Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Perfect Partnership: Girls Rock! RVA + Richmond Public Library

This past August, the Main branch of the Richmond Public Library hosted the GR!RVA showcase performance outside in Library Park - and it was a smashing success.  The weather was warm but not hot, there was a live DJ from WRIR, some free refreshments and snacks, and Pedal Pops RVA provided discounted (just $1!) healthy frozen fruit treats to audience members.  The performances were stellar, and the library was so happy to have so many Richmonders spend their Saturday afternoon in our back yard.

I could not be more excited to announce the beginning of year-round programming from Girls Rock! RVA at the Richmond Public Library this October.  Programs will be available for girls ages 8-17.  

This partnership is thrilling for a number of reasons:
  • Girls Rock! RVA programming will utilize the library for one of its primary purposes: being a free community space accessible to all.
  • Both organizations are committed to free access.  The library provides free access to information, free classes, free skill-building and training workshops, and more, to all citizens.  GR!RVA is committed to keeping the camp free of charge, so that girls of any background are eligible to attend.  Year-round programming for GR!RVA would not be possible at this stage in the organization's development without the free space provided by the public library.
  • Girls Rock! RVA programming will be in line with the public library's motto: "Inform - Enrich - Empower."  In fact, the empowerment of girls is the main focus of GR!  Continuing to engage campers and other girls year round through free programming will exponentially increase opportunities for enrichment and learning.
  • Community engagement is a major goal of both the Richmond Public Library and GR!RVA.  Both organizations provide services to the community, but that service only counts if people can be reached.  It is the responsibility of both the library and GR! to inform the public of our purpose, mission, and services.  Both organizations rely heavily on grassroots support networks, newsletters, and social media to reach out to the community, and by partnering for year-round programming we hope to increase the visibility of both the library and GR! in the Richmond community.
  •  Both organizations actively seek to combat discrimination and oppression in our community through free access to learning opportunities.
  • Providing a safe and secure space for the expression of ideas is also a shared priority.
  • Providing volunteer opportunities to interested adults, promoting community service.  
  • Oh yeah - MUSIC!!!  The library has vast collections of sheet music, vinyl records, DVDs, CDs, books about music, music theory, and musicians and other formatted resources of all types and genres.  From James Brown to Vivaldi, it's here!  Girls Rock! engages young girls with music and promotes the idea that anyone can play, and anyone can appreciate music.  Rock camp isn't just about rock, it's about history, music appreciation, dancing, visual art, overcoming stage fright, questioning gender norms, confronting oppression, understanding simple time signatures (yes - math!!!), and the library houses resources to support these varied modes of learning and instruction.
Keep an eye out for our newsletter or pick up a Check It Out! brochure at your library branch to view upcoming programs.  You can also visit Richmond Public Library or Girls Rock! RVA on Facebook to get updates, or feel free to call us at (804) 646-7223!

Full disclosure:  I work for both the Richmond Public Library and Girls Rock! RVA.  Maybe you figured that out already.  Also, I am excited!

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