WHO WE ARE
We are Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and we think girls ROCK.
Since 2005, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls has changed the lives of more than 1,500 girls and young women.
Willie Mae is an after school program where girls can be loud, explore new ideas collaboratively, and take charge of their own creative expression. Willie Mae is a summer camp where girls and young women from all walks of life come together and find their voices.
Willie Mae Music Lab is a mentoring program that gives teen girl bands the chance to perform their own original music at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Intrepid, and at street festivals everywhere, with no apologies and no boundaries.
Our programs are accessible to all girls -- families pay tuition according to what they can afford – no more, no less. We offer reduced tuition to more than two-thirds of our after school students, many of whom receive full scholarships. Fifty-percent of those we serve come from families that make less than $40,000 a year.
Our campers and students don’t just learn power chords – they come away with the powerful feeling of “I can do anything.” And they take that feeling with them – to school, to the playground, to the workplace.
We are a community of 150+ volunteers, a small staff, a dedicated, all-female Board of Directors, and 400 girls, young women, and trans youth who participate in our programs every year.
Our core after school program, Willie Mae Music Lab, offers instruction in drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals, coaches and practice time for two house bands, weekend workshops, free instrument rentals, and now....the new drop-in Clubhouse.
WHAT WE NEED
We are raising funds to cover the set-up and 2013 operating cost of our wonderful new Clubhouse for our after school students. Until this year, our students came for class, rocked out, and then went home each day, with minimal opportunities for hanging out and building community together.
Now, with Clubhouse, our 35 after-school students can drop in any day, even when they don’t have class, and meet friends, read ‘zines and articles from the reading library, listen to music, make art, hang out and just be themselves. The Clubhouse is a dedicated one-room space adjacent to Willie Mae’s main office in the Clinton Hill/Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. It’s open Mondays - Thursday 3:30 - 6:15 p.m.
The Clubhouse is staffed by our fabulous Clubhouse Counselor - mentor Amy Oelsner - who facilitates activities, chats with students, posts a question of the day, cheers on dance parties and is generally awesome!
We’ve just gotten access to the space, after using a temporary space, but we haven’t gotten to really set it up. There’s some donated furniture, and we’re using some borrowed chairs, but we still need lamps, comfy floor pillows, a rug, coathooks, art supplies, storage cubbies and a ‘zine library!
The total cost of setting up and operating Clubhouse in 2013 will be $15,000. While we have some foundation support funding part of the overhead costs, there’s still a lot left to pay for! Our goal is to raise $7500 to cover the cost of initial room set-up, supplies and staffing.
We believe in the transformative power of a dedicated space for girls and young women from all over NYC to co-exist, collaborate, converse, and learn from one another.
Clubhouse just opened in November 2012 in its new space, and everyone is just starting to decorate it with their art. The project doesn’t have an end date -- we hope Clubhouse will be there as long as there are girls who want to hang out and talk about music and make art in a space that’s safe and fun!
The people who will benefit directly from this project are the amazing girls who come to Clubhouse every day -- the 15-year-old guitarist/vocalist who is home-schooled and psyched to hang out with her peers, the 11-year-old drummer who travels from Staten Island for lessons and Clubhouse time, the sisters (ages 7 & 12) who travel together and hang out in the Clubhouse almost daily. Clubhouse belongs to them, and from Day 1, they have known how to make it their own, through their art, their words, their actions, and their music. The students use the clubhouse an average of 20 hours/week.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
There are many ways to support Clubhouse. Yes, we need the contributions, but we also need ‘zines, art supplies, board games, youth-friendly books, and more….
Beyond money and physical items, we REALLY need your help spreading the word about this campaign - email your friends, post it on Facebook & Twitter, shout it from the rooftops!
“Like” Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls on Facebook (http://facebook.com/williemaerockcamp) and follow us on Twitter @williemaerock to stay in the know about Rock Camp news and events.
Thanks in advance for your support...