Rock ’n’ roll is still a boy’s club, despite contributions from lady rockers such as Janis Joplin, Joan Jett and Debbie Harry. The fact that they are female defines their legacies.
Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women, or MEOW, is an organization dedicated to improving the role of women in the music industry through online coverage of women in music and support methods such as coaching and advocacy. The organization aims to make the idea of females as musicians, instead of females as entertainers, more common.
Founder Carla Black developed the MEOW organization from a previous project, ROCKRGRL Magazine.
“I wanted to do something that was not magazine-based and something that was more of an organization,” Black said.
On Oct. 24, MEOW will hold its first-ever conference, MEOW Con, at the Renaissance Hotel. The conference, described as a “gathering of the tribes,” is a two-day, interactive forum filled with events like keynote speeches and live performances by female rockers. The conference is both an effort to spread awareness about MEOW and to address the needs of female musicians.
“It really is about equal opportunities for women,” Black said. “It’s about more women playing drums, more all-female bands, just more attention to women and not treating them like such novelties or outcasts.”
Despite the approaching conference, MEOW still dedicates time to MEOWgazine, the name given to their website. MEOWgazine serves as a platform for spreading news about female musicians and sparking conversations about the issues some women face.
While local musician Dana Falconberry is not involved in MEOW this year, she said she values what the organization stands for.
“I think it’s all about bringing awareness to people and I think that you need organizations like this to do that,” Falconberry said.
MEOW Con begins with the presentation of the annual Woman of Valor award to rock bassist Suzi Quatro. Quatro has sold more than 55 million albums worldwide, and is considered to be the first female bassist to become a rock star. She will also perform at the conference.
Grace London, a thirteen-year-old musician who is also scheduled to speak and perform at the conference, explained what MEOW means to her as a teenager.
“It’s giving women and girls a place to gain wisdom, and so many women have so many experiences,” London said. “I can use their experiences to forge my own path.”