Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities (YEAH!) announces the 2017 sessions of its flagship program Southern Girls Rock Camp, a summer camp for girls and gender non-conforming youth ages 10-17, and the co-ed Tennessee Teens Rock Camp, both with a mission to empower young people through music education. Its Murfreesboro location, celebrating its 15th Anniversary year, was voted “Best Summer Camp” in Nashville Scene multiple times and has hosted guest lunchtime performers such as Wanda Jackson and Those Darlins.
During the week of camp, participants form a band with their peers, write a song, and learn songwriting, home recording, band promotion, screenprinting, band photography, body confidence, media literacy, arts and activism, and music herstory from recognized musicians and professional teaching artists.
Southern Girls Rock Camp will occur July 10-14th and will culminate in a final showcase on July 15th, open to the public. Tennessee Teens Rock Camp will occur the following week, July 17-21 with the showcase on the 22nd. In Murfreesboro, Southern Girls Rock Camp will occur July 24-29 at Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee Teens Rock Camp will occur June 19-23rd at Central Magnet High School. The full cost including instrument rental is $320 and there are scholarships available to families in need. No musical experience is necessary to participate.
Below are two quotes from female industry professionals Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels and Rope and Kyshona Armstrong regarding the importance of this program to their musical development:
“As a kid who loved to play music, I was always straggling along with the boys who had the gear. I had some guitars and an amp; they had PA equipment and more guitars and more amps. I was lucky, in my mind, to be counted as one of the boys, and even to a certain degree, turned my nose up at other girls that liked guitars and amps. Perhaps I was concerned that they might take my coveted spot, a spot where I had respect and could turn it up loud and make noise and no one thought of me as just a girl. If I had only known that those other girls could been the Sleater to my Kinney, the Kill to my Bikini, the The to my Runaways… I didn’t know that other girls could play just as well and just as hungrily as I did. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t “one of the boys” but I was more importantly, “one of the band.” The BAND isn’t about gender, but getting young girls together at Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp and showing them how to turn it up together makes for women who play music with anyone. Showing them how to find power in each other makes for more raw power. Throw them in a band later and they can mix the sound, call for arrangements and control dynamics along side their brothers and make noise not in spite of their gender, and not because of their gender, but regardless of gender.”
– Cary Ann Hearst from Shovels and Rope, 2013 Americana Awards Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year Winner.
“When I was young girl, I was taught to be a quiet and humble young lady. I learned how to not make waves and blend in with my peers. I was secretly competitive with and jealous of my female friends that soared and shone bright with their music. My inner Queen would scream “LET ME SHINE!” It wasn’t until I started volunteering with Girls Rock Camp that I found a group of women that were donning their crowns with pride and standing tall as if to say “WE ARE THE LIGHT!” These women were training young girls to do the exact same thing: to embrace their inner Queens, to claim their space, to support one another, to be loud and different and PROUD of their gifts. SGRC is a place where young women from all cultural and economical backgrounds can come together and “be the light” for someone that they otherwise may have never met outside of camp. They can then take that light, and shine it wherever they may go in life.”
– Kyshona Armstrong, 2016 Featured Artist in Nashville Scene