What’s happening with GRR! this spring, you ask?
As you’ve probably heard, Girls Rock! RI now has a new headquarters on the west side of Providence at 769 Westminster Street across from Classical, Central, and PCTA high schools, and sharing the street with several other awesome youth-focused non-profits. The support we’ve seen from the community for this move has been overwhelming and we are so excited to be here.
With this new space has come new opportunities, including the ability to have drums (we’re not in a residential neighborhood anymore!), storage of all of our gear in one spot (we don’t have to drive to Pawtucket every time we need an amplifier!), and we can use the space whenever we want (we’re not competing with other organizations over time in a shared space!)! We’ve received input from the community on what types of programs they’d like to see, and we are slowly ramping up our offerings (we’re still just a staff of two so these things take some time!).
For the first time ever, we were able to offer drum classes this fall, and we had so many people register, we had to add an additional class (thanks to our instructor, Rachel Blumberg, for agreeing to do so!). Also for the first time, we’ve had youth and adult bands practice at our space. We added a youth drop-in program this fall, as well. We are still getting the word out to local schools about that, but we have a team of high school interns who are on the job. These same interns have also created a new program starting in March– a youth-led Gender Discussion Group. The group will discuss topics like the election, feminism, and Beyonce, and we are so psyched! I am a music gear nerd so I am also personally psyched that we will be offering a Gear Share & Show and Tell once a month where folks can come and show others how they make the sounds they do with their gear or learn about new gear (what ARE all those knobs and cables?!) in a supportive environment.
In the past, we’ve run just two sessions of year-round programming, one in the fall and one in the winter/spring. But this year, we decided to run three sessions of programming, a fall session, a winter session, and a new shorter spring session, where we’ve decided to run some “experimental” programs, which aren’t really experimental per se, but are on topics that are fun that folks have expressed interest in and since they are shorter, it allows us to try some new (to us) things. We’ll be offering classes and workshops on the following topics: Performance, Songwriting, Music Theory, DJing, and a Band Class, where participants will learn new tips and techniques, then work with a band coach to write songs together.
As per usual, we are getting prepped for camps, including our upcoming session of Ladies Rock Camp, which is going to rule, and registration is opening shortly for this summer’s Girls Rock Camps as well! We’re always looking for volunteers, donations (cash or in-kind), and sponsorships, so if you would like to support, please let us know!
Finally, keep your eyes peeled for partnerships with the Providence Children’s Film Festival, Manton Ave. Project, Providence Monthly… and your very favorite dance party, the Growna** Prom! And we’ll be updating you on our trip to the Girls Rock Camp Alliance annual conference in Philadelphia, too!
Thanks for reading and high fives to you!
Hilary Jones, Executive Director