Tag: teaching artists

11 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Work for Go Girls! Camp

By now you might already know how amazing Go Girls! Camp is for the girls who join us each summer. Maybe your daughter continues to join us year after year. Or maybe you’ve attended one of our free webinars. Maybe you’re across the country, or the world, and while the Go Girls! in your life might not be able to attend camp, maybe you want to keep up with us anyway.

But what you might not already know is that working at Go Girls! Camp is just as fun as attending!


Help prepare girls to lead a Compassion Revolution

This one is a no brainer. Every day at Go Girls! Camp we use our own methodology to inspire and reinforce social/emotional skills in our campers. We do this in a variety of fun ways, and we break down what seems complicated into bite-sized pieces in our Culture Code.


Wear cool Go Girls! gear

Lets face it: Who doesn’t want to wear one of our amazing logos on every piece of clothing possible?! Our staff gets access to new designs, colors, and styles as well as an excuse to wear their gear as much as possible!


Make a play and change the world

Can a play really change the world? We definitely think so. Seeing the transformation many of our campers experience from the first day of camp to the moment they take their final bow is a pretty transformative experience for our staff members, too.


Gain amazing professional and personal development at staff training

We want our staff to feel empowered by their work at Go Girls! Camp, so our training is a lot more than camp policy and powerpoint presentations. You’ll immerse yourself in our program, Culture Code, and methodology as you make new friends and prepare your own play, just like our Go Girls! do.


Free massages mid-summer

At Go Girls! Camp we know that doing amazing, life-changing work is part of why our staff joins us and keeps returning for more. But we also know that work like that is HARD. So every summer our staff comes together for a little R-and-R, Go Girls! style.


Learn Kidpower

Go Girls! Camp works closely with Kidpower, an international leader in teaching positive, practical personal safety skills to protect people of all ages and abilities, both in our camps (during Kidpower sessions) and in our overall methodology. This partnership is great for our girls and staff members—we even find ourselves using Trash Can Power once in a while!


Work with an amazing team of artists

We think our staff members are the best of the best: inspiring leaders, compassionate teachers, and phenomenal artists. And you could join the ranks! Besides being talented in their respective disciplines, our expressive artists are generous teachers to campers and other staff.


End every day of camp with a dance party

Our camp days are pretty long and while they’re filled to the brim with fun activities, free play, and time to chill, we think the best way to end the day and prepare to start fresh in the morning is to have a camp-wide dance party! Now tell us, how many other jobs can offer that as a perk?


Practice mindfulness each day of camp

We love approaching all of our work from a place of mindfulness, but sometimes the day-to-day gets in the way. At Go Girls! Camp we not only emphasize this practice, we make special time for it. We think it’s a great way to reconnect, recharge, and avoid burnout.


Learn from Lynn and Allison

Our co-founders are amazing leaders and some of the most inspiring women we know. Working with Go Girls! Camp means working directly with and learning from Lynn and Allison. They’re always popping into camp, leading Kidpower workshops, and working with staff to make sure everyone is getting the most from their Go Girls! Camp experience.


Be celebrated for exactly who you are!

Our two-week camp leads up to the “big show” at each location, where Go Girls! not only create the story but also get to be who—or what—ever they want to be. Robot Monkey? Check. The President?  Duh. Robot Monkey President?  Why not? All we’re asking this summer is that they aim to #BeAmazing. And that goes for our staff members, too!

Are you sold? Check out our job openings here!

Creative Geniuses: Meet the Women of Go Girls! Camp 2014

These are the incredible women who will be leading our approximately 300 Go Girls! on the journey of making and performing their own peaceful and powerful plays this summer.

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These are theater artists and expressive artists.  Some are dancers.  Some are musicians.  Some have been teaching with Go Girls! Camp for years.  Many are with us for the first time.  They are all deeply committed to the idea that girls and women making art together in bold and brave ways can and does change the world.


We all came together for 2 days in Oakland on March 22 & 23 for learning, connection, and inspiration.  New staff was introduced to and welcomed into the Go Girls! culture.  Allison and I shared our best practices for creating and leading engaging learning experiences that make kids feel safe at the same time encouraging them to take on new challenges. The best part, in my opinion anyway, is that we went through the process of making and performing our own play, just like the girls do.

IMG_1463And just like the girls, we experienced what it was like to share our ideas, put those ideas together, and share in the delight of what the “Script Fairies” do with those ideas once they are integrated into the final script.  Then, these women also deepened their empathy for the girls when they too had to learn their lines and cues and staging VERY FAST – the Go Girls! have a week…these women had about 2 hours.  Like our campers, these Go Girls! Creative Geniuses experienced every emotion from excitement to nerves to hesitation to confusion to exhilaration.  And just like our campers, these women practiced honoring and working through these emotions to share the gift of their play with a loving audience at the end.  As a result, the magic and power of theater…as it always does…bonded us together as a community, taught us so much about how to be better teaching artists this summer, and inspired us as individuals in so many ways.

So, get ready everyone…here we come…

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

Want to End Bullying in Our Communities? Support the Arts.

Go Girls! from Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, CA create their "Tower of Oops," an interactive art piece that reinforces the message that making mistakes is a crucial part of learning.
Go Girls! from Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, CA create their “Tower of Oops,” an interactive art piece that reinforces the message that making mistakes is a crucial part of learning.

As I write this post, the final post for Bullying Awareness Month, I am seated on the floor of a Chicago hotel where I am attending the National Guild for Community Arts Education National Conference.  I am here representing other teaching artists like myself and our unique role in educating and empowering children and other folks in our schools and communities.  As a sit here among my peers and colleagues, I am reminded and re-energized about the magic and power of the arts in teaching all of our kids the essential social/emotional skills they need to respect themselves, command respect, and respect others.

We know from both research and experience the incredible benefits of engaging kids through the arts.  It helps not only their social/emotional development but their cognitive development.  When kids make art they build their resiliency and grit which leads to an increased sense of self-worth and belief in their own capacities to make a difference in their own lives and in the world.  Making art in collaboration with other kids allows for students to cross racial/ethnic/socio-economic barriers, helps build empathy, communication, and conflict resolution skills.  When all of these things are happening, we are creating communities full of kids who are supported to use their powers in creative instead of constructive ways.  When kids feel this good about themselves and each other, bullying goes away.

Check out this video from the Edutopia website:


Please, continue to advocate for and insist on quality arts programming for your kids in their schools and in your communities.  If your kid is fortunate enough to have access to lots of arts already, ask yourself, “What can I do to help make these kinds of experiences available for other children?”  If you are not sure what to do, keep in touch with me.  We’ll talk.

This post is #25 of 25 Tips to Teach Your Daughter to Respect Herself, Command Respect, and Respect Others.  Wanna make sure you get all 25 Tips for Bullying Awareness Month?  CLICK HERE and we’ll send ‘em right to your email!

For more incredible Go Girls! resources for helping your girl stay safe, happy, and healthy in her relationships, check out Kidpower and get your copy of Starring Celia.

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.

Go Girls! Week in Review: April 20

This past week has been full.  Very full.  And it’s been a profound week…for all of us, hasn’t it?  From the Boston Marathon bombing, to the explosion in West, Texas to the Gun Control filibuster, we have seen folks come together under extreme duress and folks ripped apart over politics and ideology.  America’s compassion muscles have certainly been tested this week.  So much so that I woke up yesterday morning with the overwhelming need to share what we here at Go Girls! have been up to this week.  I hope you will see that we really are “walking our talk” and doing the work it takes to ignite the Compassion Revolution that we all so desperately need.

Here are 5 highlights from the past week:

1. Go Girls! Camp Staff Reunion & Gathering: Last Saturday, April 13, the incredible team of Lead Teaching Artists came to Allison and my home for brunch, hugs, and conversation in preparation for this summer’s camps.  We are so grateful to be working with this team of smart, passionate, dedicated, reflective, and talented women.  Take a look at the photo album from the event and the video we made (below).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hY5MpoMA2c]

OMG Online Course Logo2. Course Outline Complete for upcoming OMG UR My BFF: Helping Girls Navigate the Friendship Drama.  Allison and I are working on a brand new product that we can’t be more excited about.  Girl Advocates is a learning series we are developing to help parents, educators, and other caring adults come together to receive inspiration, information, and tools to help prepare our girls for happy, healthy lives.  We consider it “education for the compassion revolution.”  The course will be online and self-paced and will launch on May 15.  Learn more here…

3. Edutopia @ Glenview Elementary: For many years, I have been a big fan of the website, Edutopia.org (a program of the George Lucas Educational Foundation).  The site finds and features model programs and ideas for “what works in education.”  And according to the Foundation, our partner school, Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, WORKS!  Go Girls! has been a program at Glenview for the last 2 years now, and Allison, who is in charge of all of the amazing work that is happening there, was interviewed this past Thursday by the folks at Edutopia.  We will be part of a video documentary about what is working at Glenview to come out this summer or fall.  We’ll certainly keep you posted!

4. The Alphabet Rockers @ Go Girls!:  We have also been huge fans of the Alphabet Rockers, an educational hip hop crew, for many years and have dreamed of ways we might come together.  Finally, on Wednesday, we secured founder Kaitlin McGaw as a guest artist for our July 9-18 session at the JCC in Berkeley.  She will be adding her talent and expertise as a musician and teaching artists to our Onceuponatime & Ever After theme – teaching girls techniques in singing, beat boxing, and other forms of vocal performance as a way to share their stories.  The Rockers are headed out of town next week for a tour of Boston and NYC.  We wish them luck!

5. The Art of Empathy at the Mentoring Conference: On Thursday, I presented my workshop, The Art of Empathy, to an incredible group of professionals at Friends for Youth’s Annual Mentoring Conference in Santa Clara.  It was such an honor and a privilege to be able to spend this time with these folks, especially given everything that has happened this week in our country…in the world.  The workshop focused on how to practice and teach empathy with groups of children using the arts, theater, and play; how to be more empathetic as a mentor in an one-on-one relationship with a mentee; and how to use the practice of emotion coaching as a key empathy practice to help kids be more in charge of their own emotional health.

Oh, So You Do “Girls Empowerment”?

Tesla with PowerWhen we talk about the work we do, the phrase “girls’ empowerment” is thrown around a lot.  According to Wikipedia: Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, educational, gender, or economic strength of individuals and communities.  I like this definition. You feel more empowered just reading it, don’t you? In a social/political context, it is no secret that some of us have a lot more power than others.  Historical systems of oppression have been created to raise some up and keep others down.  Activists do the work of telling this truth – calling out these systems and showing just how unjust they are – and then working with the folks to do the radical work of re-creating these systems.  Activists are in the empowerment business.

However, when we talk about the work we do, empowerment is a tricky phrase.  It evokes for me an image of girls walking into a classroom or a theater or a cafetorium with absolutely no power, lifeless, just waiting for a superhero teaching artist like me to fly in and bestow power upon them with my magical lesson plans.  According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: Power is the “ability to act or produce an effect.”  Although we live in a world where power is unevenly and unfairly distributed at the societal level, we also live in a world where all of us, as at the personal/social/emotional level, possess massive amounts of power.  Both worlds exist at the same time.  One is external and the other is internal.

When we talk about the work we do, there is no need for discussion about whether or not our girls have power.  Whenever girls dance or yell or sing or exclude each other or solve a problem or gossip or make art or whine or invent something new, they are using their power.  When we talk about the work we do,  we are proud to say that we are teaching artists.  Teaching Artists do the work of imagining new possibilities for how you might you use your power.  We help you practice telling your truth.  We provide you with the tools you need to strengthen your internal capacities so that you can re-create the world that you want to live in.  When we talk about the work we do, we are talking about girls using the power they already have in ways that make a positive impact on their lives and, ultimately, on the world around them.

Want to learn more about what we do?  Come and see for yourself at our upcoming FREE events!>>>