We are thrilled to introduce the newest member of our team, our volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Katie Teston through an interview with our Operations Manager, Kit Curl: Kit Curl: Hi, Katie! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Girls Rock! Chicago.
Katie Teston: I’m Katie Teston. I grew up in Chicago, and I am currently studying sociology, American Sign Language, and music at DePaul University. I have been singing in operas, choirs, bands, and as a solo artist since I was ten years old. I love to sing–mostly jazz, blues, soul, and pop. I started at Girls Rock! Chicago as an intern and immediately fell in love with the mission. It is incredibly important to me that girls, gender non-conforming, and trans youth have a space to utilize music to express their ideas and feelings, while also learning the power of their voices in this world. It is important to me that all Chicago kids have the opportunity to experience music they want, and need it. I am the Outreach coordinator; I recruit campers and volunteers!
KC: And what are your career and/or life goals?
KT: I don’t have a clear cut picture of what I want, BUT I can say I want to be creating, performing, and teaching music!
KC: Tell us more about what made you fall in love with the Girls Rock! Chicago mission.
KT: Growing up in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system showed me how detrimental budget cuts are to students’ exposure to music. It also showed me how impactful music is to Chicago’s youth, and it brings me nothing but pure joy to be able to help create a space for them. I also love helping empower anyone who is oppressed! As a woman of color in the music industry, it is incredibly important to me that kids understand they have the same capabilities as anyone else out there.
KC: How will you connect that feeling to your work at Girls Rock! Chicago?
KT: I am excited to create a presentation to inform CPS students about GR!C! Our goal is to recruit people from all over Chicago!
KC: 2017 was your first summer volunteering with us. Do you have any favorite memories from camp?
KT: Our kids are funny beyond belief, so this is hard to narrow down. I do have a good moment though: My 8-11 year old band wrote a song called “We Are So Much More;” I feel like the title speaks for itself.
Katie leading band practice.
KC: It speaks volumes! If you’re comfortable sharing, do you remember the first injustice you faced because of your gender? Has that influenced you in any way to fight against oppression?
KT: I don’t have a specific moment in my mind, but I think I started realizing that I don’t like it when men treat me like i’m stupid when I was around six years old.
KC: It is heartbreaking how early we begin facing such oppression. But it can serve as a catalyst. Beyond Girls Rock! Chicago and your studies at DePaul, in what other ways are fighting for social justice in your life?
KT: I speak up. When I hear, see, or find people being oppressive in everyday life, I say something about it. I support people in my city! I protest.
KC: That is courageous! As you know, GR!C uses music as a tool for change. Can you tell us about the role that music plays in your life?
KT: My major and minors are dedicated to my desire to help people and create peace. Music is for me. It has been one of the major forces in my life that has made me unconditionally happy.
KC: And finally, who are your favorite musicians and/or bands?
KT: I’ve been listening to a lot of Iris Temple lately. I love listening to Lianne La Havas, SZA, Gibbz, Beyonce, Eryn Kane, Lake Street Dive, Etta James, Ella, Alabama Shakes, Childish Gambino, The Black Keys, and so much more. I listen to a lot of R&B, listening to more hip hop.
You can talk to Katie about getting involved with GR!C at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie & Volunteer Coordinator, Kelsey Truman.
Let's Rock! Camp Registration Now Open
Do you wish you had Girls Rock! Camp when you were younger? Do you want to learn the basics of a rock instrument and play in a band? Let’s Rock! Camp is for you! This is your chance to collaborate with other folks to form your own band and write an original song in a safe and judgement-free space. By the end of this weekend, you’ll feel ready to perform your song at one of the best music venues in the city, The Promontory! Empower yourself and all of your bandmates, just like Girls Rock! Chicago campers do!
NO MUSICAL EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY!
Dates Friday, February 16th – Monday, February 19th, 2018 Where Camp: Josephinum Academy (1501 N. Oakley Blvd, Chicago, IL)
End-of-Camp Extravaganza: The Promontory (5311 S. Lake Park Ave W, Chicago, IL)
Date: Saturday, December 9th Time: 12 PM – 6 PM Location: The Rookery, 2109 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622 Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/188982168335583
Girls Rock! Chicago (GR!C) is excited to be hosting a handmade pop-up market at The Rookery (2109 W. Chicago Ave.) during the West Town Chamber of Commerce Winterfest. The event will take place on Saturday, December 9, 2017 and will include local businesses all over West Town. There is no charge to enter the market or peruse any shops involved in the Fest, and Fest-goers can enjoy free refreshments and children’s activities in the Shapiro Ballroom as well. The Market is also a benefit for Girls Rock! Chicago. All of the Vendors will make a donation to the organization. So stop by, let’s be merry, shop local artisans and stores, and support a great organization!
Girls Rock! Chicago will also be participating as a vendor. GR!C is a nonprofit dedicated to building socially just community with girls, transgender youth, and gender non-conforming youth by developing leadership, fostering self-esteem, and encouraging creative expression through music. You can pick up limited edition t-shirts and tote bags designed and printed by local artists, CDs of the original songs written by our campers, locally screen-printed posters of your favorite women in music, and more at the GR!C table.
We are also recruiting vendors!!
We’re looking for makers of all sorts–knitters, jewelers, woodworkers, stitchers, and more–to join us for this pop-up market. Vendors are asked to donate $50 to enter and will keep all of their proceeds throughout the day. We will provide a table and chair, and both Girls Rock! Chicago and the West Town Chamber of Commerce will be marketing the event. Please email email@example.com with a sample of your work to apply.
YOU'RE INVITED! 8th Annual Autumn Auction
Please join us for Girls Rock! Chicago’s Eighth Annual Autumn Auction on Thursday, November 16th at the beautiful Chicago Athletic Association Hotel from 6 – 9 PM. We’ll be serving cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with plenty of unique items and experiences for you to bid on.
Girls Rock! Chicago values each and every one of our volunteers. We recognize that many of our volunteers take unpaid time off from work to spend their week at camp, and that many others simply can’t afford to make that sacrifice. In an effort to welcome and support more people who want to volunteer but can’t afford to miss hours of work, we are offering financial aid to volunteers.
We are able to offer a limited number of stipends of up to $150 per person per camp week. This can also include Ventra passes for getting to and from camp throughout the week. We will carefully consider each application on a case-by-case basis and award financial aid as generously and fairly as we possibly can.
Girls Rock! Chicago is committed to uplifting people and communities who have been historically marginalized and silenced. As a conscious effort to welcome and elevate people of color in our volunteer base, we are reserving fifteen full awards for volunteers of color only. We believe that our volunteer mentor demographics should reflect our camper demographics.