She’s a Rainbow: a tribute to Esme Barrera

She’s a Rainbow: Esme Barrera tribute record and Girls Rock Austin Scholarship Fund

Help us make a record to commemorate Esme Barrera’s awesomeness — and send 10 young women for an empowering week of music camp with Girls Rock Austin. Support our Indiegogo Campaign!

esme and scarlett

Esme Barrera was a fixture in Austin’s underground music community – a bighearted music fan, a record store clerk, a Girls Rock Austin volunteer, a video star, and a ball of light and positivity to everyone she came in contact with. She was also a student, a special needs teaching assistant, and a devoted daughter and sister. After her tragic death on New Year’s Day 2012, almost forty of Austin’s finest female musicians (and Esme’s fellow Girls Rock Austin volunteers) came together to perform The Rolling Stones’ “She’s A Rainbow” at her Austin memorial. The song was then recorded with the generous help of Benjamin Hotchkiss and Kyle Crusham at Tequila Mockingbird.

EBFC band

A year and a half later, Esme’s friends, coworkers, family, students, and campers still feel her loss–but her colorful energy continues to radiate throughout the community. The recording of “She’s a Rainbow” captures Esme’s beautiful spirit and helps it live on for the world to experience through Esme’s favorite medium – records! Specifically, red vinyl 45s! Digital downloads are also available for the turntable deprived.

Your donation will help fund the production of “She’s a Rainbow” 7″ records and jackets, performed by the Esme Barerra Fan Club, and fund scholarships for girls to participate in Girls Rock Austin music programs.

Esme inspired people far and wide, and many others have written about her. Read Summer Anne Burton’s moving tribute “The year without Esme” on Buzzfeed. The Austin Chronicle and the Austin American Statesman also wrote eloquently about Esme.

We’re excited to offer this as a community project – and we want you to join us and help us get the record out. We believe in the power of the individual to make a difference and in the power of the collective to have an even greater impact. We are stronger together and we want to do this with you!

Ultimate Campaign Goal: $5950

$2000* – Record pressing, jacket printing, promotion and distribution of records.

$3950 will go directly into the Esme Barrera Unlimited Possibilities Scholarship Fund to provide full Girls Rock Austin scholarships to 10 girls who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to go to an empowering music education program like this. Full fare girls rock camp tuition is $395. GRA aims to provides scholarships to half our campers. This summer, our four camps will serve almost one hundred eighty girls. That’s almost ninety girls that will have a Girls Rock experience thanks to this fund.

Any money raised beyond this campaign’s goal will provide more opportunities for girls in need.

NOTE: Most music camps are for-profit, costing 2-3 times as much as GRA’s programs and often teach students to play cover songs instead of encouraging students to experience the thrill of writing their own original material. The B-side of “She’s a Rainbow” will feature an original song about Esme composed and performed by former Girls Rock Camper, Christina Arellano.

What You Get For Participating  

Depending on your level of donation, you’ll get to experience the amazing recording of the Esme Barrera Fan Club performing “She’s a Rainbow,” backed with Christina Arellano’s “For Esme,” and special Girls Rock Austin events and merchandise.  Your contribution will be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The record release party will be held at the Spiderhouse Ballroom on August 4th, 2013, from 4-8pm to commemorate Esme’s birthday.  Some of Esme’s favorite Austin bands will be performing as well as Girls Rock Camper bands. Copies of the 7-inch will be available for sale and pick-up at the event.

*Admission is subject to capacity of the venue. First come, first served.
**For Austin residents, records will be available for pick up at the release party or at Waterloo Records for a limited time following the event. Non-local orders will be mailed. Please allow for extra shipping charges for deliveries outside of the contiguous 48 US states. 

Contact us at to request mailing, or if you have any questions about this campaign.

The Impact You’ll Have

Esme was passionate about Girls Rock Austin, and we strive to keep her name and memory alive by providing a safe space for girls from all backgrounds to develop their own musical and personal voices. This scholarship helps bring kids to camp, many of whom wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to come. Our programs provide music instruction, a variety of workshops, and performances by local bands in a positive, all-female environment. Leadership opportunities are provided for campers to build self-esteem, increase self-efficacy, and find their own voices through a collaborative and supportive creative process. We are a nonprofit dedicated to building a community of empowered girls and women, who have the confidence to pursue their goals any field.

Here are a few highlights of our accomplishments over the years:

  • 100 to 120 girls aged 10-17 have attended Girls Rock Camp here in Austin every summer since 2008.  Not counting returning campers, we have served over 350 girls.

  • Nearly half of the girls who attend Girls Rock Camp have done so on full or partial scholarship, and affording this expense is the bulk of our fundraising activity.  We are the only rock camp in Austin with a mission to serve girls from low-income backgrounds.

  • GRA has been partnering with the Settlement Home for Children since 2011, and last summer we enabled 9 girls in residential foster care to attend the camp entirely for free.  This year we will serve 12 girls from the Settlement Home for Children.

  • The annual Ladies Rock Camp program provides a venue for women to experience the joys of rock camp while raising scholarship funds for girls.  We have provided an empowering experience to 60+ women aged 18-88 through Ladies Rock Camp.

  • GRA has been backed by community and business sponsorships, allowing us to broaden our reach and provide top-notch programming to more girls.  We have been awarded grants by the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division and Texas Commission on the Arts, and received corporate support from Maurice’s, SXSW, and Guitar Center.

Our goals for 2013 include:

  • Increasing camp to three summer sessions to meet the growing demand for girls ages 10 to 17, and establishing a new program for girls ages 7 to 9.  This summer, we will serve nearly 180 girls.

  • Exploring options for after-school programming in the Fall semester, and continuing to expand our outreach and partnerships with other organizations to make this growth possible.

Other Ways You Can Help

Share this campaign! Facebook, tweet, pin, tumble, email, and call your friends on tin cans! Tell them about this amazing person, and how they can keep her memory alive and support Girls Rock Austin.

We understand if money is not the best way for you to contribute.  There are still a lot of ways you can get involved with the girls rock camp movement and help to support Esme’s legacy of community involvement.  We have a record of four camp sessions this summer, twice as much we normally have! Girls Rock Austin depends on the hard work, advice, and support of many individual volunteers, donors, and business sponsors. Volunteers are essential to both the existence and the spirit of our nonprofit camps, and music experience is not necessary for all positions. Check out the webpage for volunteer opportunities:

Thank you!

*Special thanks to Chicago Mastering Servicefor generously donating mastering service and to Gerard Cosloy at Matador Records and 12XU Records and Richard Lynn at Super Secret Records for their help.


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