POSTED Thu. Nov 19, 2015

Creative Culture

Empowering Area Girls: it's Electric

This month, two organizations are collaborating to close Louisiana’s wage gap — or to at least empower young girls to feel confident entering traditionally male-dominated vocational fields.

“We get asked a lot of times what is the reason we’re doing this,” says Maya Ramos, co-founder (along with Flor Serna) of the Electric Girls program, which teaches girls ages nine to 14 the fundamentals of electronics, audio, programming and design.

Serna founded Electric Girls in 2014 based on a thesis paper she wrote in response to her experience as a female audio engineer. Her now-partner Ramos was the first female that Flor trained at Loyola University’s recording studio. “She was majoring in computer science and audio technology, and I am a music industry major also studying piano,” says Ramos.

“I knew I wanted to do audio technology, but I was completely in shock as a freshman when I showed up and there were 20 guys and I was the only girl. It was never something that discouraged me though; if anything it was a motivation,” she adds.

Ramos wanted to bring what she learned from that educational experience into the real world. “Only 12.5 percent of electrical engineers are women and less than five percent of audio engineers are women,” she says. “It would be great if those numbers increased, but it’s not particularly [Electric Girls’] goal to get that up to 50 percent. We want to just create a space where girls feel like they can be leaders and capable of anything. We hope it just gives girls confidence, a sense of identity, and a curiosity to learn more.”

Ramos adds, “If they are 10 years old and soldering, then they are already doing something a lot of my college-aged friends have never done.”

The students in the Electric Girls group meet with female instructors who provide support and mentorship in taking apart old electronics and building new machines, designing and programming electronic “pranks,” and experimenting with circuit-bending – like, say turning electronic toys into experimental synthesizers. As their skills and confidence increase, each girl earns badges and becomes a class mentor.

This weekend the most experienced Electric Girls will show off all they have learned, and also pass on some of their knowledge to other girls at the 66<100 pop-up store, otherwise known as Less Than (1612 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd).

The numbers 66<100 represent the wage gap: according to the store, Louisiana women make 66 percent less money than men in the same jobs. Less Than uses a “pay what you’re paid” pricing model, charging men full price, while women pay 66 percent of the price of all items in the shop. The Less Than concept was then founded by graphic designer Elana Schlenker via the organization’s first pop-up, 76<100, in Pittsburgh, PA in April 2015.

The shop’s temporary New Orleans location, led by artist Tammy Mercure and small-business owner Rebecca Diaz, features work from more than 70 local and national female artists and makers including locals Debbie Anderson Rusher of Shanga Designs, Sarah Baird, Osa Atoe, Holt McCall, and Happy Village, alongside national participants including designer/artist Keetra Dean Dixon (New York/ Alaska), illustrator Grace Danico (Los Angeles), ceramist Angel Oloshove (Texas), among others.

And this weekend, Less Than will also feature Electric Girls, a program that launched its first summer camp at Loyola University this summer via Launch 4.0, a local integrator for startups. Since then, says Ramos, “We’ve been teaching workshops at St. Martin in the Idea Lab. We bring in all this equipment: toolboxes, soldering irons, all the wires—we have a traveling workshop basically, and essentially create a maker-space every morning before the girls show up.”

With the Electric Girls program still in its infancy, the creators can’t use workforce numbers to tell if they’re making a statistical difference. “As of now we’re just measuring success in whether they come back,” says Ramos, who is happy to report that, “Thirty-three percent of the original girls came back to do it again.”

Funded in part by The Platforms Fund (a collaborative effort of Press Street, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, and Pelican Bomb) Less Than is open 12-7pm Tuesdays through Sundays all through November. For more information on the shop, visit it’s website.

The Electric Girls demonstration and workshop will take place this Saturday November 21, from 10am to noon. For more information on the program, visit Electric Girls.

Image courtesy of Electric Girls.

POSTED Dec 14, 2018

Atmosphere

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Hey, the weather outside is kind of frightful! About as frightful as it gets down here anyways (also, note that next week temperatures will be back in the…....
CONTINUE

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED May 10, 2017

Creative Culture

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

On May 12 the New Orleans Museum of Art will fling open its doors for Masquerade: Late Night at NOMA, a costume party replete with float builders, mask-makers,…....
CONTINUE

Written by DAVID JOHNSON
POSTED Dec 23, 2016

Atmosphere

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Happy holidays, y’all. We hope you find plenty to occupy you during this busy Christmas weekend, but if you find yourself having a small, quiet moment, or just…....
CONTINUE

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED Dec 21, 2016

Creative Culture

A Native New Orleanian's Retrospective at NOMA

A Native New Orleanian's Retrospective at NOMA

Imagine doing something you love for seventy years. Many people aren’t lucky enough to live that long, much less put their heart and soul into their passion projects…....
CONTINUE

Written by FRITZ ESKER
PAGE

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

    WWNO

    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

    WWOZ

    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

    PRC

    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

    NOMA

    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

    X

    Thanks.

    was added to your favorites.

    VIEW YOUR PROFILE

     


    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook