Broke Musicians, Rejoice! Central Library Has a Free, Legit Recording Studio

Categories: Live and Local

Allison Babka
Band members can collaborate on album art or video editing in one of the Creative Experience pods.

The Creative Experience at Central Library offers plenty of other ways to participate in or enjoy music, such as genre specific immersions. The library tested Hip-Hop Appreciation Week in May and featured live music by Nappy DJ Needles, a lyrics workshop, open-mic night and films. The program was so successful that Johnson says the library already is looking forward to next year's installment.

Outside of the Creative Experience, the library also gives local musicians a perhaps unexplored venue in which to perform. The Not So Quiet! concert series takes place every third Thursday of the month and features an array of regional talent. The program, now in its fifth year, draws about 100 people to the library's auditorium.

"It's fairly popular," says Joe Schwartz, programming and events specialist. "We just had Corey Black, who, according to the RFT, is one of the top sixteen hip-hop artists to watch."

Central Library also offers Contemporary Tuesday Nights, which gives local acts the chance to fill 236 seats of the library's modern theater.

"Ellen the Felon was just in -- her and a piano, and she loved it," Schwartz says. "We're constantly looking for people who need a space. If you're good, we're interested. We want to help those in the community who need an environment to host a larger event on a grander scale that may not be suitable for a general hall."

The downtown library branch also is exploring comedy events, additional films, contests and other opportunities to showcase local, regional and national talent.

"People often think of libraries as just books," Schwartz says. "We want you to come to think of the St. Louis Public Library as this whole world, whether it's computers or the Recording Room or concerts. It's so much more than just printed materials now."

For information about the Creative Experience or the Recording Room, visit To keep up with Central Library events, read the Check It Out newsletter at

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