Tag: san francisco

#BeAmazing & The 10th Anniversary of Glitter & Razz

Did you know that 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of our business, Glitter & Razz Productions?

Back in 2006 when Allison and I made the bold & brave decision to take this little summer camp we had be doing for a few years in San Francisco and turn it into something bigger.  We registered our business name, got our tax id number, opened a bank account, and set up shop.

Allison and me in one of our very first promotional photos for Glitter & Razz.
Allison and me in one of our very first promotional photos for Glitter & Razz.

This is why this year’s theme – #BeAmazing – is so important to us.  After a decade of saying yes to ourselves and our vision, celebrating our successes, learning from our failures, and working with hundreds of amazing kids, families, and teaching artists – we know first hand just how powerful and impactful it is when women and girls take center stage.  The idea behind our #Be Amazing theme is that 600 girls will take a virtual journey across Earth, Water, Sky, and Space declaring just how amazing we are.  Imagine the changes that kind of declaration can have on our world!

So, when we thought about how to best capture the spirit of this this theme, we, of course, turned to an artist.  And not just any artist.  We called Hannah Hammond-Hagman.  Hannah was the very first art teacher we ever hired back in 2003 – before we were a business of our own – running “Glitter & Razz Summer Theater Workshops” at the Marsh Youth Theater in San Francisco.  We LOVED Hannah.  Everyone did!  So much so that we worked together for a couple of years and became good friends.  Allison and I have a number of Hannah’s pieces in our home, including original multi-media pieces that she created especially for our wedding in 2006 (yes…another important 10 year anniversary!)

2016 Camp Poster

Because of all of this, I knew that Hannah was the perfect person to create our #BeAmazing image.  She enthusiastically agreed to do it (with a very tight turnaround, thank you very much) and now this gorgeous piece of art exists in the world.  I am honored that the original 30in x 22in piece is hanging in our home and I am grateful that I get to share it with all of you as part of our camp posters and postcards (graphic design by the very talented Jessica Arana).

The Go Girls! Camp #BeAmazing Expo:

To introduce #BeAmazing to our community, we are hosting a free event in San Francisco that we would love for you to attend – The Go Girls! Camp #BeAmazing Expo will be held at the Innovation Hangar on Saturday March 19 from 10am-12pm.  In celebration of Women’s History Month, there will be games and play and art-making for the entire family as well as some education about girls and women who have dared to declare themselves and change the world.  We hope to see you there!


HHHpicHannah Hammond-Hagman is a working artist residing in her Midwestern hometown after years on the East and West coasts. In her work over the past twenty years in arts education and arts and cultural non-profits, she has had the privilege to work with students from kindergarten to college age in the classroom and out in the community.  She remains committed to producing and designing creative curriculum and events that promote creative economic development and placemaking from the neighborhood level to the state level. She believes in the power of the arts to transform lives and communities, and nourishes this idea in her pedagogical practice, her studio practice, and her personal life.

Most recently, she has co-founded Community Supported Arts Valparaiso, a program that supports local artists in the creation of new works by selling future shares from those artists. The program has grown regionally in its second year. Learn more at csartvalpo.com.

Hannah earned her Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Indiana University, Bloomington. She lives in her hometown with her husband and son.

Violet & Joyce

I am a Go Girl! because Go Girls! makes girls confident about who they are. I went from really shy to not so shy (but I am still a little shy) because the Go Girls! teachers helped me feel more strong and confident than I was feeling. They subtly taught us through exercises and art work. I like that we did the performance and that made me more confident about talking to others and not being afraid to speak up. Instead of walking with my arms crossed and looking down at the ground I’m walking proudly. Go Girls! has taught many girls to be proud of themselves instead of trying to change who they are. Go Girls! is an amazing camp!”

– Violet, age 9, a Go Girl! since 2013


Violet and Joyce

“When Violet started Go Girls! Camp 2 years ago, she was a sad and lonely child who felt friendless and powerless. My mother and I both noticed the amazing changes in her after that first summer. She would greet people! She started saying things like “I’m amazing!” She started being able to chat with the kids at school. Go Girls! truly helped her feel like she has worth, she matters, and she has something to say and to give the world. I am so very very grateful to Go Girls! for this.”

– Joyce Slaton, San Francisco mom, writer and blogger at BabyCenter.com


Come See a Go Girls! Camp Show this Summer

Go Girls! create and perform their very own peaceful and powerful plays that we believe will change the world.

On June 27, 64 Go Girls! performed for packed houses of family and friends in Oakland and Berkeley.  Maybe you were there to experience the magic.  If you weren’t no problem.  You have plenty of chances before the summer is over.

2014 Show dates image



OAKLAND: College Avenue Presbyterian Church, 5951 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618 (in the Sanctuary)

BERKELEY: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA, 94709 (in the Theater)

SAN FRANCISCO: Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (in the Theater)

ALAMEDA: Lincoln Middle School, 1250 Fernside Blvd, Alameda CA, 94501 (in the Auditorium)

HOOPA*: Hoopa Valley High School, 5 Loop Road Hoopa, CA 95546 (in the Auditorium)

*Go Girls! Camp Hoopa was funded by the generous donations of folks just like you as part of our successful “Start Some Good” Campaign in 2013.

3 Simple Ways to Help you Choose a Summer Camp in the Bay Area

Some of you are like, “Are you crazy?  You have to be on top of it to get into the camps you want.  I’ve had my summer 2014 schedule planned before Christmas, thank you very much.”  Some of you are like, “Are you crazy?  It’s January!  I can’t think about summer camps yet.  Where ever there is still space is where my kid will go.”  And, you know what, you are both right.  After over a decade in this summer camp business now, I find that both and all kinds of parents are successful at getting their kids into super cool summer camps.  You know why?  Because summer camp is just generally super cool…that’s why! Whether your kid is into the arts, or sports, or science, of nature, or ANYTHING ELSE, you can find a summer camp where she will get to do that thing, ALL DAY.  I can’t think of anything better than that.

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The Top 5 reasons you want to work at Go Girls! Camp this summer

Go Girls! Camp is growing and hiring all positions for our 2014 Summer season.  And today is the deadline for getting us your resume.  Just in case you aren’t sure if you should apply or not, here is some motivation.

Here are the top 5 reasons you want to work at Go Girls! Camp this summer:

  1. You are ready to join the Compassion Revolution – You see it too, right?  Disengagement, distrust, disconnection in our schools, workplaces, communities.  Like us, you believe that we humans have the power and the desire to come together, to care about each other, to work through our conflicts in peaceful and powerful ways.  This actually happens at Go Girls! Camp.  No exaggeration.  Here’s how we do it.
  2. You want to spend more time with creative, empowered, and positive women and girls – We require that our community of teaching artists possess “Positive Energy,” “A curious and reflective mind,” “Impeccable social/emotional skills,” and “Chutzpah.”  And, of course!  These are the qualities we are modeling for our girls.  You know you want to hang out with people like this.  We all do.
  3. You want to learn more about how to support the social/emotional health of girls (and boys too) through the arts – Go Girls! Camp co-founders, Allison Kenny and Lynn Johnson, have created the Go Girls! methodology based on their 2 decades of experience as theater teaching artists dedicated to personal transformation and community change.  They know their stuff and you want to learn it.
  4. You want to hang out in some of the funnest parts of the Bay Area – San Francisco’s SOMA district. Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto.” Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood.  The heart of downtown Santa Cruz.  C’mon…these are fun places to work, right?
  5.  You want to be a Go Girl! yourself – Everybody who works for or has worked for Go Girls! Camp (both women AND men) can talk on and on about how much the skills and messages have affected our lives personally.  We have worked on our own courage and confidence in the face of new opportunities.  We have battled our own inner perfectionist critics.  We have developed stronger boundaries as we navigate the world.  We have become Go Girls! ourselves…which is the absolute best part.

Work at Camp FB Call Out

Gratitudes and Resolutions from Go Girls! Camp

These campers from our first ever Glitter & Razz camp are now juniors in high school!
These campers from our first ever Glitter & Razz camp are now juniors in high school!

In the summer of 2003, Glitter & Razz began our life as a special program of the Marsh Youth Theater in San Francisco.  The MYT director, Emily Klion, had already made a reputation of incredibly innovative programming for older youth.  She approached Allison and me because she was interested in serving younger kids and wanted to partner with folks to create a summer camp for that age group.  It was auspicious timing for us.  Allison and I met while teaching at a summer camp just the year prior.  We had already been envisioning and making plans for the summer program we wanted to create one day.  Emily’s call brought that day closer than we could have imagined.  We premiered our camp that summer doing what we do best – working with young kids to create and perform their own peaceful and powerful plays.  We ran the Glitter & Razz camp at the MYT for 6 summers before moving to the East Bay and setting out on our own.  To this day, we are so grateful to Emily and the Marsh for giving us our first home.

That was 10 years ago.  We have actually lasted for 10 years.  Can you believe it?  And we haven’t simply “lasted.”  We have transformed and evolved and failed a little and succeeded a lot.  2013 marks our most successful year ever by any measure.  So, it would be utterly sinful to let this year pass us by without stopping to reflect.  As is a Glitter & Razz tradition, we must celebrate the past year in order to make some goals and set our intentions for the year ahead.

We celebrate:

Our newest, youngest Go Girl!, Ruby Noelle Weglarz, is not afraid to be her true self all over the Go Girls! t-shirt.
Our newest, youngest Go Girl!, Ruby Noelle Weglarz, is not afraid to be her true self all over the Go Girls! t-shirt.

All 215 Go Girls! and their families who were a part of this Compassion Revolution this past summer | The more than 100 Go Girls! who have already registered for summer 2014 before the New Year holiday | Our amazing partnerships with the JCC, CCM, the Santa Cruz MAH, CAPC, and our new partnership with AEF | Michelle Regenbogen | Mike Johnson | Irene zan der Zande and all of her folks at Kidpower | Vicki Dello Joio | Chrissy Mulvihill | Our families and friends  (especially our parents!) | Stacey Daraio | All of the 100+ people who helped us raise over $25K to start some good | Natalie Walchuk, Kathleen Hogan, Chelsea Toller and the faculty, staff, parents, and students of Glenview Elementary School | Mike Topf | Bryan Holdman | Thorina Rose | The birth of Starring Celia out into the world | Phil & Kate Weglarz and the arrival of Ruby, our newest, youngest Go Girl! | the city of Oakland and all its amazing citizens | the GGLT | Kiona, Caroline, Julie, Mariah, Kelly, Cassie, Alaysia, Celia, Jazzy and the rest of the Go Girls! Camp staff | Leila and the whole Merzenich family | The years of hard work, focus, imagination, trial & error, attention to detail, passion, faith, and love that have brought us to this place | Every girl and boy who has ever set foot in a Glitter & Razz camp, class, workshop, party, or event over the past 10 years | All the Girl Advocates out there who believe in and support the magic and power that girls have in this world to make a difference

In 2014, we resolve to:

Focus on deepening and not just growth | Take up more space in the world on behalf of the Go Girls! we represent | Become  stronger, more vibrant and more radiant as individuals and as an organization | Teach more people what we know | Publish the sequel to Starring Celia | Serve over 300 girls | Continue to practice compassion with even more intention

What are your Go Girls! gratitudes and resolutions for the year ahead?  We’d love to hear them.

Go Girls! Camp Season Show Calendar 2013

The time we have all been waiting for is here…Go Girls! Camp season starts Monday!  Over 200 girls are getting ready to take their rightful place center stage.  Can’t you just feel the creativity, courage, and compassion in the air?

We invite you to join us this summer at one of our 9 (FREE) Bay Area performances.  You will be part of a radically loving audience of families, friends, and girl advocates.  You will learn more about what girls, ages 5-13, think and feel about themselves, each other and their world.  You will be stunningly entertained by their original plays, songs, dances, and art pieces.  You will leave feeling inspired to make art, make connections, and make change.

Summer 2013 Show Calendar


Countdown: Go Girls! at the Museum, a model for community/youth engagement

What do you picture when I say the word “museum?”  When you type “museum” into Google Images, this is what you see:

Museums Google Search

Yikes!  Cold, hard pillars with lots of steps.  Clearly, our collective public perception of museums isn’t all that fun.  I certainly wouldn’t want to have summer camp in these places.  Would you?

However, there is a movement going on throughout the country, led by a whole lot of very smart and very innovative people.  This movement wants us to picture something like THIS when we hear the word “museum.”

This is a pic from the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and number 7 in our Countdown of 8 Coolest things about Go Girls! Camp.  The museum’s leader, Nina Simon, is one of the very smart and very innovative people I am talking about.  In addition to running the MAH, Nina’s work is focused on helping other museums re-define themselves – transforming from cold, quiet buildings where audiences simply look at art created by people they will never meet to warm, vibrant, social environments where audiences are encouraged to interact with the art, artists, ideas, each other, and even make art themselves. Her book, The Participatory Museum is sweeping the museum field and making museum leaders from all over stand up, take notice, and ask, how they can more effectively “reconnect with the public and demonstrate their value and relevance in contemporary life?”

This is a pic from the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco and number 6 in our Countdown.  Talk about participatory!  The CCM is more than just a fun place to take the kids on a Saturday afternoon.  Their mission is “to nurture the 3C’s of 21st-century skills – Creativity, Collaboration and Communication – in all youth and families.”  They go on…”We believe that the ability to think critically, collaborate broadly, communicate effectively and generate and prototype multiple solutions, is the core of a 21st-century education.”  CCM, like MAH, values the creativity of its audiences…kids!  And, with partnerships with some of the most innovative SF and Silicon Valley-based companies around, they are certainly the place where kids can go to learn the skills they need to make real and much-needed change in the world.

Can you see why we are so excited to be hosting sessions of Go Girls! Camp at these 2 museums?!?  The programming that we will be able to do at these museums is so exciting to me personally, I can hardly stand it.  As a teaching artist who will be working at these locations, I have been and continue to geek out over the types of projects we will be able to do and how we will incorporate our explorations into our final plays.  I am inspired by the movement to make our cultural institutions more accessible and relevant to the broader community.  I believe that participatory programming in museums can have a huge impact on our girls.  All of our children, in fact.  Museums can give girls:

  1. Access to beautiful physical spaces – Museums care about aesthetics in ways that other arts/community organizations don’t always have the capacity.  We can’t underestimate this.  We tend to thrive in beautiful spaces.  We feel more valuable.  We feel more inspired to create and connect.
  2. Access to more space in general – I understand that not all museums are as big as the ones above.  However, so many programs for youth put kids in tight spaces, not enough room to collaborate and make stuff.  Museums, even smaller ones like the MAH, have a variety of spaces which make programmatic flexibility more possible.
  3. Access to teaching artists/mentors from a variety of disciplines – Because of museums’ spaces and reputation, they attract prolific and accomplished artists and teaching artists worldwide from all of the art forms.  Our girls need to meet and study with these artists.  They need to see as many examples as possible of adult women (and men) who are breaking the mold and seeing the world in different ways.
  4. Access to big ideas – Museums are in the business of curating exhibits that allow audiences to interact with history, science, stories, and ideas in ways that you just can’t do in a book.  Museums can make learning physical and interactive which is how kids learn best anyway
  5. Access to public exposure – Through high-quality arts programming, girls will be involved in safe spaces that allow them to get to know each other and themselves through the creative process.  Having these programs take place in a museum takes this process one step further.  It gives them a well-known and well-respected venue to showcase their work to their friends, family and the broader public.  When this happens, they receive the message that their creations are important.

Enhancing our mission to ignite a compassion revolution by putting girls center stage, our Go Girls! will spend their days in physical environments that scream out to them, “Make something!  Tell us what you think!  Your stories and ideas are valuable!  You are change we wish to see in the world!” Here are 2 projects that I plan to lead Go Girls! in this summer that I am particularly jazzed about:

  • Define what it really means to Be a Girl through photographic self-portraits: In connection with the MAH’s Photo ID exhibit and our Look at Me theme, Go Girls! will explore the differences between how the media portrays girls and how girls actually want to portray themselves.
  • Create short action films with Girls as the stars of the adventure: In connection to our Onceuponatime & Ever After Theme, Go Girls! get to embark on their heroine’s journey using a variety of artistic media.  Since the CCM has a green screen, we can play around with video and there will will be no limits to where we can travel on our adventures.

There are just 6 weeks until Go Girls! Camp 2013 starts.  Countdown is a series of posts highlighting the 8 coolest parts of Go Girls! Camp.  Number 8 was our Teen Staff.  Stay Tuned for next week when we highlight Number 5…Kidpower!  You can register for Go Girls! Camp by visiting gogirlscamp.com.

A Free Go Girls! Happening, Sunday February 10, San Francisco

Go Girls FREE SF Website Image

Maybe you heard some good things about Go Girls! and you want to check it out for yourself. Or, maybe you are already a Go Girl! and you just can’t wait to come back. Well, come on.  Lynn & Allison, the women who made up Go Girls!, want you to come hang out.

You will see a play and you will be part of the play at the same time. You will make some stuff. You will make some friends. You will learn some things you need to know to be the boldest, bravest girl you can be. And, you will see what Go Girls! Camp is all about.

Whether you are in kindergarten, 5th grade, or any grade in between, we guarantee this will be one of the coolest afternoons you have ever had! Your parents are invited to be part of the fun too.

Pre-registration for the Go Girls! Workshop is required. And you must pay $20 in advance to hold your spot for this super cool afternoon. Your $20 will be refunded after you attend the Happening.

Online Form – FREE Go Girls Event Sign Up