About Girls Rock Dallas
Girls Rock Dallas is an organization dedicated to empowering girls, women, trans and gender-expansive individuals through the use of music education to promote selfesteem and confidence by providing the opportunity to learn and express their musical creativity.
Girls Rock Dallas provides a week-long summer day camp for ages 8-17. Qualified volunteers will instruct campers in guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and vocals. The campers will form bands and learn how to write original songs together to perform live at a music venue in Dallas for the camp’s showcase. The campers will also have the opportunity to attend a variety of life skill and technical workshops.
After watching the documentary Girls Rock! The Movie, Rachel Hardy, the Founder/Executive Director of Girls Rock Dallas, felt that this type of program was needed in the Dallas community. Girls Rock Dallas was founded in 2011.
In July 2012, the inaugural summer camp session was held at the Life in Deep Ellum building in Deep Ellum with 29 campers, 30 volunteers and a packed showcase at Club Dada.
In 2013, GRD expanded to include a Ladies Rock Camp and a summer camp, which included 47 campers. The showcase was held at the Kessler Theater.
In 2014, GRD held its third summer camp, which included 57 campers, 10 bands and the introduction of the intern program. The showcase was held at the Kessler Theater.
In 2015, GRD held its fourth summer camp, which included 53 campers. The showcase was held at Club Dada. In 2016 and 2017, the showcase was held at the Kessler Theater.
In 2018, GRD took a break in order to reorganize and restructure.
In 2019, GRD returned with new initiatives, including a refocused, hands-on board of directors; expanded community outreach and fundraising efforts; stipends for qualifying volunteers; an instrument-lending program so campers can rock all year; and a camper band that will represent the organization year-round.
In 2020, the year-round camper band performed its first concert.
Girls Rock Camp Alliance
The Girls Rock Camp Alliance is an international membership network of youth-centered arts and social justice organizations. They provide resources and space for community building to our membership in order to build a strong movement for collective liberation.
For more information on the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, visit girlsrockcampalliance.org
Girls Rock Dallas values diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, physical ability, developmental ability, musical interests, learning styles, nationality, religion, thought, citizenship status or sexual orientation in the administration of its education programs, admissions policies, scholarships and other camp-related policies and programs, as well as volunteer and employment related policies and activities.
- We value the power of music as a means to create personal and social change;
- We value efforts that actively expand opportunities for girls, women, trans and gender-expansive individuals;
- We value positive approaches to fighting sexism;
- We value integrity, honesty and respect;
- We value appropriate sharing of resources, cooperation and collaboration;
- We value using our collective voice to further our mission;
- We value diversity.
Our goals as instructors, counselors and band coaches are:
- To encourage collaboration, empowerment, self-expression and mutual respect among girls, women, trans and gender-expansive individuals
- To encourage self-discovery through hands-on experience and risk-taking
- To favor action over words
- To share the idea that there is no “correct” way of playing music
- To strike a balance between technique and experimentation
- To embrace team-teaching and support each other as volunteers
- To create a world where girls, trans and gender-expansive youth feel encouraged and supported and valued more for what they do than for how they look
- To help every girl, trans and gender-expansive youth find their own voice, identify their own needs and express them
- To help girls, trans and gender-expansive youth develop a sense of confidence that they carry to other aspects of their lives
Points of Unity
- We believe that youth are inherently powerful. We work to support youth leadership in our programs and communities.
- Our work is a direct attempt to amplify voices that have otherwise been told to be silent. Music, art and creative expression are our tools in building a loud, celebratory and formidable movement. We do not use these tools by accident; we use them because music and creative expression are accessible, community-based, collaborative and political.
- Our work is political. We work to dismantle intersecting systems of oppression and acknowledge that they do not affect us all equally. Our work must be led and built by those most impacted by systemic oppression and colonization.
- Gender is fluid, expansive and cannot be contained within a binary. Trans and gender non-conforming people have always been and always will be an integral part of our movement. Our work must center those who experience marginalization because of their gender identity and expression.
- In order for our movement to be effective it must be physically, financially and linguistically accessible. We strive to make sure all those who wish to do this work have what they need to thrive.
- Though we are often told otherwise, we believe there is room for all of us to be leaders. We do not fear scarcity and we believe in abundance. Our work benefits from sharing power and leadership within our movement.
- Our work must be adaptable and willing to shift. We are committed to continually remaking ourselves and boldly engaging the discomfort of change and transition. We are constantly learning how to challenge systemic oppression and how to love each other better.
- We are not alone and our work transcends borders. Our collective power is grounded in our membership and the communities our members come from and work with. We can hear each other across oceans and the landscapes we call home, and we work in solidarity with each other and other liberation movements.
- Authentic relationship building is the work. We are better equipped to support and fight for our youth when we care for and value one another.
- We must hold ourselves and each other accountable. There is power in transformation, forgiveness and healing. We believe that we can teach each other and learn together.
- We believe that joy is a revolutionary force.