This past summer, over 200 girls between the ages of 7-16 came together, formed bands, crowded into tiny practice rooms, picked up instruments they may have never before played, wrote original music, and performed their songs to crowds of screaming fans at venues around the Triangle. This is Girls Rock NC. This is where it all begins, ending in sing-along pop anthems and tears of pride and joy.
I became involved with Girls Rock NC three years ago, after a move to Durham. I had heard about Girls Rock, but didn’t know much about it. Everything I heard made me wish that I could have had something like it available when I was growing up. I was new in town and looking for ways to make friends, meet other musicians, and get involved in the community, so I volunteered as a band manager for a week of Rock and Roll Day Camp for Girls. This experience changed my life. Throughout that week I saw girls transform in the most amazing ways. I saw them shed self-doubt and grow into shining, confident, and capable artists. They were giving compliments to one another and working together to create original music. My mind was truly blown.
Girls Rock NC is a nonprofit organization that empowers girls and women — through creative expression — to become confident and engaged members of our communities. Girls Rock NC provides music and empowerment programs to girls and women in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Our programs use music as a vehicle for building community and self-esteem. We accomplish this by focusing on the “three Cs”: creativity, confidence and collaboration.
When we began our journey in 2003, Girls Rock NC was the third organization in the nation to provide this unique programming. In our ten years of programming, Girls Rock NC has held over forty music programs for girls in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. Our campers have gone on to perform in successful bands and even take on leadership positions at camp. Girls Rock NC has roughly 80 active volunteers and a growing number of partners, sponsors, musicians, parents, activists, and mentors working together to build a strong community. Founding members Abigail Pearce, Amelia Shull, and Beth Turner held their first camp for 29 girls at Carolina Friends School. Now, Girls Rock NC serves over 200 girls each summer.
Our biggest and longest lasting program is our Rock and Roll Day Camp for Girls. This is a week long program during which girls not only get to rock out, but they take empowering workshops like body confidence, DIY clothes, zine making, self defense, recording, and songwriting.
This summer Girls Rock NC is planning on hosting more camps than it has held to date. With plans to expand year round programming, hopes of finding a permanent home from which to run programs and operations, and bringing on full time staff, Girls Rock NC is making great strides in its 10th year. Starting in January 2014 and culminating in October 2014, there will be a series of fundraising events to highlight and celebrate Girls Rock NC’s accomplishments and to propel it forward into a future of riotous noise and brilliant creative collaborations.
Check out some videos here:
Collier Reeves serves as the Director of Operations for Girls Rock NC. She is a banjo player, a guitar player and a vocalist. She plays music as often as she can. This will be Collier’s 4th year with GRNC, organizing camps and other programs for women and girls in North Carolina.