Chicago has long been a bastion for local music, thanks in large part to the independent labels, record stores, and pop-up venues that have provided support to artists every step of the way.
But what may be surprising is the sheer number of women behind that scene. Many of the organizations powering the local industry today — including several record labels, stores, and other businesses — are female-owned and operated.
Melissa Oglesby is the outreach director of Girls Rock! Chicago, a music camp for girls ages 8 to 16 that aims to foster creative expression, self-esteem, and community awareness through rock music. She says that not only are girls in the program empowered to find their voices, but they also have the opportunity to gain inspiration from female volunteers and mentors.
"It can be hard out there for girls," Oglesby adds, "But at Girls Rock, the volunteers really support each other.