sweet sweet music to my ears: Girls Rock Camp Austin

Logo for Girls Rock Camp Austin

As I mentioned in the last post I want to highlight organizations that empower girls and could use your support. This is another such entry. Today I’m focusing on Girls Rock Camp Austin – a non-profit organization “dedicated to empowering girls and women of all backgrounds and abilities through musical education and performance.”

GRCA was designed as a summer camp program for girls ages 10 – 18 in which they have one week to learn an instrument (including vocal training since one’s voice is an instrument), form a band, create a name, write a song, and perform their song in front of an audience. Throughout the course of this one week campers also take workshops geared towards critiquing images of girls and females in popular culture (especially music videos), exploring gender and identity, creating zines and band merchandise, discussing females throughout music history, and even learning self-defense. GRCA works hard to provide scholarships to girls who cannot afford to attend camp, and in previous years almost half of the campers in attendance were funded through scholarships.

Logo for I'm The Fox.

I can personally attest to the amazing effects GRCA has on girls and the community. Over the summer my friend Alyx and I facilitated two workshops on music history and the experience was amazing (read Alyx’s thoughts on the experience here). As a group we discussed issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality in music history, noted moments of female collaboration and support, and highlighted tons of amazing female vocalists and musicians. Plus we had a little group dance party while listening to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings or Gossip.

More than just a summer camp, GRCA has had lasting positive effects on the girls who attend and these girls go on to make a difference in their communities. GRCA graduates Nadia and Zoe created an online interactive art project titled “I’m The Fox” (taken from The Runaway’s song, “Cherrybomb“). There’s also the band Schmillion – formed by GRCA graduates Natalie, Frankie, Ceci, Zoe, Chandler, and Sienna. The girls have written a slew of songs and are taking Austin music venues by storm.

As we approach the new year GRCA is looking to expand beyond summer camp to include an after-school program at Reagan High School in East Austin. This will allow the program to reach more girls and develop a lasting presence in the community. In order to make this happen Girls Rock Camp could use your help. They have set up a wish list through Amazon and are accepting donations through their website.

I leave you with a recent video from Schmillion titled “A Very Schmillion Christmas” – proving that good girls do indeed rock out!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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~ by actyourage09 on December 24, 2009.

One Response to “sweet sweet music to my ears: Girls Rock Camp Austin”

  1. […] girls make their own music videos is something I’d like to do with our girls at GRCA, though Schmillion prove they don’t need my help putting together awesome clips. I’m also inspired by […]

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