Hi! We’re Girl Be Heard, and we’re a nonprofit organization that strives to develop, amplify, and celebrate the voices of young women through socially conscious theatre-making. Girl Be Heard was founded in 2008, when a group of girls—brave, complicated, dynamic young artists with things to say—came together to tell their stories. Ever since, it’s been our mission to create spaces where girls & young women can come together to build community, learn about themselves & the world around them, and have their voices heard through their art.
How do you define feminism and how does that play a part in what you do?
At Girl Be Heard, we know that girlhood—and therefore feminism—can look a myriad of ways. For us, feminism is about hearing a woman’s voice, about hearing her story, about raising her up. Our vision is a future where every girl is encouraged to be a leader and changemaker in a world where she is seen and respected. Our programming aims to bring this world about by honoring the stories ofgirls and giving them the tools they need (the space, the family, the confidence) to stage the revolution!
Why is theatre/performance the way you choose to empower girls?
The very medium of theatre is the body and the voice. Because of this, performance can be an extremely powerful (and empowering) means of both individual growth and interpersonal human connection. By giving young women a pen, a stage, and a microphone, we are saying to them: your voice matters. Your body matters. You are human, and you deserve to tell your story.
What’s the most challenging part of doing this work? The most rewarding?
Our organization’s community consists of students/participants, matriculated company members, teaching artists, board members, Amplifiers (young professionals committee), part-/full-time staff, and, of course, audiences—so everyone in the Girl Be Heard family has their own unique experiences (and therefore challenges/rewards) in relation to the work that we do. Additionally, when working as artist-activists who are resisting against sexism, racism, and all forms of hate and discrimination, it’s never going to be easy! Girl Be Heardcreates spaces in which participants tackle difficult issues, topics, and emotions, and this can be challenging in lots of different ways. But that same difficulty is what makes the process and product of what we do so rewarding, especially when it inspires personal healing and motivates others to self-reflect and mobilize for social change.
How can our readers follow and support your work?
Folks can follow us and our work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @GirlBeHeard! We welcome and appreciate support of any kind, whether it’s attending our participants’ performances, showing some social media love, or donating (even just a dollar!) towards our youth programming. And for girls ages 12-21, AUDITION! Girl Be Heard holds auditions for our Girl Power program/company every August/September. You can stay tuned online for more info!