American Jazz Museum Intern Helps Tell Story of a Legacy

Cordell Parham

American Jazz Museum Intern Helps Tell Story of a Legacy

By Cordell P.

Hello, Kansas City! My name is Cordell Parham, and I am about to start a new journey at the Kansas City Art Institute. I have a passion for music and an extreme love of art. Often in my own illustration work, I combine the two. I discovered Hire KC Youth while looking for a graphic design internship to jump-start my college experience. I applied for the internship at the American Jazz Museum.

Where Jazz Lives

Interning at the American Jazz Museum was a great experience, and I learned so many things as an intern that will stay with me throughout my career. Marissa Baum, the Interim Director of Operations, challenged me to push my creativity, while also maintaining a corporate elegance.

My favorite project was designing new museum brochures. The project taught me consistency, detail, and storytelling. The American Jazz Museum is a brand, so every box, image, and text must echo what the museum stands for. At my desk, I had a perfect view of 18th & Vine. My favorite memories while creating were getting inspiration from looking out the window at the community and culture I was immersed in.

I would think of musicians walking down the street in the 1920’s, and how vibrant the street must’ve been. Even when I walked through the exhibits, the theme that popped into my head was ‘legacy’. When I first started working at the Jazz Museum, “Where it lives” was the catch-phrase. I always wondered, “where what lives?” But, now it’s undeniable: JAZZ! I’m excited that as a graphic design intern I was a part of telling the dynamic story of Kansas City’s legacy of jazz.

2 Comments
  • Miranda R Watson

    August 20, 2018 at 1:24 am Reply

    Wow! This was an amazing read. I was visually imagining seeing the 1920’s scene as well just by reading!
    Keep up the good work!

    • Leilani Haywood

      August 20, 2018 at 1:26 am Reply

      Thanks Miranda! We appreciate your work with KC Mother’s in Charge. 😀

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