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PHILLY : STAKE

Girls Rock Philly were awarded an $800 grant at Stake #4, November 13, 2011.

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would you accomplish:
Girls Rock Philly would like to create a lending library of books, zines, journals, videos, CDs, and other ephemera in support of the empowerment of girls and women through music. This would include resources on Instrument Instruction (Songbooks), Musical Theory, Feminist Theory, Gender Identity, Musical Compilations focusing on Women and Girls, Biographies of female musiciand, and Instructional Books on such topics as Music Recording, Songwriting, Sound Engineering, Booking Live Shows, etc. The library would be initially available to Girls Rock Philly campers (past and present), their families, and our volunteers, with the hope of expanding the library’s influence to the greater Philadelphia community once we’ve established the collection.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $750 is your imaginary budget:
We will use the $750 to 1)Purchase books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, etc from local Philadelphia booksellers and music outlets. 2)Offer compensation to GRP volunteers or other area people interested in selling related 'zines or other obscure but useful resources to GRP. 3)Purchase shelving, bins, and any other necessary storage needed to house the collection and 4)Purchase stamps, labels, etc necessary for tracking the collection.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed:
Girls Rock Philly just completed its 5th year (!!!) of programming centered around a week-long day camp for girls 9-17. The campers receive instrument instruction, form a band with other campers, write original music, and perform their original songs at the end of the week for a crowd of hundreds! The showcase day is the best day of the year! The camp empowers girls through music, but offers workshops teaching the History of Women In Music, Image & Identity, and Zine-Making in addition to the musical content. GRP is entirely volunteer-run, and as the Volunteer Coordinators for the organization, we look to the other volunteers as well as the campers for inspiration and examples of strength and talent. We also happen to be librarians, so the idea of the GRP library came out of a desire to harness the magic and knowledge gained by the campers and volunteers during camp week and to keep it going with resources throughout the year. There are few places outside of Girls Rock Camp where young women can feel so free to express themselves honestly and without the trappings of media and social pressures. Also, the GRP library would fill a void -- there is no collection of this kind in Philadelphia.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community?:
Girls Rock Philly already provides a safe, encouraging, empowering environment for young women in Philadelphia through our camp. Unfortunately, we struggle to help young women maintain the strength and perspective they gain at camp throughout the year. The Girls Rock Philly library will be incredibly helpful for offering local girls and women support and information to continue their growth and feeling of empowerment in the community. A safe and supportive place where women can learn, play music (GRP already lends instruments), and leave with the resources to do more for themselves and to reach out to their community. This sort of environment is far too rare for girls, and we hope the GRP library can take us one step further in providing a community safe space for women young and old to shine.

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