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Support YEAH!

At YEAH!, we believe that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and people of color, with all oppressed peoples, and with liberation movements here in the U.S. and across the world. We understand that statements of solidarity must be accompanied with action. 

Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities, Inc. (YEAH!) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable youth arts organization in Nashville, Tennessee. Our mission is to provide a safe learning environment for teens that will empower them not only in the arts but in life skills, volunteerism, and community service. YEAH! creates programming that values collaboration over competition and seeks to give youth the tools they need to create the world that they want to live in.

Our flagship summer camps are the Southern Girls Rock Camp and the Tennessee Teens Rock Camp held in both Nashville and Murfreesboro. At Rock Block, our eight-week program in both Nashville and Murfreesboro, students learn to play music through the collaborative experience of playing in their own rock band.

YEAH! empowers young people to authentically express themselves through inclusive and feminist music education. Our programs recognize the potential of every young person to be a strong, talented, creative, and empowered individual while providing a safe space where everyone rocks. These camps are designed to allow campers (regardless of race, class, gender expression, or creed) freedom of expression and exploration through music and performance. In doing so, these campers are empowered to find their own voice and their own sound without creative boundaries or inhibitions.

We believe social justice-related discussions and activities are a crucial part of creative practice. Social justice-related activities are experiential, interactive, and camper-focused. These activities give campers a platform for an issue and a safe space to express their thoughts and how we can work together to make some sort of change if they feel that is necessary. Youth come up with what they want to change in their direct communities. For younger campers we ask: “In what ways are you responsible to your school or camp community? How do you better your community by your actions and words? How do you stand up for yourself and others?”

Our work must be adaptable and willing to shift. We are committed to continually remaking ourselves and boldly engaging the discomfort of change and transition with transparency. We are constantly learning how to challenge systemic oppression and how to love each other better. With a focus on lifting up the youth we serve, we dive into this work with hope and solidarity. Let us co-create a new world and step forward together into something bright.

We trace our roots back to 2003, when Kelley Anderson, then a student at Middle Tennessee State University, organized and kicked off the first Southern Girls Rock Camp as a joint project between the feminist student organization Women for Women and the June Anderson Women’s Center. After several successful years of growth, Kelley Anderson, Anna Fitzgerald, Courtney Vickers, Andrew Jacks, Ryan York, and Nicole Tekulve founded YEAH! in 2006. Their vision was to create an organization that fostered the creativity of young individuals while building a community of like-minded volunteers and supporters who love the arts and want to share the arts with kids. We have served hundreds of young people over the past several years by offering year-round classes, the summer camps, the School of Recording, filmmaking and photography, arts and crafts, theater arts, and visual arts.

We’ve had many notable performers at our camps including Wanda Jackson, Those Darlins, Margo Price, Jawws, Idle Bloom, RI¢HIE, Heavy Cream, Watcher, Thelma and the Sleaze, and D Watusi.

2021 Schedule:

8:30-9:00 Registration / Camper Check In
9:00-9:25 Morning Assembly
9:30-10:40 Instrument Instruction
10:45-11:15- Panel
11:15-11:55 Lunch
12:00-12:40 Band Performances / Q&A with Band
12:45-1:55 Workshops
2:00-2:25 Afternoon Assembly
2:30-5:10 Band Practice
5:20-5:30 Camper Pick Up / Camper Check Out

YEAH! values difference and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, physical ability, developmental ability, musical interests, learning styles, nationality, religion, thought, citizenship status, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarships and other program-related policies, as well volunteer and employment related policies and activities. We recognize and support every individual’s place on the gender spectrum and aim to create an environment that fosters conversation and connection.

What better way to tell the world you support the arts than with a TN Arts Commission Arts plate? Rock Camper Graham gets it. Just take your old plate to your county clerk and swap it—they will prorate your tag fees, so you don’t have to wait until your tag renewal is due. Learn more: tnspecialtyplates.org.
  • Sarah Bandy

    Executive Director Read More
  • Hailey Rowe

    Program Director Read More
  • Jess Hawthorne

    Ready to Rock Director Read More
  • Sandy Gonzalez

    YEAH! Art Director Read More
  • Yolanda Gulley

    Office Manager
  • Doug Brumley

    Chair of the Board of Directors
  • Deborah Connelie

    Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, Instructional Fellow with Relay Graduate School of Nashville
  • Marquita Reed-Wright, Ph. D

    Board Member - Collections Manager, National Museum of African American Music
  • Jonathan Marx

    Vice President of Communications for the Nashville Symphony
  • Kelley Anderson

    Treasurer of the Board of Directors and Musician and Finance Instructor, Univ. of Memphis
  • Matt Thackston

    Secretary of the Board of Directors, Senior Product Manager for MyEmma
  • Jeff Clark

    Board Member - Professor of Information Systems and Analytics at MTSU
  • Mary Hoffschwelle

    Board Member- Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Faculty at MTSU
  • Kari Leigh Ames

    Board Member - Far Out Fest, Labrys Light Show, Realtor with Exit Realty, Longtime Camp Volunteer
  • Dutch Noss

    VP of Payment Integrity, UnitedHealth Group
  • Jeff Zentner

    Board Member- YA Author, Musician, and Lawyer
  • Rick Whetsel

    Board Member - Vice President of G7 Entertainment Marketing
  • Linwood

    He/Him

    Teaching Advanced Guitar at FreqOut 2020 is Linwood (he/him)! “I play guitar, bass, and sometimes the drums. I also mix and produce, and I really love rock camp.”

  • Marlos E’van

    They/Them

    Leading a panel discussion about being an artist at FreqOut 2020 is Marlos E’van (they/them)! Nashville-based artist Marlos E’van received their BFA from Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film in 2016. From street art to canvases; from performance art to filmmaking, E’van interweaves different mediums to create worlds in which their art lives and has caught recognition from such publications such as Hyperallergic, Burnaway, and Native Magazine. In addition to their work as an artist, E’van cofounded/co-organizes M-SPAR, McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency out of a family resource center in North Nashville.

  • Bliss Cortez

    They/Them
    The Arts + Activism Director for FreqOut 2020 is Bliss Cortez is a black and latinx, nonbinary queer being currently living in and cultivating community and culture in Nashville.
    They work to build a more clear network for black people, people of color, queer folx, trans beings, and the intersections of all these communities (QTBIPOC) to connect to one another in order to create opportunities and growth, find resources for people’s finances and housing, support or counselling, and all around healthier living.
    Their current project @blissandthetrashplants started in order to make plant joy a bit more accessible to friends and to lower waste; evolving into a community nourishment exchange of groceries, gardening harvests, seeds, starters, and local goods. They are also passionate about film and multimedia production, creative direction, local art spaces, modelling, and is the Nashville Regional Producer for The Moth. When they’re taking a moment to care for themselves, they may be found snuggling with their two cats, watching anime, reading, giggling with friends, or talking to their plants.
  • Lola

    She/Her

    Co-teaching Advanced Drums at FreqOut 2020 is Lola (she/her)! “I play drums and a little bit of guitar and bass. I’ve been going to rock camp for the past 5 years as a camper and I’m very excited to teach!”

  • Abraham

    He/Him

    Co-teaching Beginning Drums at FreqOut 2020 is Abraham (he/him)! “I’m a rising junior at Nashville School of the Arts, and I’ve been playing drums and percussion for five years. If I’m not playing drums, I’m probably riding my bike or baking a pie.”

  • Sean Flint

    He/Him

    Teaching Beginner/Intermediate Bass is Sean (he/him)! “I’ve played in bands in Nashville for a while now. I like to read and write and be outside as much as I can.”

  • Rome

    He/Him

    Leading a workshop about Social Anxiety and a breakout session at FreqOut 2020 is Rome (they/them)! “I am an abolitionist and trans rights activist who in their spare time radio DJs, makes music, and spends way too much time on Youtube.”

  • Kari Leigh

    She/Her

    Kari Leigh is a multimedia artist, festival organizer, and friend to puppets. She has been a camp volunteer at TNTRC for 8 summers and finally lived her dream of being a camper when she participated in Ladies Rock Camp in 2017 as a bassist for The Goddesses.

  • Dana Rogers

    She/Her

    Leading Songwriting at FreqOut 2020 is Dana Rogers (she/her)! “I’m a songwriter and indie pop artist living in Nashville! I love writing music for myself and other artists, recording/performing around town, and producing a songwriting-themed podcast. In my free time, I enjoy petting dogs, drinking coffee, and watching Doctor Who.”

  • Barb Corban

    She/Her

    Barbara does harsh vocals and occasionally play bass in her band. She loves to make art and listen to music! She’s always excited to volunteer for Y.E.A.H., and used to do some of their programs when she was a kid.

  • Olivia Scibelli

    She/Her
    Olivia Scibelli is co-owner of Drkmttr Collective and a long-time organizer on the YEAH team. Having helped start Tennessee Teens Rock Camp in 2010, she has gone on to support all camps in Nashville, co-directing both TNTRC and the first Nashville branch of the Southern Girls Rock Camp as well as Ladies Rock Camp. Hair stylist by day and member of the DIY music community, she is dedicated to upholding the vision of YEAH! and empowering the future rockers of Nashville.
  • Dave Cate

    He/Him

    Dave has been volunteering at Rock Camp since 2009 and later that year helped launch the Rock Block program in Murfreesboro. He now works as a live audio engineer with a resumé of Nashville institutions such as Live on the Green, Nashville Pride Fest, Musician’s Corner, Marathon Music Works and more. He lives in Nashville, plays guitar with local rockers, The Shadowtones, and frequents local music & art shows year-round.

  • Kyshona Armstrong

    She/Her

    Kyshona, a music therapist gone rogue, tours the world searching her audiences for people who need the reminder that they are not forgotten.

  • Leah H. Miller

    She/Her

    Leah is an artist, performer, and playwright from Middle TN. When she ain’t working, she spends her time playing bass in several projects with her friends, writing, painting, illustrating, and scheming. She loves karaoke, camp, and her dog, Apple.

  • Brandon De La Cruz

    They/Them

    Brandon enjoys photography and video production as well as fixing stuff and writing songs. There’s also a little show called Sound Check that’s starting to make some waves, and a couple of podcasts in the works. Pretty soon you’ll be able to hear them ramble on about all kinds of junk! 

  • Larissa Maestro

    She/Her
    Larissa is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, teacher, and producer. She is a founding member of the band Poly, a member of My So-Called Band, and co-founder of the Nashville Concerto Orchestra. Her favorite non-musical things include Star Trek, origami, conservation, Filipino food, and cats.  
  • Tiffany Minton

    She/Her

    Tiffany has a B.A. in Sociology from Belmont University and has over thirteen years experience in the music business as an applied sociologist, performer, and educator. Her teaching philosophy is “that though each of us is capable of different musical possibilities, music is for everyone and everyone can be musical.”

  • Adam Schatz

    He/Him

    Adam started playing drums on pots and pans and started playing saxophone on a saxophone. Now he plays lots of instruments but mainly the keyboards, saxophone, and sings a whole bunch, especially in his band Landlady or when he’s alone on stage or walking down the street. He has recorded with some fancy folks and toured a few continents, but really would like to get to Australia where the marmite flows like vegemite and the mammals all have pouches.

  • Ariel Bui

    She/Her

    Ariel is a musical artist, educator, WXNA DJ & activist. In 2012, she founded Melodia Studio where she teaches piano to students of all ages, from preschoolers to retirees. She has released four records and counting as a guitarist-singer-songwriter, the most recent of which was produced at The Bomb Shelter by Grammy-nominated Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) and comes in LP covers that were individually hand-screen printed by a team of Rock Camp volunteers led by Jessi Zazu. On top of volunteering at YEAH, Ariel hosts a radio show focused on Arts & Activism called Hello Hooray on WXNA 101.5, Nashville’s all-volunteer, community-supported, non-profit radio station, Mondays at 11AM. Learn more about Ariel’s music at arielbui.com, music lessons at melodiastudio.com & community radio at wxnafm.org.

  • Ciera Hall

    She/Her

    Ciera rocked out as a camper at SGRC in 2009 and 2010. She plays bass, guitar and some vocals. She helps run shows out of Dad’s Garage, a local DIY space in Murfreesboro. She’s also studying history and Spanish at MTSU. Through learning about different heritages and backgrounds, she hopes to change the world and bring different groups of people together. Catch her at shows, playing board games or at her fave locally-owned Thai restaurant—Pad Thai Cafe.

  • Anna Murphree

    She/Her

    Anna is a drummer, learner, and Murfreesboro native who loves Rock Camp with her whole heart! She has gotten to go for 9 years in a row, and she’s excited to keep volunteering! She’s into rockin’ and rollin’, staying hydrated, and learning about space.

  • Jesse Rhew

    He/Him

    Jesse is weird.  He built his first guitar pedal at age 12 from a schematic in a magazine and kept experimenting with electronics through high school.  He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, ended up being a scientist at an aerospace testing complex (lolwut?), and later quit that job to take his guitar pedal company, Rude Tech, full time. He started teaching electronics to the kiddos because that’s about the age at which he got the bug. To see what he’s up to, check out www.rudetech.com or @rude_tech on whatever social media platform is big this week.

  • Carter Routh

    He/Him
    Carter is a Rock Camp Volunteer and works as a Davidson County Property Appraiser. “Music was my first love. After a trial separation, we’re back together! My advice? Don’t wait for success, go without.”
  • John Salaway

    He/Him
    John Salaway is a recording artist, songwriter and nationally endorsed multi instrumentalist who was recently voted “Nashville’s indie pop artist of the year.” John has performed with Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, Anderson East, Denny Laine, Gordon Kennedy, The Last Straw, and Forever Abbey Road, and he has performed alongside bands like Cage the Elephant, Moon Taxi, Cherub and more! Currently John is writing for multiple film and tv libraries in Hollywood and performing regularly in middle Tennessee, and all over the southeast.
  • Olivia Throckmorton

    She/Her

    Olivia Throckmorton walks on two legs but runs on all four. Olivia prefers things made at home and enjoys exercising her patience. This year Olivia is especially thankful for all of the great people she’s met and experiences she’s gained since first attending these camps in 2004. As always, she’s excited to rock out again this summer.

  • Nicole Torres

    She/Her
    Nicole is a proud Louisiana native, drummer, and biker mom. She loves mathematics, cooking, being outdoors and spreading the joy of music. Her all-female band ‘Summer Girlfriends’, inspires her to have fun and rock on. 
  • Kevvi West

    She/Her

    Kevvi is the kid who starts getting ready for camp in January; the one wearing the onesie in 90 degree weather. If history is to repeat itself Kevvi will crash on day three of camp week but will be back in working order by showcase: just in time to cheer you on with the loudest screachiest squeal she can muster. Kevvi dabbles with several instruments including ukulele, guitar, drums, and mandolin, but considers herself a vocalist. Kevvi genuinely thinks you’re awesome — because you are — and you should believe her because she’s also awesome.

  • Jeff Zentner

    He/Him

    Jeff is the award-winning author of two books for young adults, The Serpent King and Goodbye Days. Rock Camp inspired him to start writing books for teens. Before becoming a writer, he was a musician, appearing on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Debbie Harry, and Thurston Moore. www.jeffzentnerbooks.com

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