GR!C Staff

Meet the Staff!

Melissa Oglesby, Outreach Director | melissa@girlsrockchicago.org

Melissa began playing music at age 8 with the clarinet, had brief run-ins with guitar and piano and eventually settled into drums. She became interested in DIY culture in her formative years and began publishing zines at the age of 14. When writing about independent music was no longer enough, in true DIY fashion, she started making her own, regardless of musical ability. When she’s not advocating for women and girls, she can often be found in the company of cats, bikes and baked goods.

Kit Curl, Operations Manager | kit@girlsrockchicago.org

Kit discovered punk rock in his early teen years and instantly fell in love with its unpolished honesty. He loved to travel from his suburban hometown of Park Forest to shows in the big city, and is very pleased to finally live in Chicago. Previously, they had been living in Milwaukee, WI where they earned an MS in Cultural Foundations of Education and learned that they could fight for gender justice with the power of DIY! Kit worked with a collectively-structured business, organized shows at DIY venues, and started teaching bike repair classes for women and trans folks in a self-made space. He also worked for several years in adult education, youth education, and fund development at a shelter for the homeless in Milwaukee. He could not be more excited to combine his passions and talents to serve Girls Rock! Chicago!

Jess LeMaster, Program Coordinator | jess@girlsrockchicago.org

Jess grew up in the Southwest Missouri surrounded by the musical sounds of the Ozarks. She learned to the play the violin at 8 and finally started liking it 12 years later when she joined a rock band. Since then she’s been in a couple down-home, foot-stompin’ country bands where she learned how to setup and test her own sound. This need to be self-sufficient on stage led her to GR!C where she utilizes her knowledge of sound and gear setup to teach younger girls how to remain independent in a predominantly masculine industry. She also has a degree in printmaking and enjoys spending time screenprinting posters for herself, friends, and other musicians.

Kelsey Truman, Volunteer Coordinator | kelsey@girlsrockchicago.org

Kelsey fell in love with the spirit of Girls Rock Camp while living in Indianapolis, Indiana and volunteering with Girls Rock! Indianapolis. More recently, she studied nonprofit management and gender studies while living in Massachusetts, where she also had the opportunity to work with Girls Rock Campaign Boston. Kelsey believes that Girls Rock! Camp is a powerful community, where campers and volunteers alike can draw inspiration from collaboration and learn to amplify their voices. Kelsey is thrilled to return to the Midwest and join Girls Rock! Chicago as the Volunteer Coordinator. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys baking, getting lost in the city, and watching whole seasons of Degrassi in single sittings.

Mars Grass, Fundraising Coordinator | mars@girlsrockchicago.org

Mars picked up her first drum sticks in the fifth grade and never let go. Self taught, taking bits and pieces from different musicians she played with, she formed her own personal style and approach to drumming. She had a heavy gospel, blues, and jazz influence. Once she entered high school, she fell into the arms of punk rock. After going to many house shows and basement shows, she found comfort in the DIY atmosphere. She made her way to Chicago to escape the small town vibe and pursue her passion for music in a big city. She started throwing DIY shows out of her own basement–the same time that she first volunteered for GR!C as a drum instructor and band coach. Mars has always been passionate about encouraging and empowering voices that are not heard or do not have the confidence to try. She believes empowering our youth and encouraging independent thought and creativity is essential. Mars is currently drumming in Mr. Ma’am and Flesh Panthers. She enjoys playing guitar, singing, making playlists, and photography.

Britlynn Hansen-Girod, Gear Coordinator | brit@girlsrockchicago.org

Britlynn was born on the North Shore of Chicago on February 20th, 1988 at 9:32 PM which is most likely the exact time Rihanna was born. As Pisces, they have most things in common, including a love for music. Britlynn was gifted an electric guitar for her 10th birthday and loved it so much she immediately took it apart to see how it worked, ruining it in the process.  She has been playing guitar and reading obsessively about guitars and gear ever since, eventually reusing the parts of that destroyed first instrument to build a new guitar. Britlynn got involved with Girls Rock! Camps when she started volunteering at Girls Rock! Indianapolis, where she learned how to play bass. Britlynn is currently teaching herself to play the drums. She is excited to be Girls Rock! Chicago’s Gear Coordinator.

Alice Johnson, Recruitment Coordinator | alice@girlsrockchicago.org

…and infinitely more volunteers that donate their much appreciated time and energy to GR!C. Email info@girlsrockchicago.org to get involved.