Rock on with ‘Lady and the Amp’ this Saturday

  • Lady and the Amp Robin SidEL

For the Gazette
Thursday, August 17, 2017

When Ann Hackler and June Millington founded the Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) almost 30 years ago, they did so with a commitment to supporting women and girls in music and music-related businesses. While some things have changed since then (they moved from northern California to Goshen and started their summer rock programs for girls), the two women’s continued effort to empower female musicians hasn’t. This dedication is evident in IMA’s latest production, which Hackler calls a “heavily estrogen-laced, day-long, feminist, family-friendly, badass music fest.”

Sound good? The event, called the Lady and the Amp Fest, will take place on August 19 to celebrate IMA’s 30th anniversary. The bill will feature a broad range of artists from different backgrounds and generations — the youngest performer will be 10 and the oldest will be 68. There will be big-name indie bands like Northampton-based And The Kids, local favorites like Amherst’s Who’da Funk It? and some brand-new acts, with musical styles including folk, rock, funk, indie pop, soul and more. While some of the bands are multi-gendered, Hackler says that “every band is rooted in the creativity of women and girls.”

Many of the performers attended programs at IMA, including the members of And The Kids. “IMA is a great place to network and meet people with different musical backgrounds,” the band said in an email. “It’s easy to collaborate with people who have similar tastes and interests, but IMA allows you to really be exposed to more than just what you know.”

For Millington, this bringing together of campers past and present represents one of her favorite parts of IMA, which is that it provides its musicians with a “her-storical” context for their work.

“It helps to know whose steps you’re walking in and on whose shoulders you’re standing,” Millington said. “Moreover, it increases the girls’ pride and self-confidence to know that we are invested in all women in music worldwide.”

Proceeds from the festival will go towards helping IMA, which is a nonprofit, continue its operations.

According to Millington, IMA’s mission to “change the world, one girl at a time” is perhaps more important than ever. “This group of young women is bold, creative and constantly pushing boundaries and viewing the world in a way not possible to me at their age,” Millington said. “These are changing times, and they are the kids who are bright, eager, and our future.”

The festival will take place on Saturday, August 19 from 12 p.m to 8 p.m. opening at 11 a.m. at 165 Cape Street in Goshen.

Tickets are available for purchase at ima.org, with a suggested donation of $5 to $50.