The Girl Project:

High School

The Girl Project is an after-school residency program that empowers teenaged girls to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls in contemporary American media culture by introducing participants to guest artists who lead them in theatre, spoken word, movement, music, sketch comedy, and visual art workshops that culminate in the girls' creation of a final theatrical performance. The workshops focus on fostering the sisterhood and developing the critical consciousness of the participating girls. This supportive environment is based on the concept of a "closed container" created by Christy K. Burch where girls can ask anonymous questions, discuss current events, and share their stories and writing in a safe, controlled environment. This safe conversation space helps deepen their understanding of the issues that women and girls face collectively and individually in navigating American media culture and how they can take action to help create change in themselves and their communities. By engaging in the workshops, performances, and related community outreach initiatives, participants in The Girl Project develop positive relationships and social circles, and advocate for social change.

The Girl Project  Next Generation:

Middle School

The Girl Project: Next Generation (GPNG) mentoring program fosters participants’ commitment to social activism by engaging them as mentors to middle school-aged girls in Central Kentucky. This program uses a cross-age peer mentoring model that allows mentors to “learn by teaching” as they design and lead workshops based on their experiences  that unleash their creativity, thoughts, opinions, and feelings about contemporary girlhood. As in The Girl Project for high school-aged girls, the mentoring workshops focus on an uplifting sisterhood among the mentees and relationships between mentors and mentees as well as guiding mentees toward the development of a final performance for their female classmates and families. GPNG also serves as a "recruiting pipeline" to introduce girls in underserved local schools to The Girl Project and encourage them to participate when they enter high school.

GPNG will begin the week of February 10-14, 2020, and will meet once a week through the weeks of March 16-20, 2020. GPNG will be offered at Leestown Middle School, and Woodford County Middle School.

Voices Heard: Community

Voices HEaRd is a weekend-long artistic festival that brings together performing and visual artists to raise their voices against the many challenges girls and women of all ages and experiences face. The vision of Voices HEaRd is to bring the community together through art to empower, educate, and celebrate the female voice in Kentucky.

Voices HEaRd also is an opportunity for The Girl Project to give back to a local initiative that shares our mission to serve marginalized women and children. A portion of the weekend proceeds go to the partnering organization.

Voices HEaRd invites performers of all genders and artistic mediums to participate, including but not limited to singer-songwriters, visual artists, theatre artists, slam poets, dancers, educators and scholars. Tell us what you want to share. 

Save the date for September 11-13, 2020 to join Voices HEaRd in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment!!

Pilot Workshops

In addition to bringing programming to the schools, The Girl Project continues to expand its vision and impact by offering workshops specifically tailored to marginalized communities. Spring 2020 will feature specialized workshops in collaboration with the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs at Paul Laurence Dunbar, Henry Clay High School, and Woodford County High School. Other participants welcome, dates TBA, but will run January-March 2020.

In addition to our pilot workshops with local GSA Clubs, The Girl Project will be launching its first bilingual program via its April Residency at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School with English and Spanish-speaking students.

Producing Sponsors:

Scholarship Sponsors:

Linda Bosse, Alberta Labrillazo, Debra Hensley

Anyone interested in replicating or implementing The Girl Project, The Girl Project: Next Generation or Voices HEaRd in their community must seek permission to do so. Anyone interested in pursuing research, evaluation or publication of The Girl Project programming must present a plan for approval by the Research and Development Director and must be approved. Email for more information.

The Girl Project Co-Founders: Ellie Clark & Vanessa Becker Weig

GPNG: Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Founder - Margaret McGladrey

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