Chestnut Hill College is excited to announce the grand opening of the Beatlab — a new project that allows students to produce both beats and messages of social justice.
The college will host the grand opening of the Beatlab, a studio equip to produce music and accompanying visual displays, on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6–8 p.m. in St. Joseph Hall’s Music Corridor. The event will feature a talk given by Jeffrey Carroll, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at the college who helped create the project, followed by a showcase of students’ work and a student panel moderated by Edward Onaci, M.A., Ph.D., from Ursinus College. The event is sponsored by the Maguire Foundation and the college’s Cultural Awareness Series.
“The Beatlab is a safe space for expression and self-exploration, a backbone of hip-hop culture and something crucial to the development of thoughtful citizens,” Carroll said. “Students’ creative synergies with like-minded others drive them to tackle difficult subjects and consider how their own lives are connected to the broader communities in which they live.”
The Beatlab was made possible through a grant the college received from the Maguire Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting education in the arts and humanities as well as alleviating hunger and homelessness. Carroll coordinated with the Maguire Foundation to develop a project devoted to social justice that used hip-hop production as the medium through which students channel their creativity and voice. As a lifelong fan of hip-hop, Carroll has seen and experienced firsthand the positive influence of the art form in himself and others.
“Digital spaces are important places where people can meet, think and create,” Carroll said. “This is particularly crucial for youth whose voices are often unacknowledged and, in many cases, suppressed. Providing digital spaces that are ‘safe’ provides a freedom of expression without the academic rigidity of the traditional classroom.”
Chestnut Hill College celebrates the grand opening of the Beatlab on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6–8 p.m. in the Music Corridor at St. Joseph Hall.