Local Women Launch Girls Rock NL to Bolster Opportunities for Female-identifying Youth in NL

Read up on this great new initiative to empower and encourage musicianship in female-identifying youth aged 8-16

Launched this weekend, Girls Rock NL will be “an inclusive musical community, mentorship program, and non-profit organization that builds self esteem amongst self-identified female youth in Newfoundland and Labrador.” More to follow, for now, some website mining …

Its initiatives include a week-long summer camp, among other activities, that will ” connect girls to professional women in the arts, offer workshops for their success, and give them the opportunity to learn an instrument, write a song, and rock out on stage.” The age range encompassed by the term youth here is 8-16.

At the summer camp, these youth will form bands, write songs, and perform at a final showcase. Bands are coached by some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most exciting female musicians who teach them how to play an instrument. No musical experience is necessary!

Complementing the music component, Girls Rock NL offers fun opportunities for girls to speak with and listen to local musicians, take part in leadership workshops, and make new friends in a safe and encouraging environment. The goal is to have participants “empower themselves and each other through musical expression and education,” and to help them “rock out in all aspects of their lives.”

Girls Rock NL is a volunteer run, non-profit organization founded by 5 local arts-community stalwarts “seeking to build a more supportive environment for women in the arts.” This inaugural board of directors is: Joanna Barker, Mary MacDonald, Krista Power, Alyson Samson, and Andrea Vincent.

Girls Rock NL was inspired by a Girls Rock Camp held in 2001 in Portland, Oregon, which stemmed from a Women’s Studies project at Portland State University. Since then, similar camps have spread around the world popping up in Canada, Sweden, Iceland, and Brazil. Each camp is independently run, but volunteers share resources and ideas through the international Girls Rock Camp Alliance.

“Drawing input from local musicians, feminists, and other Girls Rock initiatives across the country, Girls Rock NL was formed to support young girls wishing to pursue music, break down barriers, and empower themselves.”

The first immersive Girls Rock NL camp will take place in July 2016 in St. John’s, NL. They’re currently putting together a program of activities, and raising funds. Girls Rock NL welcomes participants, volunteers, and coaches who selfidentify as female, trans, and gender nonconforming.

They also welcome your kind donations: they’re doing this unpaid, out of pocket. “Your donation will go directly towards the production of Girls Rock NL’s first summer camp including: camp tuition for participants, healthy snacks and beverages for campers, equipment and venue rental, and teaching honorariums. Donations can be made through email money transfer to girlsrocknl@gmail.com.

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