Who Run the World? ‘Boys for Girls’ raises money for girls who rock
“Hey, what are you doing this Saturday?”
That’s a common refrain many of us hear throughout the week.
On any given Saturday, I’m making the rounds of my favorite local venues, looking for a great local show. Does that sound like your kind of weekend?
Featuring four popular local music acts, and emceed by ‘Boys’ podcast hosts Joshua Montgomery and Robby Ray Harris, the event will also feature a raffle, with prizes offered from Anthem Brewing, Bombs Away Art, Broad Shoppe, Fat Bison, Keeley Electronics, Monoxide, and other local businesses. Attendees will pay $5 at the door, and can pay additional money to be entered into the raffle – and 100 percent of the proceeds from the night will benefit the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC.
Meet the Girls: Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC
The Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC is a volunteer-run, one-week day camp in OKC, taking place this year July 10-14, that helps empower girls and boost their self-confidence through music.
In that one week, 56 campers, ranging in age from 8-17 will get the opportunity to learn guitar, bass, drums, vocals or keys. The girls form bands, then write and perform an original song on the final day of the camp, at the Freede Little Theater inside the Civic Center.
“A lot of campers have never played before and in one week they learn … from local female musicians and perform at our local Camper Showcase,” said Carter Sampson, founder and director of Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC.
The week also features uplifting workshops in self-defense, screen printing, body image, and women in music and songwriting.
“We are a music camp, but we really focus on empowering each other and embracing our individuality,” Sampson said.
The Boys (and boys) for girls
As for the performances, Boys (the podcast) and boys (quite a few boys, in the bands) have rallied together to support the girls’ cause. According to Sampson, Saturday’s event was totally put together by the four bands that are playing.
“They are local guys who wanted to help, and it makes me so happy to know we have the support of men in our community,” Sampson said.
So who are the boys of ‘Boys For Girls,’ and why are they coming together on Saturday for this cause?
The Boys podcast is hosted by Josh and Robby, and explores the trials of growing up before the Internet. At almost 60 episodes strong, the podcast has featured many locals you might know: comedians, local business owners, musicians, and other notable faces from the Oklahoma City scene.
Chase Kerby is fresh from a Chase Kerby + the Villains performance at the Speakeasy last weekend, but returns for a solo set at this Saturday’s benefit. Kerby says he jumped at the chance to be a part of the event.
“I think it’s incredibly important to act in solidarity with an organization that aims to encourage women’s creativity and get involved in a predominantly male industry,” he said. “As someone who’s played music for the majority of his life, I think it’s vital to help pave the way for younger generations, through setting a good example and encouraging them to strive for their best.”
Johnny Manchild and the Poor Bastards are also on Saturday’s bill, and will be providing pretty melodies and thrashing tunes. Frontman Johnny Manchild emphasized the importance of getting younger generations, especially women, involved in music.
“I think it’s important to get them involved because they have unique perspectives that aren’t being heard if they never get the chance to write and perform,” he said. “We might miss out on some great songwriting and storytelling, and that’s too tragic a loss to allow as far as I’m concerned.”
Local rockers Don’t Make Ghosts were so excited to be a part of Boys For Girls, they even made a video promoting the event. Bassist Dirk Mathews, who’s played music since he was a child, talked to me about how near and dear the cause is to his heart.
“I wish something like this was around when I was younger,” Mathews said. “I’m so stoked that Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC is empowering these young girls to try their hand at music. And it’s rad to see this lineup of dudes that care so much about the local music scene, come together to help an organization that is shaping our future music scene.”
“There is a deep passion for well-written songs in my soul, and I want to pass that flame on to these youngins,” he added. “My hope is that they can learn to push all of their boundaries and lose any fear they have of expressing themselves.”
Rounding out the musical acts Saturday night is Shut Up Matt Jewett. Although the pop punk band is hard at work recording, and has seen some lineup changes over recent months, lead singer and guitarist Matt Jewett-Williams was instantly on board after hearing about Rock and Roll Camp for Girls from a friend out of state.
“When I found out there was one in Oklahoma City, I wanted to help any way I could,” he said. “The idea of helping any child learn to play and make music excites me.”
The fact that the camp is empowering young girls is just another reason he was so excited.
“Music isn’t a boys’ club, and anyone, regardless of race, gender or orientation has a story to tell,” he added. “The more stories told, the better. The more diverse the group of people we can get telling their stories, the better.”
With four great musical acts, two witty emcees and a raffle, and 100 percent of the event’s proceeds going to such a good cause, what better plans could you possibly make for a Saturday night?
See you there!
For more information about Boys For Girls, view the Facebook event here.
Camper spots at the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC are completely full for 2017, but join their mailing list on their website to find out about future programming.