Girls Rock Camp Benefit 2016: An Expression of Power

Girls Rock Camp Benefit 2016: An Expression of Power
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Carbondale Community Arts
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Girls Rock Camp Benefit: Amped Up for a Good Cause

Who: Teen Angst / Amanda Mayflower and Company / Thee Mistakes / Eshé Bhairavi / Funs / Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rocumentary
What: Carbondale Community Arts Girls Rock Camp fundraiser
When: 2016-03-12
Pictured: Teen Angst.
Leah Williams
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The Girls Rock Camp, a Carbondale Community Arts-sponsored initiative to get more young women involved in music, is back to rock another year. A fundraiser for the camp takes place Saturday, March 12 at the Hangar 9.

The benefit opens with the public premiere of Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rockumentary, a film that documents the inaugural camp, which took place last summer. Live entertainment will include Teen Angst, a group whose members attended the 2015 Girls Rock Camp. The rest of the lineup consists of Wichita, Kansas-transplant to Carbondale Amanda Mayflower and Company, local feminist post-punks Thee Mistakes, local hip-hop artist Eshé Bhairavi, and the Chicago-based psychedelic indie-pop duo the Funs.

Items in the silent auction include a screen-printing package from MerchOp, ten hours of recording time at Misunderstudio, a glam-rock photo-shoot package from Pop Rocks, locally made art, surprise package deals, and tattoo gift certificates. (Artists who want to donate work to the auction may do so at the Carbondale Community Arts office at 304 Walnut Street during business hours or Saturday, March 12 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hangar 9.)

The benefit will also feature a fifty/fifty raffle, various giveaways, and several live artists working onstage during performances.

The Girls Rock Camp takes place during seven days and is open to young women in grades four to twelve. There, campers learn how to play instruments and form bands with peers. They write original songs and perform them at a local venue on the last day of camp. This year’s camp will take place at Carbondale Community High School, and the showcase is scheduled for the Hangar 9.

“The kids engage in amazing, empowering workshops that focus on feminist values, egalitarianism, critical-thinking skills, women in history, and the arts in writing, performance, and [promotional] media such as screen printing— a workshop generously donated by MerchOp,” Jessica Lynn, executive director of Carbondale Community Arts, said.

Lynn added that organizers look forward to providing another fulfilling experience for the campers this year.

“We’re expecting to have a tighter workshop curriculum, segregate advanced from beginning music instruction, and give the campers more of an opportunity to experiment with performance— theatrical and musical— in front of their peers,” Lynn said. “We also have assembled a team of glam-rock aficionados who will help campers develop their special rocking style prior to the showcase.”

Lynn explained that the camp strives to be an “all-inclusive community organization and [we] welcome gender-nonconforming and trans- volunteers and youth....

“Camp is all about having fun and developing a sense of self as well as learning how to build cooperative relationships with others,” Lynn said. “It’s more than a music camp— it’s an expression of empowerment.”

Lynn said the Girls Rock Camp has a positive impact on everyone involved.

“Any organization that promotes issues like accessibility, community, egalitarianism, feminism, anti-racism, and critical thinking is an important organization to have in Southern Illinois— especially for youth,” Lynn said. “This camp specifically intends to free youths’ voices, highlight ways that women have been artists, writers, performers, activists, and musicians throughout history, but who have faced marginalization in the media, and give youth a wider breadth of role models in whom they can see themselves.”

Feedback from the campers has been inspiring.

“Last season we had an overwhelming positive emotional response throughout and at the end of the camp from parents and kids,” Lynn said. “We have had several parents tell us that camp literally changed their kid’s life by giving them a platform to use their voice. One participant is interested in interning at camp if she can’t be a repeat camper and teaching smaller kids bass basics—according to her mother, this is something she never would have done prior to camp. Volunteers themselves also reported life-changing experiences working with the kids. Just watch the rockumentary— and bring tissue.”

Girls Rock Carbondale is currently hosting an instrument drive where people can donate money through GoFundMe or give or loan equipment to the camp. Lynn said Carbondale Community Arts wants to raise between $5,000 and $8,000 this year to buy all of its own equipment.

Carbondale Community Arts is also accepting donations to provide campers with lunch.

Lynn said the community has been instrumental in the camp’s continued success, and the future of Girls Rock is contingent on its volunteers, especially instrument instructors.

“[We] have a lot of excellent organizer volunteers, but providing the music instruction in a community with few, or exceptionally busy, working women musicians has been challenging,” Lynn said. “We are anticipating networking with other camps somewhat regionally and are or will be in communication with girls-rock organizers in Chicago, Indianapolis, Southern Girls Rock [in Tennessee], and Saint Louis to do volunteer exchange, or bring volunteers to Carbondale for the week of camp to help staff our session. I fully expect to extend couches [and] pull out sofas, hammocks, and floor space at my place for out-of-town musicians and organizers who want to come help at our camp.”

Tuition for camp is based on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay, although space is limited.

To volunteer, register for the camp, or more information, log on to <>.

who: Teen Angst / Amanda Mayflower and Company / Thee Mistakes / Eshé Bhairavi / Funs / Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rocumentary

what: Carbondale Community Arts Girls Rock Camp fundraiser

where: Hangar


when: Saturday, March 12