Girls Rock Philly is celebrating its 10th year with an anniversary gala and the launching of a new program for queer youth.
GRP formed in 2006 as a nonprofit responding to a gap in music mentorship for preteen and teenage girls. Its first program was a one-week summer camp, and the organization has since gone on to host a number of music-education activities for girls and women that promote leadership skills, creativity and artistic collaboration.
Diane Foglizzo, the organization’s program director and member of the local punk band Trophy Wife, said GRP alums and local artists are coming together for the anniversary celebration.
“It’s a going to be a circus of different elements,” she said. “We’re going to have a bunch of raffles and auctions. We also have performances from youth bands from this past summer and special guest performances from some local bands and collectives. We have a pretty exciting and dynamic lineup of performances.”
GRP is also launching a new program, safeSOUNDS, which is geared toward queer youth of all genders ages 13-19. It is a songwriting program where participants create original music and harness their creativity for self-advocacy and social change.
Foglizzo said GRP organizers realized their programs attracted a significant number of queer youth during their last few summer camps.
“It became more visible when we had programming specific to the age group,” she said about the group’s appeal to queer participants. Last year, Girls Rock Philly split its camp into two different sessions, one for those 9-12 and the other for those 13-18. “It was in the teen group that we were able to cater to where they were growing as teens. It was then that people were able to get into deep conversations about sexuality. A huge number of students came out during that camp. We knew we needed to get programming that meets youth where they are at and meets that demand.”
Girls Rock Philly hosts Sustaining Our Sounds 10-Year Anniversary Gala 6-10 p.m. Oct. 8 at The Icebox, 1400 N. American St. Girls Rock Philly’s safeSOUNDS program runs Thursdays 4:30–6 p.m. at GRP headquarters, 1428 Germantown Ave. For more information, visit www.girlsrockphilly.org.
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