New Year, New Staff Member!

Hey everyone!

If we haven’t yet had a chance to meet, I’m Sue, the new Program Director here at Rain City Rock Camp. After four years of volunteering as a bass instructor, band coach, roadie manager, and photographer (and two years as the RCRC Graphic Designer), I am honored and thrilled to be stepping into this role!

I am most excited about moving back into working with a small, vibrant, arts non-profit; before working full-time as a graphic designer, I spent years as the Programs and Publications Manager at 826 Seattle (now The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas) creating and teaching creative writing programs for students ages 6-17 all over the Puget Sound region. That organization, like RCRC, uses creativity as a means to empower young people and encourage potential; I designed workshops on everything from shadow puppetry to break-up songs to explore and expand the boundaries of how our students viewed writing and themselves. As a performing and teaching bassist, building on that curriculum and program development experience musically, especially at RCRC, is a dream opportunity. And I even get to keep doing our graphic design!

A little more about me: I’m originally from Rochester, NY, although I’ve lived in the PNW for about a decade now; I studied bass and jazz/improvisational music at Lawrence University in Wisconsin (although I was an Ancient Greek major); I’ve played bass in a ton of different bands, and now, I mostly play jazz doublebass; My wife Sarah (a Montessori teacher) and I live in West Seattle, where we are lucky to have a killer view of sunrises; my previous job was the graphic designer for the awesome Central Co-op on Capitol Hill; I love pizza, dogs, baseball, and swimming in the ocean.

I can’t wait to work with everyone in this incredible community!



Lotto Bands!

‘Lotto Bands’ is a new opportunity to GET FIERCE! Participants will form a band with 3 other musicians of varying experience levels where you will collaborate and create, fiercely, together over one month. Band members will establish their own practice schedule and each band will be formed with at least one available practice space. (If you have a space available, please note this in the form.) The end goal is to have at least one original song and play at the showcase up to 15 minutes.

Women and gender-diverse people age 18+ who are ready to play in a band setting are welcome to apply. If you have done LRC at least once, you are ready!

For some, Lotto Band is that next step after participating in LRC to try out a (short term) more formal band setting. For others, it’s a way to shake things up with other ROCKERS or to try out an instrument they are less familiar with. For everyone, it’s a way to participate in RCRC community, get to know new friends, and practice getting FIERCE through playing music together.

Lotto Bands is brought to you by the LRC HYPE Committee, a group of LRC alum and volunteers who are dedicated to increasing engagement, participation, and fierceness in our community!

Key dates:
Kickoff – Saturday, 1/13/18, 1-3pm at Seattle Central College, 1701 Broadway, first floor atrium
Showcase – Saturday, 2/17/18, 6pm at Skylark Cafe, 3803 Delridge Way SW

Check out the APPLICATION for more details!

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!


99 Reasons to Volunteer at Rain City Rock Camp this Summer

Okay, maybe not 99.  But here are the top 10:

1. What we do.

This begs the question…what does Rain City Rock Camp actually do?  In a nutshell, we 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.  Yes, we agree, it is a pretty rad mission. This year we will run 4 weeks of Summer Camp, all sliding scale, all volunteer powered.  Campers come for a weeklong crash course in instrument instruction, songwriting, social justice/empowerment workshops and wacky camp culture.  At the end of the week, campers get to perform their original song with their band at a local live music venue.  In Seattle, this means the Crocodile.

2. Who we do it for.

Youth, 8-17, who identify as girls / gender non-conforming individuals.  We target this audience to shatter stereotypes around gender & music.

3. What camp can do for you.

Summer Camp is about pushing oneself, and that means all of us — campers, staff, and volunteers.  We’ve built a culture that holds us to our highest selves and turns fear into fierce.  We cheer each other on, keep each other accountable, and work together to make something remarkable.  To take ownership of your role as volunteer and then witness the outcome of your efforts — both in yourself and in the campers– is a transformative experience.

4. We need help.

Did I mention that Summer Camp is powered by volunteers?

5. We need YOUR help.

Yes you.  The magic of camp comes from the unique gifts that each of our volunteers offer.  Teach bass, coach a band, move around gear, prepare lunch, rock a weird costume, sell raffle tickets, take candid photos, contribute to a BRAVE, safe space, be an extra cheer in the crowd for our youth. If you have prior music experience, great! If not, your help is equally valuable. We embrace and cherish that which YOU are able to bring to camp.  You are enough to volunteer at summer camp and we want you on our team.

6. Uhh, to say we have a lot of fun is an understatement.  As evidenced by this…

…And this.

…And this too.

7.  Happy Hour 😀

At the end of each day of camp, we reward ourselves by continuing the party 21+ style at a local restaurant to celebrate our success and unleash the laughter.

8.  Meet an incredible community

Lasting friendships are made at Rain City Rock Camp.  Many of our volunteers have been with us since their very first camp experience, have joined bands with other volunteers, and have helped us raise the bar year after year after year.

9.  Be part of our vision.

We envision an equitable world that celebrates creativity, embraces authenticity, and values all voices.  If this resonates with you, please help us realize this vision.

10. #Get Fierce

Our theme for 2017 is Get Fierce. At Rain City Rock Camp, we play our music with pride and we fight for what we believe in. In the face of adversity, we aren’t sitting idly. Instead we are cranking up the volume, amplifying our message, spreading our reach, and calling on YOU to get fierce with us.  Join us.  Sign up.  Volunteer and be the change you want to see in your community.

Your summer camp experience starts here.

This is South Sound Ladies Rock Camp

There were many firsts at the 2017 South Sound Ladies Rock Camp in Tacoma. It was the very first Ladies Rock Camp held outside of Seattle—part of RCRC’s attempt to expand our reach and encourage more individuals to #getfierce with us. For many campers, it was also their first Rock Camp experience – new faces lit up the stage and inspired us all with their fierce willingness to try something new.   Lastly, it was the first Ladies Rock Camp that I would witness as a newly initiated staff member.

I showed up to The Mountaineers in Tacoma around 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon, the second day of camp. It was band practice, and recently written songs still in their infancy echoed throughout the space. The smell of baking cookies wandered out of the kitchen accompanied by bursts of laughter from the food crew within. Wendy, our front desk volunteer, greeted me ever so enthusiastically as soon as I poked my head through the door. So this is rock camp, I thought.

A little later on, Bo Po with Mo (Michelle’s body power workshop) inspired fierce self-love within us, as well as a sense of empowerment throughout the room. As we watched powerful media clips and engaged in activities that challenged us to practice radical body love, I thought, wow, this is rock camp too.

Flash-forward a few hours and the aura of empowerment must have stuck around because I was in a purple wig scream-singing Bonnie Raitt karaoke style as campers and volunteers danced interpretively with feather boas before me. All right then, I thought, this is ALSO rock camp.

The following morning Reese facilitated a fierce session of rock-aerobics and to get everyone hyped for the last day of camp as well as the impending showcase event later that evening. Although nerves were up, Reese had the campers roaring like lions and high kicking the air, which seemed to help. Typical rock camp moment, I thought (I was catching on).

When the evening rolled around, we all reconvened at Jazzbones, a proper dive bar fit to feature only the fiercest of rock bands (also a classic Tacoma venue). I was not quite prepared for the performances that were about to rock my socks off, nor was I expecting the level of inter-camp support I would witness afterwards. These campers had two and a half days to learn an instrument, join a band, write a song with original lyrics, and perform in front of a sizable crowd, and they absolutely killed it. They killed it, and they fiercely supported one another. The cheers that erupted during and after each performance were as inspiring as the songs themselves – a true show of what rock camp is. It was that moment after each band gave it their all and stood beaming on stage while being showered with love that I thought, THIS is Ladies Rock Camp.

Written by: Kate Hall

Fierce Activism

Tired of injustice?  Get fierce.  At Rain City Rock Camp, we believe in more than just getting fired up about what we care about—we believe in doing something about it.  To us, action is fierce, and we want to make taking action more accessible to everyone.  

Activism Made Easier

Intentional activism takes time and energy—it just does.  Whether it is jumping into a last minute rally, moving your social plans around to attend a political discussion, or weeding through social media posts to find ways in which to get involved, staying politically active is a choice and a commitment.  Since RCRC is in it for the long haul, we’ve been brainstorming some activism “hacks” to help us boost stamina so that we can continue to advocate for what we believe in.

  1.     Check Out Our Community Calendar

My Facebook events page is a mess and I often find myself imagining a better way.  The Community Calendar is way for folks to see what is going on in our community in one comprehensive space.  We dream that this will be a platform for events, rallies, discussions, workshops, and anything else relevant to fierce activism.  Go to the events page on our website to review our submission guidelines, submit an event, and check out what is happening.  Special shout out to Jenn Johnson and her magic tech powers for making this happen!

  1.     Keep a Protest Pack Handy

I learned a valuable lesson after dropping my dinner plans to attend a rally that lasted for 5 hours: hanger is real, and can be prevented with proper provisioning.  If you find yourself consistently attending rallies/protests, shave some time off your preparation process by having a “protest pack” ready to go.  Mine includes the following:

  •      Water bottle
  •      Granola bars
  •      Extra sharpies (for sign-making purposes)
  •      Hand warmers
  •      Chap-stick

Resistance does not imply self-deprivation, which brings me to my next point!

  1.     Fierce Self-Care

To effectively make an impact, we believe in showing up as our best, most rockin’ selves and staying awesome.  This takes self-care.  Whether it is making sure you have what you need to stand in the rain at a rally or asking for support when the news has you feeling down, take care of yourself!   Seriously.   We don’t have to be run down and ragged to show that we care about the world.  

How is RCRC Staff Getting Involved?

In any way that we can!  Each week at our staff meeting we share an instance of how we “got fierce,” and support one another in partaking in events that support both our mission and our personal beliefs.  

Additionally, tomorrow we will be honoring International Women’s Day by participating in “A Day Without Women,” a one-day strike demonstration of economic solidarity.  Translation?  We won’t be coming into the office to recognize the justice and human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people.

We understand that choosing not to work on Wednesday is a privilege, and that many individuals do not share this privilege.  Thanks to organizers of The Women’s March and International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled some additional ways in which you can get involved on Wednesday.

  •      Wear RED in solidarity
  •      Strike from paid and unpaid work
  •      Avoid spending money (with exceptions for small, women and minority-owned businesses)
  •      Host a screening of / watch “Embrace,” a documentary on body image (available on iTunes, YouTube, Amazon Video & Google Play for $3.99)
  •      Download and share A Day Without A Woman graphics here.
  •      Tweet and post what you’re striking for on 3/8 using the hashtag #IStrikeFor.
  •      Post a photo of yourself on social media with this caption: “A #DayWithoutAWoman is a day without me.”
  •      Be Bold. Take a Stand. Close the Gap. Read this.

Have Ideas?  Let Us Know!
Our intention is to help one another get involved in ways we are each able to, and in a way that is sustainable.  We welcome all ideas about how to do this, and encourage everyone to submit to our community calendar.  Thank you for reading and stay fierce!

2017 Theme Announced! GET FIERCE

2017 is going to be a year that challenges us.  We are going to encounter moments that will size us up and push our limits.  History is happening.  Reality is testing us.  The moment is now, and it is looking us in the eye and asking, what are you going to do about it?

Get Fierce.

As we gathered to discuss the theme for this year, we could not ignore the urgency of the present when considering our options.  Something was brewing in each one of us, prodding us to ask each other, what kind of message do we want to relay to our community right now?

Get Fierce.

At RCRC, we are bold.  We encourage one another to try instruments we’ve never played and sing in front of people we’ve never met.  Many of us show up to camp with no musical experience.  Some of us have never stepped on stage.  How do we find the courage to accept the challenge and tackle the moment?

We Get Fierce.

The fierce is already in us.  We know we have the power to make noise–we’ve felt it while rocking out onstage and in the company of our RCRC community.  We know that we can play our music with purpose and uncover unity and strength within moments of turmoil.  How can we apply the power of our voices to move towards progress?  

We can Get Fierce.

Maybe it is witnessing discrimination, or seeing justice overlooked. Maybe it is finding yourself overcome by nerves before playing a show.  Maybe it is being bullied.  Maybe it is feeling frustrated by how you are or are not represented in the media. In these moments, what can you do?

You can Get Fierce.  

We don’t believe in sitting idly.  At RCRC, we play our music with pride and fight for what we believe in.  Right now we feel it is imperative that we encourage ourselves and our community to find that inner fire within each of us and channel it.  How will we empower ourselves and each other to do this?

We will Get Fierce

Fierce is taking action. Fierce is being brave.  Fierce is using your voice.  Fierce is trying.  Fierce is making music.  Fierce is getting fired up about what matters to you.  Fierce is being okay with making mistakes.  Fierce is speaking up. Fierce is not backing down from what you believe in. Fierce is us.

Let’s Get Fierce.

Let’s start a movement of fierceness.  Had a moment where you stepped up and got fierce?  SHARE IT.  Tell us your story, post it to Facebook, email us, tweet about it, shout it out.  We want the fierce to be contagious—to pull us together and raise our voice.  Last year we explored how we are enough.  Now, we are enough to get fierce.
We love you, and may the fierce be with you.


Together, We Are Strong

We are living during an intense time.  As our phones buzz with updates and the internet hemorrhages information fraught with conflicting facts, we are all grappling to both understand and process the sudden political changes.  At RCRC, we are clutching our sense of empowerment and looking at ways in which we can support ourselves, our community, and ultimately that which we believe in most fervently.

More easily said than done?  Yes.  Nonetheless, we are willing to try, and ready to fight.  We’ve recognized that many people are looking for ways to get involved, as well as outlets for support.  Let us support one another and get involved together.

On January 21st, RCRC community members gathered to attend the Seattle Womxn’s March; the feeling was powerful, our message undeniably strong.  We want to continue to empower one another to advocate for what we believe in, and we have a feeling that this is much better done together!  In the spirit of activism in numbers, we will be hosting a monthly event for RCRC community members and friends to gather, grieve, vent, scream, support, and most importantly, take action.

Our next event will take place on February 8 (check it out here).  We will be writing to our senators to let them know what we are passionate about right NOW.  The point is for each of us come up with our own message, based on what we feel is important to us individually.  Whether it’s ending gender-based violence, reproductive rights and women’s health, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, disability rights, environmental justice or anything else.  We see this as an opportunity to assist one another in speaking up, while indulging in the support and love of one another.  During this event, our hope is that we can all put our heads together to come up with an idea for our next RCRC community activism event.

Additionally, as a means to stay informed and engaged, we will also be launching a community calendar.  This will serve as a platform for individuals to post local events, meetings, workshops, protests, etc.  More details are coming soon!

In the meantime, as you find yourself sifting through the news and feeling overwhelmed, we want to remind you that together, we are strong. Whatever reaction you might be having, it is valid.  Whatever emotions are coming up for you, those are also valid.  But we don’t have to experience this alone — we can reach out to one another, lean on one another, lift each other up, and work together to ignite positive change.

RCRC is here for you!

Shout Out! Seattle is back!

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!

Bands include:
Another Perfect Crime (VOLUNTEERS!)

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