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Registration Begins in December for Hennepin County Library ‘Hip-Hop Workshops’ Taught by Dance and Music Professionals
Teens can learn hip-hop dance moves and CD production at free “Hip-Hop Workshops” scheduled Dec. 29-Feb. 9 at Hennepin County libraries and presented in collaboration with Intermedia Arts. Two series for grades 7- 12 will be presented: “Dance, From African to Hip-Hop,” a demo of dance styles, and “Makin’ Beats,” an opportunity to write and produce an original hip-hop CD.
Registration is required and begins in December for some workshops.
Local choreographer/dancer Leah Nelson will teach the “Dance, From African to Hip-Hop” workshops. She is founding co-curator of the hip-hop performance and dance festival known as B-Girl Be and has performed at Intermedia Arts and throughout the Twin Cities. Teens will learn how traditional music and moves from Zimbabwe, Guinea and Senegal are connected to modern-day hip-hop dance.
“I believe in community and I respect culture, tradition and knowledge,” Nelson said. “I love dancing in many forms and I also love teaching dance. The class I will be offering is rooted in my respect for African culture, my experience growing up in Zimbabwe, Africa, and my own dance diaspora, which influences how I share what I know and what inspires me to want to tell moving stories.”
At the “Makin’ Beats” workshops, teens will learn about writing and producing an original hip-hop CD, beginning with storytelling, sampling and multi-track recording. Prominent local hip-hop producers and brothers Zach and Brandon Bagaason will lead the workshops. Participants will receive a CD of a completed song.
The Bagaasons, also known as the producing and performing duo Big Quarters, have released several full-length albums and have performed across the country as touring musicians. They have taught hip-hop history and production locally, including at McNally-Smith College of Music, Perpich Center for the Arts, Hope Community and Intermedia Arts.
“Libraries are wonderful gathering places for teens — to do homework, meet friends and learn more about their many interests,” said Hennepin County Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “One of those interests is music, and our libraries offer tremendous resources. Teens can practice on a grand piano at Minneapolis Central Library, check out CDs from any of our libraries, download music for free on our website and now even learn hip-hop dance and music production.”
Michael Hay, Intermedia Arts programs director, said, “Youths attending these workshops will get a chance to work with highly-experienced teaching artists and be exposed to dynamic and creative ways of making art and the tools of self-expression.”
He added, “Intermedia Arts is a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural arts organization with a mission to be a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art. These library workshops are a great way to take our quality arts-based programming outside of our building in south Minneapolis and connect with young people in the communities that these libraries serve.”
The workshops are funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Hip-Hop Workshop: Dance, From African to Hip-Hop
Grades 7-12. Did you know hip-hop dance moves connect to African dance traditions? See how traditional music and moves from Zimbabwe, Guinea and Senegal are connected to “b-boying,” salsa, popping and locking. Come in comfortable clothing and be ready to dance! 

Hennepin County Library – Sumner
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2–4 p.m.
Register Online or call 612-543-6875.

Hennepin County Library – Northeast
Friday, Jan. 11, 3:30–5:30 p.m.
Register Online or call 612-543-6775.

Hennepin County Library – Franklin
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 4–6 p.m.
Registration required, begins Dec. 26. Register online or call 612-543-6925.

Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central
Teen Central
Thursday, Jan. 24, 4–6 p.m.
Registration required, begins Dec. 27. Register online or call 612-543-8000.

Hip-Hop Workshop: Makin’ Beats
Grades 7-12. It’s not just about the beats. Learn about writing and producing an original hip-hop CD, beginning with storytelling, then sampling and multi-track recording from prominent local hip-hop music producers. Participants will receive a CD of the completed song.  

Hennepin County Library – Rockford Road
Monday, Jan. 14, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Registration required, begins Dec. 17. Register online or call 612-543-5875.

Hennepin County Library – Webber Park
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2–4 p.m.
Registration required, begins Dec. 22. Register online or call 612-543-6750.
Hennepin County Library – Augsburg Park
Monday, Feb. 4, 6-8 p.m.
Registrations required; begins Jan. 7. Register online or call 612-543-6200.
Hennepin County Library – North Regional
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2-4 p.m.
Registration required, begins Jan. 12. Register online or call 612-543-8450.

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