Saturday night hundreds of people packed Olympia’s Capitol Theater to see dozens of young musicians perform their own original songs. The newly formed bands were the culmination of Queer Rock Camp, a week-long summer music camp that educates and empowers queer youth. The two-year old program is modeled after Portland’s Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls, and not only teaches kids how to be creative musicians, but also provides a positive welcoming community that allows these diverse young individuals to thrive and flourish.
Over the course of the week the young campers not only formed bands and learned how to play their instruments, they also participated in structured daily workshops on everything from songwriting, gender expression and choreography, to self-defense and silk-screening. The band showcase event highlighted the entertaining aspiring musicians, as well as the supportive local community that has worked so hard to make this program so very successful.
It was most heart warming to see so many loving and vocal family members and locals cheering on all of the bands as they took the stage to perform. The young people exuded confidence and enthusiasm as they each celebrated their beautiful freakiness and unique spirit. The fledgling musicians were awash in glee and excitement as they seemed to channel everyone from Diamanda Galás and Motörhead, to Sleater Kinney and Joey Ramone.
Here are a few more photos from last night’s festive event:
Show Your Support for Queer Youth
Queer Rock Camp (QRC) could not exist without the hard work of many unpaid volunteers who have organized this inclusive camp for queer youth and their allies. The collective’s mission statement explains that:
“…through instrument instruction, band practice, and workshops QRC aims to empower youth by building confidence, fostering and strengthening peer alliances and dismantling gender binaries. QRC aspires to promote queer visibility in music through L.G.B.T.Q.Q.I.A. and allied instructors, mentors, and visiting performers.”
If you can, please consider donating your time, funds or instruments to help support this worthwhile program for queer youth.