Back in 2018, Girls Rock! Aotearoa launched with a core kaupapa of creating a world which is more equal and inspiring. Since then, the programme has gone from strength to strength empowering young wāhine and/or intersex, transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) youth through music.
In 2021, the Girls Rock! Pōneke team are proud to announce a name change, and the dates for the next holiday programme which will take place under the new moniker. The name came about in order to recognise and emphasise the diverse nature of the initiative. Pōneke organiser Ali Burns explains...
“Given the holiday programme is neither just for girls or just about rock music we decided a rebrand was in order to ensure everyone involved felt absolutely welcome and comfortable. We will still be keeping Girls Rock! Aotearoa as the overarching organisation name, but our Pōneke holiday programme going forward will be called To the Front”.
The To The Front name, gives a nods to the feminist punk Riot Grrrl movement of the 90’s, where the term was popularised by bands such as Bikini Kill as a way to encourage a safe space for women and gender minorities in the audience.
This year, the camp will take place at Wellington High School, utilising their fantastic music department and hall. Some activities and workshops will also take place next door on Massey University's creative campus.
Applications are now open for participants HERE, and also for prospective mentors, instrument instructors, and volunteers HERE. Applications close at the end of April.
What does the programme look like?
Participants aged 12 - 17 learn instruments, form bands, write original songs, and perform at a showcase, all guided by professional musicians in an inclusive environment. Alongside collaborative learning, participants will take part in workshops about DIY merchandise, mindfulness, and performance skills.
Why the programme exists?
We aim to create an inclusive, fun and welcoming space for our young people.
A recent report released by Massey University researchers found that “more than two-thirds of women in the music community (70.1 per cent) reported experiencing bias, disadvantage or discrimination based on their gender – seven times the rate of men (10 per cent)”.