Friday, May 2, 2008

Girls Rock! comes to Atlanta (and stays)

Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2008 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge girls-rock.jpg

Stacey Singer was so moved by the power of the Rock ’n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Ore. that she decided to help set up a similar camp in Atlanta. That's why Singer and others will be at the Plaza Theatre this weekend for the documentary Girls Rock! (reviewed in this week's issue) as a way to publicize Girls Rock Camp (ATL), which will be held July 14-19 at Eyedrum.

On Saturday (May 3), there will be a Q&A session with co-director Arne Johnson. On Sunday at 2 p.m., instruments will be provided to kids in attendance in advance of the 2:30 p.m. screening (which will again be followed by a Q&A session, followed by more jamming.

Singer took some time to discuss Girls Rock Camp (ATL), its mission, and ways for Atlantans to get involved with the July camp.

What inspired you to form your own Girls Rock! camp? Who got the ball rolling?

I spoke on a panel and volunteered at Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and I wrote my master’s thesis on feminism and Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Ore. I recognized a need for similar programming in Atlanta and asked a few friends to help me get something going. Currently, our directors are me, Karen Garrabrant and Heather Gibbons.

How important is this screening/event in terms of generating interest for the camp in July?

We are really hoping that the people who see this film will want to be involved with Girls Rock Camp (ATL). We’re getting great response from potential volunteers. Now we just need some campers to sign up!

What kind of interest has been generated already?

Mostly volunteer interest. Because our directors live and work in adult worlds, adults are who we are engaging with the most right now. Most of the time a person’s first response is, “I wish I had this when I was little.” Those are the people who are eager to volunteer. A ton of local musicians have already told me they’d be able to teach or loan gear.

Talk a little bit about the camp in terms of transcending music education and as a tool for empowerment and improving self-worth? That’s the big thing I got out of watching the movie. Those statistics were quite sobering.

Girls’ Rock Camp (ATL) — and this type of girls-rock-camp programming in general — aims to create a safer space for girls in which they are encouraged to learn about themselves, not just as musicians, but as people. When girls know they are free from the male gaze they tend to worry less about what they look like, about the things they think, feel, and do or don’t say, and about competing with each other. Offering tools like communication and language skills that girls usually don’t get receive in their traditional educational settings, as well as new and different outlets for their self-expression, opens them up in ways that may otherwise rarely, if ever, become explored.

What’s the best way to sign up?

People can visit the camp website at for more information and to download volunteer and camper registration forms. They can also send an email to for more information.

(Photo by Nicole Weingart)

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