Eight-year-old singer Isabel and her bandmates, the Lightning Girls, shook the speakers during the Girls Rock! Pittsburgh concert in August. But these budding rockers hadn’t always been so boisterous. Isabel arrived at the organization’s weeklong camp shy and quiet, says Vanessa Veltre, one of the program’s volunteers.
“Throughout the week, it was so inspiring to see her open up,” Veltre says. The program’s campers, ages 8–18, often began as strangers with little or no musical experience. Before they knew it, they were rocking out with new friends, writing songs, talking about body image, and learning self-defense and zinemaking. Some goals for the campers: Be empowered. And be loud.
This spirit is exactly why WolfePack Goods—a community of artists and others who came together in memory of Sarah and Susan Wolfe—donated about $9,500 in scholarship funds to Girls Rock! Pittsburgh this year.
The Wolfe sisters, who were murdered in their Morningside home in February, were beloved by many. Sarah, a pediatrician and psychiatrist (Res ’12), was an assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Psychiatry; she was on the faculty at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, as well as Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Susan worked at the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill.
To honor the sisters’ love of kids, animals, and music (Sarah was involved in the Riot Grrrl movement in the ’90s), WolfePack Goods began selling artwork to fund scholarships for Girls Rock! Pittsburgh.
“[Girls Rock! is] helping young girls to believe in themselves while also making music and being LOUD,” writes Sarah’s boyfriend Matt Buchholz, who helped form WolfePack Goods. “It’s a great way to focus not on this senseless tragedy but on bringing something positive into the world,” he adds.
Learn more about the ongoing project at www.wolfepackgoods.com.