Girls Rising Rocks Morgan Park

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Duo Caroline and Ginger of North Shore High School perform at the Salon Solis Stage. (Photo by Jennifer Corr)

On June 18, Glen Cove’s Morgan Park was populated with music, art, local artisans and happy people, celebrating the achievements of girls and women especially, here on Long Island as part of the Girls Rising Music Festival.

Girls Rising is the brain child of Antigone Rising, a band from Sea Cliff, consisting of members Nini Camps, Cathy Henderson and Kristen Ellis-Henderson. The trio formed the nonprofit Girls Rising in 2014, after years of tireless touring and playing an upwards of 280 shows per year, because they began to notice about how few all-female bands existed.

Band Antigone Rising founded this successful music festival that supports the mission of Girls Rising. (Photo courtesy GSM Communications Group)

An introduction letter included in the festival’s booklet that was passed out at the event stated, “Girls don’t see all-female bands anywhere. Girls don’t see too many female CEOs of major corporations or all that many airline pilots or NASA astronauts or chemical engineers or architects or pastors in churches or major league baseball players either. They don’t see female Presidents, or at least not in the United States of America and if they do see female soccer players, they see ones who are grossly underpaid compared to their male counterparts.”

In order to combat this issue, the mission of Girls Rising is to talk to girls and boys and let them know girls can do anything they put their minds to. Through workshops, Girls Rising empowers young girls and LGBTQ youth to follow their dreams, pursue nontraditional career paths and remind them that it’s okay to play, think and be different.

The Mainstage and the Salon Solis Stage centered students, young talent, many of whom attend local middle schools and high schools, and musicians Antigone Rising, Shawn Colvin, Judith Hill and Lisa Loeb. For its seventh year, this is a festival that has grown each time, even through the pandemic. Originally taking place in Sea Cliff, the festival moved to Morgan Park in Glen Cove because it got too big; a good problem many would say.

“These are the kids of the future,” Antigone Rising road manager Amber Mallon said. “Give them a platform. Let them be heard… It’s a good time. It’s always a fun event. It’s for a good cause and it’s always great… The donations go towards the organization Girls Rising, so we can go out and we go to schools in underprivileged areas and we talk to kids.”

Also on the Mainstage was the Girls Rising Panel Discussion, which centered inspiring women who did not give up on their dreams even in the face of adversity.

The Girls Rising Music Festival was a day of expression and solidarity.
(Photo by Jennifer Corr)

Carnie Wilson, a founding member of Wilson Phillips, a television personality and the daughter of Brian Wilson, moderated the panel. Featured was June Millington, a Filipino-American guitarist, songwriter, producer, educator and actress who is the co-founder and lead guitarist of the storied all-female rock band Fanny; Akira Armstrong, the CEO of Pretty BIG Movement and a dancer and choreographer whose credits include Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Lizzo, Salt-N-Pepa, SWV and Jennifer Hudson; and Dr. Camila Dos Santos, who works at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in developing a targeted strategy for breast cancer treatment and prevention.

“I love the fact that they’re all in different fields,” said Wilson before introducing the panelists. “That they all are so passionate about what they do and if there’s anything I try to teach my kids, my daughters, it’s to find a passion, have a passion, don’t be afraid to feel passionate about something. Don’t ever be afraid to find a passion for something and go for what you feel in your heart.”

As the panel came to a close, empowering girls was not just talked about. Words were put into action. Five grants and two scholarships were distributed to students, and each of the winners were highlighted for their essays, achievements and goals.

Visit www.girlsrising.org to learn more about Girl’s Rising.

—Additional information
provided by Girls Rising

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