Author Delia Marrero is the Development Coordinator for Lehigh Valley Girls Rock, an organization dedicated to empowering girls and women + trans and nonbinary folks through music and art.
The National Sokols Hall hosted Lehigh Valley Girls Rock’s Ladyfest fundraiser on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Bands came together and filled the hall with the sounds of unity, empowerment, and community.
The show served as a platform to inform the community of the work and dedication Lehigh Valley Girls Rock has demonstrated over a five-year period. Ladyfest was an event dedicated to rocking out, displaying the amazing talent of musicians, and raising funds for Lehigh Valley Girls Rock, a non-profit organization. Food for the evening was provided by Lit Roastery and Bakeshop, a local coffee shop in Bethlehem, PA. They served up a delicious arrangement of vegan food and treats. Melanie Lino cooked and served her food with love. Local artist Katy Molinaro drew caricatures and donated half of her earnings for the evening to Lehigh Valley Girls Rock.
Lehigh Valley Girls Rock is actively raising funds to provide scholarships for campers of Lehigh Valley Girls Rock Camp. Seventy-five percent of Let’s Rock and Lehigh Valley Girls Rock Camps receive tuition scholarships. These scholarships range from full tuition to partial tuition. These scholarships allow folks to experience the power of Lehigh Valley Girls Rock.
The evening’s line up included bands such as Ghost Lily, Bacchae, Grayling, Highnoon, and Polymomorous. They each played a set of 3-4 songs. Each band brought an electric energy to the stage, exhibited by powerful lyrics and musicality. Throughout the night, campers and volunteers provided heartfelt testimonials about the impact and importance of the programming offered by Lehigh Valley Girls Rock. Charlotte Wetherhold, camper, captured the sentiment and power of Lehigh Valley Girls Rock by celebrating the organization as a safe space where trans folks can find acceptance without judgment.
Polymomorous made its official debut at Ladyfest. The band formed about a month ago, during Let’s Rock Camp, and played to a crowd of approximately 100 people. Band members Kelsey Ramusen, Tyler McMaster, and Aviv Tumbleson met in May. They formed a bond and continued playing together as a band after camp. They brought their original songs about inclusivity and acceptance to the stage and set the tone for the night.
Kelsey Ramusen, the drummer, talked about her experience, saying, “I learned so much more than just how to play an instrument. I learned about being present in the moment, speaking up for others, and using my privilege to make a change. I learned how to build a community. I learned how to celebrate my vulnerability and being ok with it. How to put yourself out there and be yourself, feeling that you deserve the space you take and the role you play in society and how to make space for everyone. This camp is so much more than just learning how to play an instrument. It’s about building community.”
Lehigh Valley Girls Rock aims to provide a safe space for folks to come together, celebrate their differences and build community. Ladyfest is just one of the many events that works toward accomplishing this goal.
Feature photo credits: Delia Marrero