For the fourth time since February, the Canarsie Library, 1580 Rockaway Parkway, was the scene of another Teen Takeover event. The program was instituted by the Brooklyn Public Library and funded by the office of the Mayor as a means of luring local teenagers into visiting their libraries more often.
Much like the prior Takeover events held there, the Teen Advisory Council was in control of the arrangements. “Come to the Canarsie Library for a chill evening of painting while sipping on festive concoctions,” their online advertisement for the May 19th event read. Fifty students attended.
While Council members Ebony and Desire mixed and served Sunrise, Cherry Bomb and Daisy Lime beverages (all non-alcoholic) from a drink menu that they “designed,” their counterpart, Ajay, acted as a painting instructor for the two-hour event. The other teens donned aprons and followed prompts she offered them, via a TV monitor, to paint a dark night with a full moon and an ocean with trees in front. “It’s better to blend colors on your palette as they’re acrylic and dry fast,” the 17-year-old, who has aspirations of someday attending the Royal College of Art (RCA) in England, advised her “students.”
Some of them got overly creative and added their own touches to their paintings. Jalen, 18, expressed “my motivation and guiding principle” across his painting in bold letters, “A MAN WHO CANNOT COMMAND HIMSELF WILL ALWAYS BE A SLAVE.” Another next to it simply said “Liberty.”
Young Adult Librarian Harmony Birch and Technical Resource Specialist Emaliy Jones assisted the children with setting up, serving food, answering questions and keeping order.