Organizations: Girls Rock Camp ATL

Every girl should feel like a rock star, and most campers do after a week of creative expression, social harmonies and a standing ovation.

Stacey Singer started Girls Rock Camp ATL in 2008 to offer education and “empowerment programming” to girls between ages 10 and 16, with no previous training required. “If a girl doesn’t have an instrument, we provide one,” she says.

During the summer program, based at the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, around 60 campers receive lessons in electric guitar, bass, keyboard and drums while forming bands and writing original songs. They also enjoy counsel – and cozy concerts – from marquee names like the Indigo Girls and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles. Camp volunteers include indie-group von Grey, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins and jazz musician Alexandra Jackson, with financial support coming from Cyndi Lauper, Heart and Bonnie Raitt.

So far, the nonprofit has served more than 300 girls. “Our primary responsibility,” Singer says, “aside from the tangible music education, is to provide a safe space and supportive environment for music-making, friend-making and self-discovery.”

Of the healing power of music, she adds, “Kids who are grieving a loss or struggling with their identity make friends and discover things about themselves they feel good about.”

The camp ends each year with a swaggering, high-decibel concert at The Variety Playhouse. Now their moms can channel Joan Jett, too – a similar Ladies Rock Camp is forming for grownups.

Categories: Organizations