Think of two or three of the most critically-lauded groups in the canon of rock music. Got some? Now, were there any women in those bands you imagined?
It's no secret: historically, the tools of rock and roll have been harder to access if you're a woman or young girl. But fortunately there’s an organization working to change this: Girls Rock Philly is a nonprofit music and mentoring organization dedicated to empowering girls and young women to start bands and play music. And so, last Thursday, the Free Library was thrilled to host an event with them.
An Instrument Share is a program that started all the way in Washington DC with DC Public Librarians and Girls Rock DC. Librarians from the Free Library thought it would be great to nurture this cooperative program here in Philly. After all, when you think about it, we librarians are commited to building libraries where everyone can share and access our community's knowledge and resources.
And so, on Thursday at the South Philly Library, Girls Rock program director Diane and a crew of dedicated Girls Rock volunteers set up shop with guitars, bass, drums, keyboard, mics, and percussion instruments. Free Library librarians were ready with selections of books and music about women in music. And once all the guitars and keyboards and mics were plugged in outside the library, the open jam session resounded out onto Broad and Morris. Kids rushed over to smack drums for the first time. Library work study students learned guitar chords. Folks came in from off the street, and the music was loud enough to drown out the Summer ice-cream trucks clanging down Broad Street.
And as you would expect from two institutions dedicated to advancing access for all, it was a sensational event. And it's not over: the next Instrument Share will be held at the Eastwick Library on June 25th.
And TODAY, join Girls Rock Philly’s teen program, Shark Tank, as they rock in at the Parkway Central Library in a Teen Summer Reading kickoff!