By Elizabeth Winchester
“Anything is possible” is a lyric in an Antigone Rising song. It is also the renowned rock band’s message for girls around the world. The band and its special musical guests will spread that message on September 15 and 16, at the fourth annual BeachFest Weekend in Sea Cliff.
BeachFest celebrates the work of the band’s non-profit Girls Rising, which aims to empower girls to pursue non-traditional careers. Band members take part in Girls Rising outreach programs with schools, Girl Scout troops, soccer teams, and other youth groups. They use their music and share their experiences as female musicians in a male-dominated industry to inspire girls and women to break boundaries.
“The feedback that we are getting from teachers around the country is that it’s the best program because it is so engaging for the kids,” explains Antigone Rising bassist Kristen Henderson. “We deliver a positive message but wrapped in it is music, which is a unifier for the kids and allows them to let go and have a good time.”
The festival kicks off with a Girls Rising fundraiser on September 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Sea Cliff Firehouse. Girls Rising will award two $2,500 scholarships to girls in their junior or senior year of high school. The fundraiser, which is for those who donate $75 or more to Girls Rising, includes live music, an open bar and light fare.
On September 16, the festival moves to Sea Cliff Beach and is free and open to all. Starting at noon, local young performers including Siobhan Esposito and kids and teens from the SummerStrings! RockFest, Sarah Brandt, Penelope Constantino and Ondine, take the stage. At 2 p.m. basketball legend Sue Wicks and other trailblazing women take part in a panel discussion. Special musical guests perform throughout the day and into the night, with Antigone Rising scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“It’s so exciting for us to have all these artists who we’ve toured all over the world with come to Sea Cliff and play with us and for our friends,” says Henderson. The line up includes Julia Weldon, Edie Carey, the Garrison Starr Band and Williams Honor. “We’re going to be doing some really cool collaborations with the guest artists at the fundraiser that won’t happen the next day, and ticket sales go straight to Girls Rising programming.” Purchase fundraiser tickets, find scholarship details and more at www.girlsrising.org/beachfest.
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