About Us

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Our Story

Girls Rock Columbia (GRC) started as the dream of a small handful of like-minded womxn in Columbia, SC in 2013 who noticed a lack of representation of womxn on stage in our local music community. This disparity is larger than just our music scene, and we recognize the position of power that comes from having a microphone and being able to express yourself. Girls Rock Columbia was founded to increase visibility and help foster confidence and leadership in girls, transgender youth, and gender non-conforming youth by using music as a platform for creative collaboration and sharing unique lived experiences in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Inspired by other Girls Rock Camp Alliance organizations around the world, we hosted our first weeklong music and empowerment Girls Rock Summer Camp in 2013 at Eau Claire High School. Five bands were formed from 17 campers and over 300 people came to our showcase at the Tapps Art Center – and to this day, we’re still growing!

Our Mission

To empower girls, trans, and gender non-conforming  youth through music education and activities that foster self-respect, leadership skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

We Value

  1. The power of music as a means to create personal change.
  2. Efforts that actively expand opportunities for folx.
  3. Positive approaches to fighting sexism.
  4. Integrity, honesty, and respect.
  5. Appropriate sharing of resources, cooperation, and collaboration.
  6. Using our collective voice to further our mission.
  7. Diversity.

Stories of Impact

Campers singing on stage

“I’ve had the pleasure of watching Girls Rock Columbia campers rock out at showcases for almost three years and have always wanted a turn. There’s nothing like watching an 8 or 9-year-old girl bang the drums without hesitation, without a care of who is watching or judging… it’s pure inspiration. I’ve always thought I was too old, too busy, and too ‘mommy’ to join a band at this point in my life and I realize now those thoughts were ridiculous. I’ve still got it world, so watch out! I’ve met some amazing people and some true friends.”

“It was incredible to meet other women and immediately feel their support, regardless of our differences. By reaching out to these kids, a lot of us were reaching inside ourselves. We were talking to the girls we used to be. We were telling them they were strong, they were brave, they were capable.”

I am so much more confident in myself! I feel that I can always voice my opinions. I learned how to talk to others and make friends, and that there are people like me out there fighting the same fight.”

“Last year, joining GRC meant marching up to these larger-than-life, powerful, creative, beastly women that I’d only admired from afar…and saying, ‘HEY PICK ME I WANT TO BE IN A BAND JUST LIKE YOU!’…[but] that’s not what has kept me here; it’s an ongoing sense of accountability and challenge, a network of activist souls pushing me to be my best, most authentic and empowered self. So this year, I’m performing again with dear friends who also happen to be my sheroes. Rock on, y’all.”

Want to get involved? Become a volunteer, attend one of our events or support our mission.