By Tara Brinkman, Operations Coordinator at IMPACT Chicago
As the weather is finally warm and summer approaches, in addition to my position with IMPACT Chicago, I am spending my time working for a second organization. I am entering my 6th summer as a volunteer staff member and camp organizer for Girls Rock! Chicago. Girls Rock! Chicago is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to fostering girls’ creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness through rock music. The organization has two week-long camps each
summer and serves approximately 160 campers every year. Girls Rock! is also currently working towards expanding to year-round programming, starting in Fall of 2014.
In one week's time, campers ages 8-16, form a band, learn to play their instrument, write an original song, and perform it with their band in a large music venue in Chicago for their family, friends and other Girls Rock! supporters. The week wraps up in a professional recording studio where the bands record their song and later receive a CD compilation of all of the recordings from their camp session. Throughout the week, these campers attend a variety of workshops in addition to their instrument lessons and band practices. Many themes for these workshops have to do with teaching camp participants to use their voices, and challenging gendered stereotypes of what a girl is or what she can be. Girls Rock! sees music education as the tool that we teach themes of empowerment, positive collaboration, and social justice through.
This year I am particularly excited to organize a collaboration between both of these organizations that I am so proud to be working with. Although IMPACT teaches self-defense and Girls Rock! teaches music, there are many overarching similarities in the messages and philosophies of both organizations. Both teach participants to use their voices and strive to empower women and girls. IMPACT instructors will be coming to 2014 rock camps to teach workshops on physical self-defense, using your voice and boundary setting. Together, we are looking forward to a great summer filled with empowered and creative young people.
For more information on Girls Rock! Chicago visit www.girlsrockchicago.org