Since 2013, Girls Rock! Des Moines has been empowering girls through music, education and collaboration.



The mission of GR!DSM is to provide programs that enable girls to collaborate creatively in an environment of mutual respect and positive self-expression and to build self-esteem through music education, creation, and performance.  

GR!DSM provides workshops and technical training, creates leadership opportunities, cultivates a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourages social change and developing life skills through music performance and education. GR!DSM is committed to ensuring ALL gender non-conforming, transgender and self-identified girls, have access to the organization’s programming. In support of that, no music experience is required, and no girl will be turned away for inability to pay for program participation.


The first Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls was founded in 2001 by a Portland State University student as a summer day camp. In 2003, the organization moved into its own space in Northeast Portland and, in an effort to further fulfill the mission of the organization, launched the Girls Rock Institute, an after-school program that provides more opportunities for girls to get involved throughout the year.  Currently, there are over 100 camps around the world.

GR!DSM is a non profit organization, with its Summer Day Camp modeled after the original Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls.  In its first year of programming, GR!DSM held one summer day camp session and served 23 girls. In it’s second year, GR!DSM held two summer day camp sessions and served 35 girls and provided over $7000 in scholarships. In 2015, the Summer Day Camp program served 43 girls and the organization piloted its first Overnight Songwriting Camp. As the organization continues to grow, community partnerships and support have helped enable program expansion and growth to meet the needs of girls across Des Moines and surrounding areas.