Ryan Swenar wins 2017 Carnegie Medal for Drum Dream Girl

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/23/2017


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



ATLANTA – Ryan Swenar of Dreamscape Media, LLC, producer of “Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music” is the 2017 recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Jan. 20 – 24, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Established with the support of Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Carnegie Medal honors an outstanding American video production for children released during the previous year.  The award is administered by ALSC.

Adapted from Margarita Engle’s book, a girl in 1930s Cuba aspires to play the drums, a privilege afforded only to boys. Based on the life of Chinese-African-Cuban Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, this story demonstrates how the power of persistence can break barriers, shatter expectations, and make one’s dreams a reality.

Adriana Sananes’s lyrical narration provides the foundation for this triumphant story, punctuated by the score’s distinct voices of bongos, congas, and timbales.  Thoughtful animation enlivens illustrator Rafael López’s lush, colorful landscape, creating a joyful celebration of art, music, and self-determination.

 “The pulsing rhythm of this vibrant film will inspire all viewers to pursue the passion of their heart and dance to the beat of their own drum,” said Carnegie Medal Notable Children’s Videos Committee Chair Joanna K. Fabicon.

Members of the 2017 Carnegie Medal/Notable Children’s Videos Committee are: Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library; April Whatley Bedford, Brooklyn (N.Y.) College; Amanda Y. Choi, San Jose (Calif.) Public Library; Jennifer Driscoll, Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library; Robbin Ellis Friedman, Chappaqua (N.Y.) Library; Laura A. Given, Parkview Center School, Roseville, Minn.; Jennifer Knight, North Olympic Library System, Port Angeles, Wash.; Susan H. Polos, Bedford Central School District, Mount Kisco, N.Y.; and Maegen Rose, Collegiate School, New York.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children.  With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries.  To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at www.ala.org/alsc.

For information on the Andrew Carnegie Medal and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.