One of the most enlightening experiences I've had in the past few years is working with the Girls Rock Camp Austin, and seeing first-hand the transformations. Girls who have no experience with an instrument suddenly turn into axe-wielding badasses, kicking over mic stands on stage and singing songs about how awesome they are. It's enough to make you tear up, which I did. Several times.
So it is with clear eyes and full heart that I report Dallas is getting its own Girls Rock Camp, scheduled to launch in summer 2012 with roughly 30 girls, between the ages of 8-17. The non-profit will offer music lessons, screen printing workshops, women in rock history classes, and more. A Ladies Rock Camp is also scheduled, as are possible expansions to Fort Worth and Denton.
I asked founder/executive director Rachel Michaud a little about her vision. Check it after the jump.
"About two years ago I watched the documentary Girls Rock: The Movie, and just fell in love with the whole concept of empowering girls through music education - it just blew my mind, because this wasn't an opportunity that I (or most of my female musical peers) had growing up.
"The idea of helping or getting involved with the organization kept coming back to me over and over. But, because of my schedule at the time, I was never able to actually volunteer at one of the camps. This summer, I finally was like 'just do it already,' so I sent a couple of emails, talked to a few people and decided that this is what I wanted and needed to do.
"We want to send girls out into the world with the realization that they can do anything they want to do, rather than just what society dictates to them. I'm constantly amazed watching girls and boys interact. Boys are so outgoing and ready to take risks, but the girls are shy and less likely to just jump in feet first and attempt things outside of their comfort level. That shouldn't be the norm, and we want to do our part to change that.
"Even now, after three bands and a number of years in the Dallas music scene, I still catch myself doing that every now and then, and have to stop and remind myself that I am fully capable of doing whatever I am nervous about. The whole reason for the all-girl atmosphere is to allow these girls to loosen up, stop being timid, and express themselves in a judgement free space."