Sona Bhargava ’19
On March 10, WHS will host its first ever Operation Empower Music Festival to benefit the nonprofit organization Operation Empower Her from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
According to operation-empower.com, Operation Empower Her’s mission is “to use [their] experience as self-defense advocates in connection with educators, therapists, law enforcement professionals and parents to inspire confidence and teach personal safety through prevention.”
“It’s a really important cause considering everything that’s happening now in the media,” said event coordinator Maya Groves ‘20. “You hear all of the hashtags like #TimesUp and everything. So, I think it’s really important that women have a voice and they’re able to have their voices be heard.”
For the past few weeks, the Operation Empower Her team, Madi McMichael ‘20, Olivia Dinardo ‘19 and Lauryn Wang ‘20, have been promoting and organizing the event.
“I’m hoping that with the posters that we’ve made, and the announcements, and [our] Instagram account, that hopefully a good amount of people come and support the cause,” said Head of Advertising McMichael.
The concert’s target audience, while of course welcoming everyone, is women and young girls, specifically senior girls about to start college.
“I feel like high school is one thing, but college is a completely different ball game, and so you need to prepare yourself and arm yourself with as much information that you can,” said Groves.
The concert will feature WHS students Emerson Kapture ‘19, Chelsea Larson ‘20, Kailee McFerran ‘19 and the band BedB4Ten and Josh Cronin ‘18 and Shane Cronin ‘18 from Sir, Please Band.
“It’s a music festival their friends will be performing, their peers, so I feel like that’s one reason to come and hear some good music,” said Groves.
Kapture will be performing “Send My Love” by Adele, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, and “Dog Days” by Florence and the Machine.
“I definitely think it’s a topic that should be more talked about, because people our age don’t know much about it, so I think it could be a good way to spread information,” said Kapture. “I think it’s just a good way to raise awareness of that issue, and it’s kind of a fun way to do it.”
BedB4Ten will be playing a variety of covers, as well as their two original songs, “Miso Soup” and “False Start.”
“It will be a lot of fun,” said BedB4Ten band member Tyler Marquis ‘20. “It’s good to like the cause also, but even if you don’t, you should go.”
Along with musicians, the show will also feature guest speakers, such as Violence Prevention Specialist Kathryn Hawkins, to inform the audience about physical and emotional violence.
“I feel like it’s important for people to learn about what to do in this event, if you are in this position, or if you know somebody in this position, how to help or how to deal with it, because it is really important,” said Groves. “It’s something I feel like should be talked about more.”
The goal of the event, as well as the non-profit as a whole, is to inspire, specifically to inspire “confidence and teach personal safety through prevention,” according to operation-empower.com.
“In a few years I will be in college, so I won’t be able to do it here,” said Groves. “I’m hoping that it inspires somebody enough for them to want to take it on, somebody passionate enough about this that they would want to run it in the future.”
In the future, the hope is that the event is both annual and gains in popularity.
“I hope that it becomes an annual thing, and it becomes a part of [WHS],” said McMichael. “Everyone knows the choir shows or Dancing with the Warrior Stars, I hope it becomes something like that where people want to come, or performers want to come to.”