|Photo by: www.athensrockcamp.com|
The Athens Rock Camp for Girls is the local branch of the national organization Girls Rock Camp Alliance, which promotes confidence-building and character development in young women through the exercise of rock ‘n’ roll, according to its website.
“We want to eradicate all the limiting myths about music and gender that make girls afraid to speak up, sing out and make noise,” the national group’s website reads. “We want to abolish all the obsolete traditions that restrict many girls' and women's free musical expression and obstruct their access to the world of music.”
Athens chapter organizer Cindy Crabb helped start up the program last year with a summer workshop where musically inclined girls between the ages of 12 and 18 learn the ways of the rock star.
For a week in July, the young artists can take tutorials in guitar, electric bass, drums and lyric-writing, as well as non-musical activities such as silk screening, button-making, forming a stage presence and booking a show.
Crabb, who also sings and plays guitar and bass, said that playing in a rock band teaches girls to work together as a team, helps them express their emotions, and proves to them that society’s gender stereotypes can be wrong.
“A lot of girls in our culture are kind of told to keep their mouths shut, and rock 'n' roll is a super-empowering vehicle for all kinds of emotions and ideas that get sort of bottled up or hushed up,” Crabb said. “It’s a cool way for girls to find their voice, whether it’s songwriting or instrument playing or whatever. They can find their voice and find out how that connects to their bodies and how they can work together to create something powerful.”
The Rock Camp usually accepts about 30 girls, most of whom are from around the Athens area. There are five main organizers who run the program and about 15 to 20 volunteers--none of whom receive pay for their work--who help out during the week.
This year’s camp will take place July 9 to 14 at ARTS/West. The organizers will be accepting applications for its summer session until June 1. There is a tuition fee of $50, a price that Crabb says is unusual for similar rock workshops.
“At most of the other rock camps, people have paid positions, and the tuition is like $300 for the week, and we’re really committed to having it all volunteer-run and a really low tuition,” she said.
Because the Rock Camp is non-profit and its organizers are committed to keeping the tuition cost low, there are expenses that the program needs help paying for.
The main goal of the benefit concert at Casa is to raise money for practice amps and instruments for the students to use during the session.
“Last year, we borrowed all of the instruments, and it was just difficult to organize,” Crabb said. “Since we plan to keep doing it every year, we’re going to try to buy a bunch of practice amps and guitars and stuff this year, so that’s what our fundraiser is especially going towards.”
The funds from Friday’s show will go to the Athens Rock Camp for Girls, and none of the bands on the bill will be paid for playing. The organization plans to host a similar concert June 22 at Casa featuring different bands, and a possible show in Columbus is also in the works.
The rabble-rousers set to tear up the stage at Casa are the garage-rock Athens/Columbus-based The Revulvas, all-female DIY-punk trio Slave Labia, noise-rock/riot grrrl group Dirty Mouth and goth-punk rockers Nervosas.
In addition to bringing the noise at the benefit show, each of the bands will also donate time to the Rock Camp cause, since at least one member from each band will be teaching at the summer workshop.
The show begins at 10 p.m. and is $2 for patrons younger than 21 and free for those 21 and older, and, of course, donations are encouraged.
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