KCDML has a vision to empower youth in Kansas City to create a life of meaning.

The mission of KCDML is to create a participatory, experiential learning environment at the Kansas City Public Library, with a specific goal to transform content consumers into content producers who can then connect their new skills to academic and professional opportunity.  KCDML draws on  the power of story, coding, digital media, and engaged mentors to achieve this mission.

Although KCDML offers next level technology and dedicated expertise, our primary focus is adolescent development, encouraging and supporting youth voice, and helping youth make connections between their interests and future academic or professional opportunity. The fundamental tenets that we hold as we work with youth are as follows:

  • You have to be an active participant in your own learning;
  • In order to grow in your craft you have to be willing to create, critique, and present your work;
  • Deep learning requires commitment, persistence, and play;
  • Technology is a tool, use it as a means to achieve your desired goals.

KCDML is an initiative of the Kansas City Public Library.  It is free and open to youth ages 13-18.



Marcus Brown has worked in the field of education and multimedia for more than 15 years.  He served as the Math & Media Instructor at The Genesis School and was responsible for producing weekly live radio shows, KC Teen Talk on 1590 and Genesis On The Air on KKFI 90.1 FM. Students participating in this program produced live in-studio and field productions. In addition, Mr. Brown has worked in the area of virtual/online learning, facilitating small group and one on one learning over the web.  He has conducted multimedia and/or writing workshops at WEB Dubois Learning Center, ACE Schools, Cristo Rey High School, American Jazz Museum and The Boys and Girls Club. Currently, Mr. Brown is the lead educator for KCDML, which provides a hands on environment for youth to engage in the latest technologies. He graduated with his bachelor’s from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


Andrea Sherrel Ellis is the Digital Youth Engagement Manager at the Kansas City Public Library.  In this capacity, she secures funding, develops partnerships, and manages staff, volunteers, and youth for the Kansas City Digital Media Lab (KCDML.org). Ms. Ellis has worked in informal education since the late 90’s.  She is a media educator and filmmaker who has produced nationally broadcast television and radio spots for BET, served as founding Executive Director for the DC Film Alliance, directed the MHz Shortz Student Film Festival, and facilitated production and media literacy workshops as the Training & Outreach Specialist for Arlington Independent Media. She received her bachelor’s from Rockhurst University and master’s in Media Ecology from New York University.