With a mission to empower girls through musicianship and community building, Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (BAGRC) is a nonprofit organization generating increasing interest and popularity through the Bay Area creative community. BAGRC’s various programs foster self-confidence and teamwork amongst youth, gender-nonconforming, trans, and femme-identifying communities — catering to the interest of those looking to play music and foster community for a cause.
Founded in 2008, the program began with 60 individuals at the Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland. A sold-out camp showcase at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill closed out the organization’s first session to positive acclaim.
No musical experience is necessary to be a part of any of the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp programs. Introductory lessons teach participants the basics of an instrument, how it works, and how to set it up. Groups practice creating melodies at a songwriting workshop on held on the the first day of camp. Instructors focus on basic scales and chords, warming up attendees to the sounds of music and the creative writing process.
For those who think they’re too old to rock, Women’s Rock Camp is the adult-age equivalent of BAGRC’s youth programs and is held as a weekend-long musical camp for women, trans, and gender-expansive individuals. The program is held as a fundraiser to support BAGRC’s youth programs and help maintain its accessibility for Bay Area youth communities. Women’s Rock Camp returns October 7-9, 2016 at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts in Oakland.
Tuition for Women’s Rock Camp is on a sliding scale and all proceeds go towards BAGRC youth programs. During the fundraiser, participants choose between the drums, bass, guitar, vocals, or keyboard and have the opportunity to participate in self-defense workshops and enjoy performances by live artists. Bands formed on the duration of the weekend close out the fundraiser with a public showcase performance on Sunday, October 9 at The Starry Plough in Berkeley. The camp is wheelchair accessible and female, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals are welcome to participate.
To learn more about Bay Area Rock Girls Camp or to register for Women’s Rock Camp, visit them at bayareagirlsrockcamp.org.