Girls Rock Camp Houston, the musical summer camp for girls aged 8-18 that will take place this August, has started its formal fundraising process with a Kickstarter account, a local music showcase and a special visit to an area elementary school to recruit camp registrants and volunteers and to solicit donations. Founder and executive director Anna Garza said that the organization must raise $3,000 by August 1 in order for the camp to go on. That money will go towards instruments, supplies, materials and into the continuation of the camp in 2011. The nonprofit was invited by former Sugar Shack drummer Stefanie Paige Friedman, a teacher at Travis Elementary School, to set up a booth at the school's Fine Arts Night Thursday, where they hoped to spread the word about Girls Rock Camp to the students and their parents. A box was set up for donations to the camp. The organization's Kickstarter account - a Web site where people can make pledges to the cause - is already up to $343, but Kickstarter operates on an all-or-nothing fundraising strategy, meaning if Girls Rock Camp doesn't meet its goal by August 1, they won't see a penny of the pledges. Girls Rock Camp is offering small tokens of thanks to those who do donate - everything from 1" GRC buttons to tickets to the end-of-camp musical showcase. To help reach that target, Garza has also organized an all-ages benefit for next Saturday, May 22, at Dean's Credit Clothing downtown. The show will feature local bands Black Congress, Omotai, Elaine Greer, No Resistance and Mydolls. "It's hard to find bands that are all girls," Garza said, "So I tried to find local bands with powerful, prominent female musicians. I was looking for diversity because women musicians are diverse. We don't just play the Britney Spears or Lady Gaga kind of stuff." Even the poster for the show, which starts at 7 p.m., was designed by a woman, local graphic artist Molly Rodriguez, who also design the little-girl-channeling-Ziggy-Stardust logo for the organization. Entrance to the show is $8 at the door, and the organization will be accepting donations as well. Garza encouraged everyone to bring their future female rockers out to the show. "If we could raise $500 to $800 that would be great," she said. Local musician Jef Rouner has even pledged to donate a portion of his book sales to the cause. Rouner (who is also a Rocks Off correspondent) wrote a book about his time in the Black Math Experiment. A previous Rocks Off story led to his decision to donate.
I was inspired by (Rocks Off's) article on the Buzz, and the woeful lack of women in modern rock (Or classic rock either, for that matter, but I can't change that). So for the rest of May and the month of June I am donating 100% of my royalties to Girls Rock Camp Houston. The program is designed to build musical skills and self-esteem in hopes of turning today's shrinking violets into tomorrow's rock goddesses. The lack of estrogen in rock is sad. I grew up idolizing Lita Ford. The best man at my wedding was the female bassist from The Sinister Sirens. I want to see some girl's playing their damn instruments and not this American Idol crap.
If you can't make it to the concert next Saturday, Garza is also planning another fundraiser at Beaver's Ice House. Rocks Off will share more details on that event when we get them.
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