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.
8:30-9:00 Registration / Camper Check In
9:00-9:25 Morning Assembly
9:30-10:40 Instrument Instruction
12:00-12:40 Band Performances / Q&A with Band
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.