In a time of movements like #MeToo and March For Our Lives, women and young people all over America are speaking up to make real change in our nation. YEAH! (Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Nashville, TN, is continuing to make those voices stronger using a tool so abundant in Nashville that it has become synonymous with the city’s name: music.
Since 2003, YEAH! has succeeded in providing a safe learning environment for teens that empowers them not only in the arts but in life skills, volunteerism, and community service. The organization creates programming, such as Southern Girls Rock Camp and Tennessee Teens Rock Camp, that values collaboration over competition and seeks to give youth the tools they need to create the world in which they want to live.
YEAH! has announced the dates and registration information for their Summer 2018 camps with full details available HERE. These camps have gained praise and support throughout the music industry, from performers like Wanda Jackson, Margo Price, Cary Ann Hearst (of Shovels and Rope), and Those Darlins to industry professionals like NPR Music correspondent Ann Powers, Warner Music Group’s Emilee Warner, and contributing music critic Marissa R. Moss (Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Nashville Scene, The Bluegrass Situation, etc.)
Southern Girls Rock Camp (Nashville)
July 9-14, 2018 at Vanderbilt University
Tennessee Teens Rock Camp (Nashville)
July 16-21, 2018 at Vanderbilt University
Southern Girls Rock Camp (Murfreesboro)
July 23-28, 2018 at Middle Tennessee State University
“When people ask my why women are gaining a more powerful place within the rock world in 2018, I always mention rock camp in my answer,” says NPR’s Ann Powers. “Rock camps for girls around the world are a key element in empowering new generations of girls to take up instruments, form connections with each other and speak their minds. Southern Girls Rock Camp was one of the first in the nation, and over time, it’s become a key presence not only in the lives of so many girls and women but in Nashville’s rock scene itself. I wish I’d had a spiritual home like SGRRC when I was a baby punk rocker years ago!”
The organization’s flagship program, Southern Girls Rock Camp in Nashville, is a week-long summer music and arts camp for girls and gender non-conforming youth ages 10-17 that takes place at Vanderbilt University. YEAH! also offers a co-ed session, Tennessee Teens Rock Camp, that welcomes all youth ages 10-17. Campers learn to play an instrument of their choice, regardless of skill-level, which is provided for them through the duration of the camp.
On the Saturday of their session, the campers are given an exciting opportunity to form their own band, collaborate on a song, and perform at Jack White’s famed Third Man Records venue. In an effort to reach all of Middle Tennessee, another Southern Girls Rock Camp session is also offered at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. These camps recognize the potential of every young person to be a strong, talented, creative, and empowered individual while providing a safe space where everyone rocks. Registration is open now HERE!
As a enthusiastic program volunteer, country singer-songwriter Margo Price reflects, “Southern Girls Rock Camp is one of the most amazing programs I have ever been a part of. It was an honor to talk with passionate, young girls and to teach them mic technique, songwriting, and street smarts inside the music business. I wish that there was something like this when I was growing up.”
YEAH! took note of sentiments like Margo’s and Ann’s and recently announced the new Ladies Rock Camp for female and gender non-conforming adults over the age of 18. The four-day program is occurring March 22-25, 2018 and is designed to empower adults from many walks of life through music education and community building. The sliding scale registration fee is tax-deductible and goes directly to YEAH!’s Scholarship Program, which provides even more young individuals a chance to attend Southern Girls Rock Camp and Tennessee Teens Rock Camp. Register now HERE.
Launched in 2010, YEAH!’s Scholarship Program supplies full or partial funding for over 45% of participating campers and has enabled YEAH! to never turn away a potential student due to lack of funds. Through the generous donations of fans, parents, and supporters, the scholarship program raised $14,776 last year alone! Donations are being accepted (and very much appreciated) now HERE.
“In a world where we’re often hard-pressed to find more than a handful of women on a festival roster, on awards show stages, in the bylines of a music magazine or on the radio, it’s more important than ever to create an environment like Southern Girls Rock Camp,” says Marissa R. Moss, who recently a legislation-inspiring piece on women in country radio for Rolling Stone Country. “An environment where girls feel empowered to pursue their dreams in music – and one where skill, practice and passion matters most, not their gender.”
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