Performing arts are an important way to learn about other cultures and better connect to people in our community. At Girls Inc., we expose girls to a wide variety of arts experiences that foster creativity and enable them to experience a wider world beyond their neighborhoods. Often they discover interests they never knew they had.
This month, Chevron Corporation – a long-time supporter of Girls Inc. of Alameda County – invited a group from Girls Inc. to enjoy “Music Around the World: Influences of Africa” at the San Francisco Symphony. Elementary students joined alumnae at the event, including Ekra Haq, an alumna and college student who has also been a summer intern at Chevron after making a connection through Girls Inc. Chevron arranged a lunch with guest speakers before the show, and the girls experienced an Instrument Petting Zoo, where they played orchestra instruments and interacted with the musicians. The conductor introduced each piece with a short explanation of how African music has influenced different styles, and the orchestra played jazz, classical music by African American composers – and even West African music. Seeing leaders of color and having role-models are critical to girls being able to see themselves succeeding in a variety of careers, and the arts are no exception.
A UC Berkeley guest speaker connected music to STEM careers, emphasizing that skills learned through music – time management, teamwork, discipline, and creativity – are directly applicable to computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Girls Inc.’s STEM programs also emphasize these same skills by introducing new ways of problem solving and connecting social challenges with solutions like building apps for community outreach and mobilization.
Also this month, Pacific Gas and Electric Company generously donated a table to the opening night gala at the San Francisco Ballet. Girls Inc. alumnae attended the black-tie affair, and had the opportunity to network with representatives from PG&E before the performance.
Art, science, literacy, and community are all part of the Girls Inc. curriculum and we are grateful to our supporters who actively bring girls into direct contact with disciplines they might not have considered, and with experiences that enrich their understanding of the world.