Academy possible, including:Rob "Rob Dz" Franklin Urban Community Arts Network M.O.D. Media Oddly Arranged Media Steve Potter Jose Ornelas Carlos Guzman Allison Lenz Karen Reece Corey Whitmore Richard Jones, Jr. Terrence Thompson Otto Smith Jalen McCullough Amadou Kromah Trent Miller Carlee Latimer Will Glenn Marc Gannon Tana Elias Warner Park Community Recreation Center Public Library Association Madison Public Library Foundation
The album, "The [Note]book Of Eli", was a release from aspiring artist and 2018 Public Library Association iii intern, Eli Blakely. Raised on Madison’s north side, Blakely was the youth leader and driving force behind putting together a music project that took on several relevant social topics, including addressing youth violence. The project exclusively featured musical and video production from other Media Academy teen participants.
"I would say this internship taught me a lot about libraries, a lot about my community and a lot about myself. I would encourage everyone to invest your everything into the things you care about. And that is why I chose to make a music video for my song "Committed", because it is about me growing up from a young kid to now, and just how I feel about succeeding in life and what the community should do for its people. "
The Media Academy internship was an opportunity made possible by the Public Library Association's Inclusive Internship Initiative (iii!). The overarching goal of iii! is to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to careers in librarianship. Through a summer-long mentored learning project, library mentors engage with the intern on multiple facets of library life, from administration to programming to user services. Along with the local opportunities, all 50 PLA ii Interns from across the country had opportunities to connect and learn from one another during the kickoff in Washington, D.C. and the wrap up in Chicago, IL.
Madison Public Library was proud to host Eli Blakely for the 2018 PLA iii internship.
Eli attending a PLA iii kickoff session at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.