Amplify Lawrence to resume in-person music camp for girls and gender-nonconforming youth this summer – The Lawrence Times

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During the week-long Amplify Lawrence Camp each summer, transgender or non-binary girls and youth are encouraged to be unabashedly themselves through music. Campers can form their own bands, write original songs and perform at one last live concert in front of the community.

After learning the basics of each instrument, campers choose whether they want to play drums, keyboards, bass or vocals. They are then placed in groups with an equal amount of each instrument represented.

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Due to COVID-19 safety measures, camps for the past two years have been virtual and semi-virtual, but volunteers and campers are excited to conduct an all-in-person camp this year.

“So many volunteers say, ‘I wish it was there when I was a kid,'” said Treasurer Erin Morris. “I really think the volunteers get as much out of it as the campers.

Camp director Katlyn Conroy said campers come in the first day feeling shy and nervous, but, without fail, by the end of camp everyone has transformed into confident rockers.

Photo added Katlyn Conroy performs at ACME, 847 Massachusetts St.

“The camp is very committed to the idea of ​​campers having autonomy,” Conroy said. “We want them to have the opportunity to open up, so we trust them, and we all operate on equal footing to have a good, relaxing time.”

In addition to working with their group members to master an original song and performance choreography, campers participate in empowerment workshops. They can take courses in subjects such as music history and DJing. A workshop allows them to make personalized group t-shirts.

Originally known as Girls Rock Lawrence, Amplify Lawrence has included campers of varying identities since its founding in 2015. But the organization changed its name in 2020 after campers insisted the name fit perfectly. to the values ​​and purpose of the organization.

Conroy sees himself younger in many young Amplify Lawrence. Through unconditional acceptance, she hopes campers will learn that being authentically themselves is enough.

“It’s a music camp, but it’s also about self-discovery. We want them to know it’s okay to be unique, it’s okay to feel different,” Conroy said. “Instead of focusing on physical appearances, like how cool they look, we try to build them up with compliments on the quality of their character and talent so they feel comfortable with themselves.”

And rock music isn’t the only genre campers can explore. Each participant has the opportunity to choose the musical genre, style and sound that suits him best.

Amplify Lawrence Camp 2022 will take place June 27-July 1 at the Lied Center, with the final showcase concert on July 2 at Liberty Hall. The camp is open to girls and others with marginalized gender identities between the ages of 12 and 18. Camper registration is open until April 25 at this link.

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Although the registration fee is $350 per camper, Amplify Lawrence offers funds so that children who wish to participate can do so. There is a section on the registration form that asks if and how much financial assistance is needed.

Amplify Lawrence is a member of Girls Rock Camp Alliance (GRCA), a global network that supports youth-centered arts and social justice efforts.

Behind the local magic hides a group of passionate volunteers because the camp is entirely based on volunteering. Generally, they look for volunteers who have similar identities to campers.

“The Amplify Lawrence Music Camp prioritizes the leadership of female, trans, non-binary and marginalized gender identities and asks our cisgender male volunteers to respect the importance of rebalancing the gender gap in music and leadership . We welcome the support of cisgender male allies in the following areas: food coordination, material delivery, street crew, and errands,” according to the Amplify Lawrence website.

Leaders are currently asking those interested in helping with Camp 2022 to register using this link before April 16, although they will continue to accept interest after. With campers, volunteers don’t need any prior musical experience to join.

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Equity reporter Maya Hodison(her) can be reached at mhodison(at)lawrencekstimes(dot)com. Read more about his work for The Times here. Check out his staff biography here.

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