Rock It Like We Talk It: Black Lives Matter

To our campers and camp community,

As summer nears, the Rain City Rock Camp team has been in full swing preparing for a Virtual Summer Camp that will support and empower our community of womxn, girls (cis and trans) and gender expansive folks. But this week, we have paused camp planning. We are prioritizing our time to recognize what’s happening in Seattle and around the United States as we seek justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and collectively activate to fight continued systemic police violence and racism against Black people. 

The mission of RCRC is to empower girls, women, and gender non-conforming individuals to engage their creative potential through music, champion equity, and thrive in a community of allies and activists. Equity, allyship and activism are IN our mission statement. 

Maybe you are feeling anxious, angry, sad or worried about family, friends and community members. You may be wondering what you can do to stand in solidarity with protest efforts. And, we’re all still coping with a global pandemic that has uprooted many of you from your typical school and friend resources. 

We hope you’ll give yourself the space and time to process these emotions and take action. Rock Camp isn’t a bubble—it’s an incubator, a safe space to express ourselves and learn how to empower others to do so as well in preparation to make change in the wider world. Now is the time to go out—whether virtually or in person—into our local, regional, national and global communities with all the skills and confidence you’ve built up through RCRC. 

Last year’s camp theme was Rock It Like We Talk It. One way we do that is through collective action against inequity. It is that same action that ensures we truly have One HeartBeat. We will also continue sharing resources for taking action and materials for educating yourself and others on our social media. Below are a few reflection questions—taken from our Amplified Teen Voices program—to help get the conversation started and links to resources you may find immediately useful.

Please stay safe and make sure you have someone you trust to talk to about how you’re feeling. During revolutionary times, the Rain City Rock Camp community comes together. We’ve seen that this spring with COVID-19, and we’re seeing it again now. 

#OneHeartBeat
Natalie

Natalie Walker
Executive Director
Rain City Rock Camp

Reflection Questions

  1. Our Amplified Teen Voices invocation states that we “put words into action” and we know that we want to Rock It Like We Talk It. Are any of you thinking about, planning, or participating in ways to activate and support the Black Lives Matter movement? 

    Things to consider:
    • Yes, it’s important to take action at this historic moment to make change happen. However, we also need to plan to do this work for a long time; what are sustainable ways that we can fight against oppression in our daily lives now and in the future?
    • How do our rock camp values relate to the work that we do? We need to make sure that everyone’s voice is amplified, especially those who need the loudest mic in order to be heard. Our ATV agreement to “turn up, turn down” is a helpful tool to remember.
    • How can we include our friends and family in these conversations? We are all stronger together, and the more information and support we can share—the better!
  1. If you identify as white or a non-Black person of color, what does allyship mean to you right now? “How to Tell If You’re Being a Good Ally” by 16-year old Native activist Hallie Sebastian is a great place to start thinking about what allyship can look like. 
  1. What power do you have as an individual, especially if you identify as white, that you can use to show up for marginalized communities? This could include an understanding of social networking platforms, networks of friends/family/followers, free time to spend learning and taking action, access to technology/internet, musical/songwriting skills, etc. 
  1. How am I using social media? Can you “turn up” the mic for others, especially Black leaders or Black-led organizations who are sharing information, reflections, or observations? Also, be sure to check your sources if you can; misinformation is easy to spread and can be harmful.
  1. What changes can I suggest that could make Rock Camp—and other schools, clubs, and camps in my community—more racially equitable spaces? 

Action and Education Resources

  1. Support the work of Black musicians and artists. She Shreds magazine is one great resource to start with, and many of Rain City Rock Camp’s instructors, coaches and counselors are local Black womxn and gender nonconforming musicians
  1. Check out these scaffolded anti-racism resources.
  1. Check out one of these YA books on social justice topics, and start a book club! Two relevant books on this list are Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell—the sister of a RCRC volunteer! (Unfortunately, libraries are still closed due to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. For now, you could learn more about these authors, read book reviews, put together a reading list for the future, or do independent research on the subjects in the books.) 
  1. Learn 12 Things to Do Instead of Calling the Cops from the Community Resource Hub. 
  1. Visit You Grow Girl and access their leadership and behavioral health resources.

An Update on Our Summer Programs

Every spring when the temperature starts to warm up, my heart starts to flutter with excitement about the upcoming camp season. What new volunteers will I get to meet and connect with? What earworms will the campers write (and how long will they stay on repeat in my head)? And most importantly, how will we bend and shape each other’s perspectives in exciting and challenging ways?

This year’s spring has brought mixed emotions with the uncertainty of the current situation in every aspect of life, including our camp traditions. Every conversation that has taken place over the past two months with staff, board, volunteers, families and participating youth has been around finding hope and possibility in this situation.

While uncertainty still abounds, it has also become more and more clear that gathering in person, no matter what the size of the group is, will be an immense safety and logistical concern for this year’s programs. Our every heartbeat as an organization is dedicated to providing safe spaces for RCRC’s youth, volunteers, staff and community. Because that safety is not possible in the analog world at this time, we are moving all of our summer programs for this year to a virtual platform.

For the past 12 years, Rain City Rock Camp has been my life. I know I am not alone when I find myself crying over this news. There is a huge sense of loss, and likely a grieving period for many of our youth and community members. I am also remaining hopeful and optimistic for our community’s resilience. It’s like playing a minor and a major chord at the same time—just like at camp. 😉

The creativity of our campers’ lyrics every year is one of the things that inspires me the most. Where do these ideas come from, and how do our campers author such unique realities? Magical talking food, animals in unlikely situations and solutions for world peace. It is with that creativity that we are now approaching our programming for this summer.

We’re looking at ways to bring in additional dimensions to the virtual experience so that our campers can interact with sound exploration and creative collaboration while continuing to nurture connections with one another. We also need the creativity of our campers, interns and ATVers to co-create a space with us that resembles a RCRC band song—There might not always be a clear verse and a chorus, but there are always smiles and cheers at the end.

In order to collaborate together, we’re asking for the input of our campers, camper families and volunteers to respond here with your ideas, input or suggestions. Our hearts beat together, even when we are apart. We might be physically distant this year, but emotionally we band together as a camp community. I can’t wait to connect with you all and create new traditions!

#OneHeartBeat
Natalie

P.S. If you’ve already signed up for one of our summer programs, you should have received an email from us about next steps. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do! We’re still accepting applications and would love for you to join us on this journey of creation and exploration!

#OneHeartBeat!—in Good Times and Bad

The last couple of weeks have been tough times for Seattle as the coronavirus spreads. It’s been a reminder of how essential it is that we support each other.

We are strongest when we come together as a community. At Rain City Rock Camp, we see this strength every day as volunteers, donors, participants and staff come together to create inspirational moments of learning and empowerment. This year’s theme—One HeartBeat!—reminds us of the power of community to amplify passion and action. Our hearts each beat strong, but they beat strongest together!

We asked our ATV youth leaders what One HeartBeat means to them and they told us “a safe space for all,” “a community of love and support always,” and “we’re all here to support each other.”

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of resources for musicians who are being affected by the coronavirus outbreak. If you know of more, drop us an email at [email protected], and we’ll add them to the list!

No one knows what the next several weeks hold for Seattle. What we do know is that the RCRC family will do what it does best—come together. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring ways that we can strengthen our bonds as a community as we navigate the challenge of the coronavirus. We’d love to hear your stories of how your people have lifted you up in hard times or how you plan to be there for your community in the coming days. #OneHeartBeat!

Still have questions? Learn more on our coronavirus response FAQs page.

New Position at RCRC

Join our dynamic music and social justice organization! Rain City Rock Camp for Girls seeks a full-time Administrative Coordinator to support all aspects of the organization’s operations, from office tasks to program-related support and volunteer coordination. See below for job description and qualifications, and instructions on how to apply. The deadline to apply is Feb 1st at 5PM, 2019.

Administrative Coordinator Job

Thanks!
The RCRC Team

LRC Community Fund

It has been an incredible summer of programming here at RCRC, and we are so excited to launch into the fall and start up with a new fundraising initiative. For many years now, there has been a small group of individuals who have helped to fund one-off Ladies Rock Camp scholarships for folks to attend the program who otherwise would not be able to afford the tuition. In an effort to make LRC more accessible (and largely in part to our new strategic plan goals), RCRC made LRC sliding scale, as well as offering the possibility of full aid when needed. The new LRC Hype Committee (explained more in this guest post) took up the idea of community fundraising for this equitable pay system… and ran with it! With their energy and commitment, and the generosity of an anonymous matching donor, we are very excited to announce the new LRC Community Fund!

And now a message and explanation from Hype Committee members themselves:

Get ready to mark your calendar, because you don’t want to miss the upcoming launch party potluck for the brand new LRC Community Fund! You heard right: Party, LRC, Community Fund. We need you to celebrate with us on Sunday, September 17 at 5pm at Coyote Central (2300 E Cherry Street). Be there!

What? You’re still reading? You have questions, perhaps. Questions like,

  • What is LRC?
  • What is LRC Hype?
  • What is the Community Fund?
  • What does it have to do with me?

LRC stands for Ladies Rock Camp, a day camp for grownups that compresses the musical instruction, empowerment workshops, band formation, original song composition and live performance challenges of Rain City Rock Camp into a three-day weekend. LRC happens twice a year and serves as a fundraiser for the summer rock camp programs for girls and gender nonconforming youth. Do not let the word fundraiser mislead you; this is no weekend car wash and bake sale. Lauding the incredible experience that LRC offers women and gender nonconforming adults is beyond the scope of this post. Very briefly, LRC is transformative for many participants. It has literally changed people’s lives.

Now you know what LRC stands for. Hype stands for “Help Your People Engage.” LRC Hype is a committee of RCRC made up of LRC community members and volunteers who have a shared mission to bring people to LRC to experience its transformative power, to bring people into the LRC community to support their continued transformation, and from there, to bring them into the RCRC volunteer community to contribute to the transformation of others.

RCRC’s week-long summer camps are a critical part of RCRC’s mission: empowering girls, women, and gender nonconforming individuals to engage their creative potential through music, champion equity, and thrive in a community of allies and activists. Succeeding at this mission requires RCRC to be accessible to as many people as possible and to include people from as many different backgrounds as possible. If you are a girl or gender nonconforming youth, you belong at RCRC. To make that possible, summer camp offers a sliding scale, including full scholarships, partly funded by LRC. LRC supports the summer camp in another way as well; a good number of the adult volunteers who make the summer camp possible enter the RCRC community via LRC.

Just like the youth, if you are a woman or gender nonconforming adult, you belong at LRC. Lack of money should not block anyone’s participation. Prioritizing financial accessibility for an endeavor that is a fundraiser is a tricky business, which is why we are so excited to announce the LRC Community Fund. Donations to the Community Fund will support the organization’s ability to provide sliding scale access to the program and will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $5000, by a generous donor from the LRC community.

A word from our $5k matching donor:

As a longtime Ladies Rock Camper and volunteer, I am so excited to help power up the LRC Community Fund with a matching gift, in order to activate the collaborative spirit and values of our community. I believe that we are enough, together, to provide access to LRC for everyone who wants it, and everyone who needs it. I’ve had my life changed by LRC, and I think everyone who wants to attend should be able to attend, without the added barrier of financial limitation. That is why I’m getting fierce and giving back. I am pledging to match the community’s gifts to the LRC Community Fund up to $5,000. I am doing this to encourage you all to give in a way that feels meaningful to you, as this is what feels meaningful to me- inspiring you all to give back! I know that together we can do it, because united we band, right?!

Our goal for donations is donor reach rather than a specific figure. That’s where you come in. We hope that everyone in the community donates an amount that is meaningful to them individually.

By making LRC accessible to the widest group of people, thereby bringing people from a wide variety of backgrounds into the RCRC volunteer community, we can, as a group, provide the youth of RCRC the opportunity to open their minds and hearts even wider. These kids are our future leaders and inspiration. Let’s give them all the help we can, and take care of ourselves along the way. See you at the party!

 

Shout Out! Seattle is back!

SOS2015
Our annual fundraising benefit show is back, and just in time to ramp up for Summer Camp! Join us on Saturday, June 6th for this ALL-AGES show at Chop Suey (from 5-8:00PM). This is your chance to reunite with your friends from Summer Camp and raise money for your favorite organization! 😉 Get your photo taken in our costume photo booth, buy tix for cool raffle prizes and get a sharpie tattoo while you listen to amazing bands!

Time: Doors at 5PM, show STARTS at 5:30
Date: Saturday, June 6th
Cover: $10 pre-sale, $12 Day of Show

Get your tickets here! http://chopsuey.strangertickets.com/events/25108656/shout-out-a-benefit-for-rain-city-rock-camp-for-girls

Bands include:
TriSiren (CAMPER BAND!)
Skates! (SUPER SUPPORTERS!)
Another Perfect Crime (VOLUNTEERS!)

And your hosts… RCRC Camp Directors! We can’t wait to see you there!

Power Up: Activate!

It’s that time of year again – are you ready for our new theme?  Last year, United We Band  rapidly took root in our hearts and blossomed in our everyday lives.  Make a Scene and UWB have become so vital to to our ever-growing and thriving community, we want to continue to build on those themes as we surge forth into 2015.

When we we unite and power up together, our synergy empowers us to create space and action (i.e. a scene) that is so much bigger than we could ever imagine.  That is why this years’ theme is…drumroll please….Power Up: Activate!

Plug in“Powering Up” can look and feel many different ways. It can start with connecting with family, friends and allies for support and energy. It can take form in meaningful discussions, inspiring learning, and heartfelt gratitude. Sometimes it will mean connecting with a marginalized community to really listen to the issues and challenges they face – not to fix or change, rather to be present and demonstrate solidarity. Powering up can mean taking time for reflection, self-care, and self-love. We do these things to build an internal source of energy so when we go out in the world to Activate! for what we believe in, we have the strength and stamina to see our action and advocacy through to creating sustainable change.  The change we activate can be very personal and start within the spheres we inhabit, AND it can evolve into something monumental, like building a worldwide movement.

“Activation” is activism, a word we haven’t fully unpacked the meaning of within RCRC, but we’re really looking forward to talking about how it supports our mission and the ways it can take shape within our community.  At camp, we are going dive into using music and art as activism. In the day to day at RCRC headquarters, we are already plotting and planning for our rockin’ girls to take over the world! Get ready for another amazing year. Time to Power Up: Activate!

RCRC’s 3rd Annual Fall Gala- United We Band in Action!

Join us for the party of the year-RCRC’s Annual Fall Gala! We invite you- the community- to experience the magic. This event plays an important role in the financial support of our Summer Camps and additional year-round programming. Last year we raised over $32,000, which is equivalent to over 80 full scholarships to Summer Camp- now that’s powerful collective action and generosity!

Come together and help make a difference in the lives of girls and the way they think about themselves- through the creative power of music.

Here’s the scoop!

DATErcrc fb
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Ticket sales END November 7th, Buy your tickets now!

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
5:00pm – VIP Reception/Silent Auction Begins
6:00pm – General Admission
7:30pm – Dinner/Live Auction

This event is open to 21+.
All tickets include a seated dinner & wine.

THE VENUE
We’re excited to host this year’s event at Emerald City Trapeze Arts in SODO. The rustic charm, wood-beam construction and funky décor are the perfect setting for an RCRC celebration!

THE SPOILERS (ways that WE are going to spoil YOU)
VIP Attendees will be treated to a performance by RCRC volunteer Alex Niedzialkowski from the Seattle band Cumulus, and General Admission guests will arrive just in time to hear RCRC AMP at EMP alum band No Gravitational Pull as they reveal new songs and share their hit from this summer. Our emcee for the evening is Ladies Rock Camp rising star and Summer Camp volunteer, Dacia Saenz, and our “Raise the Record” portion of the evening will be led by the dynamic Adra Boo from Seattle band Fly Moon Royalty. And that’s not all! You never know if you might see your face gracing the glossy pages of a premier Seattle magazine after the event, as our professional photo booth will be supplied by Seattle Met Magazine! There is more, but you’ll have to join us to find out all of the RCRC shenanigans we have in store for you!

Together our voices are louder, stronger and united. UNITED WE BAND.