About Girls Rock Bloomington
A Rock 'N Roll Camp for Girls, Trans, and Non-Binary Youth
The mission of Girls Rock Bloomington is to provide a summer day camp for girls of all identities and non-binary youth (ages 8-16) that teaches positive self-esteem and self-expression through music education and mentoring.
Open to girls, trans, and non-binary youth ages 8-16 and all experience levels.
For the in-person camp, scholarships are offered to five residents in need of financial assistance.
All instruments, amplification, and basic gear will be provided to campers.
Campers will get the opportunity to take music lessons, learn from experienced musicians and professionals, attend workshops, write their own original music with a band, and perform in a final concert.
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Girls Rock Bloomington presents
Songwriting & Social Justice Club
Every other Wednesday through December from 4-5:30 PM
Girls Rock Bloomington offers music mentorship and personal empowerment through a social justice lens for girls, trans and non-binary youth. In this class, we will be expanding upon our Summer Camp to offer a more in-depth exploration of Songwriting, Social Justice and how the two can uplift and inform each other.
There will be guest speakers and performers including local activists and musicians. Each student will write at least one original song inspired by a social justice issue that is important to them.
The songs will be performed at a Final Showcase Concert (via Zoom) open to the public on December 12. Proceeds from the Final Showcase will be donated to a local organization decided upon by the students. Instruments will be provided to those who need them via contactless pick-up. It will be a supportive and friendly environment open to all levels.
Founder & Camp Director
Amy Oelsner was the Assistant Director, Visual Art and Zine Making Program Director at Rhino's Youth Center from 2013-2018. During her time at Rhino's she co-created a music program called "Make A Band," in which Rhino's youth participants were supplied with instruments, gear and mentorship in starting their own bands, creating merch and performing at a final concert.
Before moving to Bloomington, Amy was the After-School Program Director, and volunteered as a guitar instructor and band coach, of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in Brooklyn, NY.
Amy is also a musician and songwriter who tours nationally with her band Amy O. She has played festivals such as SXSW, Fountain Square Fest, Culture Shock, MidWay Music Festival and MidPoint Music Fest- but she loves playing hometown shows in Bloomington most of all.
These opportunities gave her a passion for empowering girls, trans and non-binary youth through music, and she is thrilled to be bringing her experience to Girls Rock Bloomington.
iNTERIM cAMP dIRECTOR
In addition to playing guitar and bass in punk and indie rock bands for over 20 years, Cathleen has worked for record labels, organized tours and festivals, designed and made merchandise, and runs her own small business. She served as Volunteer Coordinator, band coach, and workshop leader for Girls Rock Bloomington in its first year, and happily takes on the role of Interim Camp Director for 2020, while Amy is on maternity leave.
After coming of age in and around the testosterone-heavy New York hardcore scene of the '90s, she found an encouraging musical home among the ladies and queers of Bloomington in 2002. Currently semi-retired from music herself (though still known to learn a set of songs at a moment's notice for a Halloween cover show), she feels passionate about showing girls, trans, and non-binary youth that their voices matter.