On Nov. 18, Hamtramck Korner Bar will host Mixtape Mixer, an event put on by Girls Rock Detroit, an organization that holds annual camps where girls learn to play instruments, write music, and form bands in an effort to promote positive self-esteem and collaboration.
Mixtape Mixer celebrates the female, trans, and gender non-conforming musicians that make up Girls Rock Detroit's volunteer community. The night will showcase 17 local acts, many of which have been playing the Detroit scene for years, including the Free Bleeders and Ex-American.
Since forming in 2015, Girls Rock Detroit has made a measurable impact on youth in the area. The mission of its parent organization, Girls Rock Camp Foundation — an organization that has hubs in 52 cities across the U.S and counting — is "to find and amplify girls' creative voices in a fun, supportive environment, building confidence that extends to every area of their lives."
Growing from 26 campers in 2015 to 61 this past summer, Girls Rock is continuing to fill a void left by the Detroit school districts. "I think that Girls Rock is crucial in Detroit because music and arts programs are being cut left and right, and I think it's just essential to youth development," says Melissa Coppola, executive director of Girls Rock Detroit. "And I also think it's a wonderful opportunity, for girls especially and folks who are typically marginalized in the music community, to see that there are role models and other people who are interested in doing what they want to do." This summer, local indie-pop favorite, Stef Chura, served as the camp's guest of honor, playing a private show for the campers and answering questions about her journey as a woman in the music field.
Aside from serving as an inspiring youth mentorship program, GRD is also an opportunity for adult volunteers to share their talents and collaborate with other women in the local scene. "We had nearly 160 people who volunteered their time this summer. These folks are so talented and from all walks of life and we really wanted to feature their projects," says Coppola. "All the people that you'll be seeing on stage are part of a project that they pursue year-round and have been working on for years, and we want to give them an opportunity to showcase that."
Fifty cassette mixtapes including songs from each act will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Longtime local artists featured are the Free Bleeders, Ex-American, G!rl F!ght, Scientific Sunshine, Allye Gaietto, White Bee, Deekah, Junglefowl, and Summer Like the Season. Other performances by the Trespassers, Terri Ellis, Paige Huguelet, Alayna Wil, Blue Pontiac, Composetheway, Gift Horse, Lotus Mortem and Girly.
Girls Rock Detroit is on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Hamtramck Korner Bar, 10001 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-974-6575; facebook.com/HamtramckKornerBar; Doors at 7 p.m.; $10 suggested.