I met with two of the organizers of GRRRL’s Rock Columbus Music & Creative Arts Camp Mickey Mocnik and Marlena Bowen last week to learn about this amazing opportunity for Central Ohio girls. Mocnik spoke on the values of the GRRRL’s Rock Camp, “Building confidence in girls and musical expression. Giving them a space to take creative risks. Fostering an environment where what we do is more important than how we look. Supporting each other. Working together. Instilling values that I don’t think we get growing up as girls.” Mocnik’s band Nervosas just toured America successfully and has received adulation from DIY mainstay publication Maximum Rock N Roll. Mocnik is the product of an Athen’s Rock Camp which wasn’t a GRRRL’s Rock camp but still an example of what happens when there are outlets for people to assert themselves available. GRRRL’s Rock Columbus Music & Creative Arts Camp will provide workshops, lessons, band forming, lunchtime concerts and rocking out for girls, and gender variant youth ages 12-18 at the Methodist Church located at 82 E. 16th Ave Columbus, Ohio. The camp will be held August 3rd-10th. The Campus location conjures the punk mythos of Screaming Urge organized Nowhere Festivals in the late 70s at Methodist Church in the best possible way. GRRRL’s Rock Camps exist all over the nation, and this particular camp aims to give a sister community service that Columbus Girl’s Rhythm Rock & Camp does for 6-8 year-olds to adolescents. Bowen is a classically trained musician who also works at Columbus Speech and Hearing. She explained the GRRL’s Rock Camp intent: “We feel there is a need in Columbus for older girls to participate in a rock camp. I never went to rock camp as a kid. Mickey did. I feel like it would’ve changed a lot of things for me to have the opportunity to have a space where I could learn from other women how to use an instrument and build that kind of confidence.” Camp applications are due by May 31st. Enrollment is based on a lottery randomly selecting 30 campers from the pool of applicants. The cost is $50-150 on a sliding scale and there is financial support available for those in need. GRRRL’s Rock Camp is a logical extension of the Early 90s Riot GRRRL Movement that aimed to create means of production and safe spaces for women to develop without assimilating to male standards. Bowen elaborated on why the GRRRL’s Rock Camp’s volunteers will all be female or trans variant, “We have a lot of conversations philosophically about creating a female and trans-inclusive space. I think for a lot of our organizing members it’s significant to women, and trans-identified individuals. Predominately, in my experience, rock n roll is a male dominated field. We think, contrary to other camps, it will be beneficial for people to have a space. I’ve had a lot of experiences in learning about musical equipment and buying musical equipment. I’ll go into Sam Ash and some guy will be like: ‘that amp is going to be too heavy for you.’ Stuff like that has happened to me a lot.” Mocnick added, “We want them to feel comfortable. If we are really creating a safe space for creative risk. There might be a couple guys helping to serve lunch.” The girls who attend the camp will be surrounded by excellent mentors. In addition to Mocnik and Bowen, GRRRL’s rock camp's other organizers are Megan Zakany (VVK Booker and musician in Dirty Mouth), Caitlin McGurk (Curator at the Wexner Center’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library, Meg Murnane (Researcher/Writer), Lindsey Gibson (Activist), Rachel Lee (Writer), Emily Clime (Teacher), Mack Schneider (Total Request Dead/ Roller Girls, and Brianna Dearest (Total Request Dead). GRRRL’s Rock Camp will have a benefit at Ace of Cups Friday May 2nd. The Something Somethings, Estee Louder, Raw Pony and the Nom Tchotchkes will perform. $5 dollar donation. For Application/Volunteer information please visit www.facebook.com/grrrlsrockcolumbus.com, email grrrlsrockcolumbus@gmail.com , call 614-733-9466, or look for flyers around town and at the Methodist Church located at 82 E. 16th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43201

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