Mission and History
Girls Rock Philly is a volunteer-based non-profit music and mentoring organization dedicated to empowering girls and young women from the greater Philadelphia region through music education and activities that foster leadership skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.
At Girls Rock Philly, we provide a community driven response that is dedicated to identifying and deconstructing gender-based oppression while addressing the ways it manifests itself in female youth: behaviours such as competitiveness, self-doubt, and negative self-image. We use supportive, multi-generational, peer mentoring model. This model works to create a safer space that encourages the fearless expression, artistic experimentation, thoughtful analysis, and imaginative action of our participants.
At our model’s root is our belief in the powerfully magnetic force of music.
We create programming dedicated to the mutually reinforcing themes of sound exploration and self-empowerment. While acknowledging the forces that shape the realities of young people in Philadelphia, we offer a program rooted in untold histories and memories upon which we build supportive group environments that create celebratory expressions of sound.
Girls Rock Philly formed in 2006 as part of an emerging group of like-minded nonprofits across the U.S. and internationally, responding to a gap in music mentorship and healthy development opportunities for pre-teen and teenage girls. Our first program – a one-week summer camp – was held in August of 2007 with only 20 campers and now we work with over 140 youth every year!
Girls Rock Philly’s programs provide ongoing opportunities for learning, community-building, advocacy, and social justice. Our major programs and projects include:
- Our signature week-long summer camp program;
- Barracuda Club, our weekly drop-in program;
- Sound Scholars (formerly Shark Tank), our teen leadership program;
- Band Experience, it’s like camp year-round!;
- Group Lessons, stand-alone instrument lessons on-site at GRP in bass, guitar, drums and keys held after school during the academic year;
- Summer Music Institute, a 5-week summer program that offers a deeper STEAM-based project approach to music and our mission and includes field trips around Philadelphia;
- A resource Library on music and feminism for campers and volunteers;
- Two rehearsal rooms, free for youth and at low-cost for members of the GRP community;
- A gear loan program for practice at home year-round; and
- LRC, which offers a weekend camp experience twice annually to empower and support women and trans* adults.