Way back in 2012, Candace Hansen  set out to organize a chapter of Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Orange County . For seven years volunteers, passionate about the camp’s goals worked hard to create something needed in our community. “I know that as a result of this program, hundreds of young girls, trans and non binary youth have had an experience that they may have not been able to have without this opportunity,” Hansen says. The camp that focused on building community while empowering girls and queer youth through music education and workshops closes it’s chapter this Saturday.
“To do revolutionary work is not always a sustainable model”, continues Hansen, “We started in 2012 when we were all younger and our lives have changed. On top of that this program is completely sliding scale, and nobody ever got paid because we cared so much about it”. Through the five seasons it ran, Rock n’ Roll camp was able to transform the community and bring people together. The workshops varied on subjects from body positivity to race and class oppression, cultivating a generation of hate fighting revolutionaries. The torch of progressive thought and feminist punk values has been passed on to friends of the camp who are already working on starting a music program designed for women of color centered in Santa Ana.
On Saturday, May 11th there will be an official goodbye event celebrating everything Rock Camp has brought to the lives of those involved. “We’re having this party to celebrate the work that we’ve done together and to acknowledge that nothing can last forever” Candace says. There will be a graduation filled with recollections and memories from both former and current volunteers, organizers, and students. After the event they will be distributing Rock Camp instruments and memorabilia for students to take home. Organizers of the camp wants the gear to go to those who have supported this project from the beginning. Anything else will be donated to a Santa Ana based music organization.
“As it stands, this Saturday is the closing of this chapter, but I hope that it’s the beginning for many people to become inspired by the work we’ve all done together. Hundreds of people have come together in this community since 2012 and I hope it inspires people in their own individual pursuits or their creative process and working towards a more equitable future for everyone but also that it will inspire new projects” says Hansen.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls OC Graduation/Closing Party will take place May 11th at the
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with no cover charge.