Meet Your Barista: Mary @ HB-Frankfort Ave.
This month, we want to introduce you to Mary from our Frankfort Avenue store! When Mary isn’t working at Heine Brothers’, she’s teaching at YouthBuild Louisville and helping organize Girls Rock Louisville, an amazing musical summer camp experience that empowers girls and gender non-conforming youth!
Which store is your “home” store?
I work at the Crescent Hill store on Frankfort.
How long have you been with Heine Brothers’?
I have been working at Heine Bros for a year and a half.
Are you a native Louisvillian or a transplant?
Transplant! I was born and raised in the greatest city in the world, Chicago. My partner is originally from Louisville, so we moved here a year and a half ago to be closer to her family. It was an adjustment, but I feel like I’ve found my place here.
You’re an organizer of an awesome Louisville organization called Girls Rock Louisville – could you share a little bit about the mission and how it got started?
Our mission is to empower girls and gender non-conforming youth from all backgrounds by exploring music creation in a supportive, inclusive environment. Over the course of a week, campers learn an instrument, form a band, write a song, and perform in concert, all while learning about self-confidence, self-expression, social justice, and community building.
There’s an international community of folks putting together these camps – the first was in Portland 15 years ago. A group of us from GRL went to the Girls Rock Camp Alliance conference outside Philadelphia last month. It’s really a lot of female and LGBTQ musicians trying to create all the things we wish had been around when we were younger: a supportive community pooling their knowledge and experiences to help young people believe that they can be anything they want. Girls Rock Louisville grew out of the Outskirts Music Festival, which had a weekend of “Rockshops.” This summer is the first time it has been a full weeklong camp. It’s really exciting! Our applications opened on May 1 at girlsrocklouisville.org, and they started coming in right away. We are going to have paper applications at outreach events in the next month to make sure we’re reaching everyone we can.
What started your involvement in such an awesome organization?
I met one of the founders, Carrie Neumayer, through a friend shortly after moving here. She’s one of my best friends now and through GRL, I’ve met so many amazing people. I expected to get a full-time teaching job when I moved here, but I still don’t have one. I teach at YouthBuild Louisville and then Heine Bros allows me the flexibility to dedicate as much time as I need to organizing and outreach.
What’s the best part about getting to work with the campers at Girls Rock Louisville?
Helping girls learn to creatively express themselves and connect with an audience is so amazing and rewarding. I know what music meant to me when I was a teenager. A lot of angst was channeled through my guitar.
One thing you’ve learned working at Girls Rock Louisville that you want to pass on to others?
I played in a band called the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir for a number of years, and we always seemed on the precipice of “making it,” what ever that means. We recorded a few albums that were put out by independent labels, toured the country and played music festivals, and were critically acclaimed, but never got to the point where we could make a living at it. For a long time, I felt like a failure; GRL put that in perspective for me and I really fell back in love with music. Success isn’t about how many records you sell or who your manager is. If I can be an example for somebody to pick up an instrument and take a chance and be exactly who they are onstage, then I’ve accomplished all I dreamed of.
You must be a pretty big music fan, working with all these talented campers – any bands/artists you recommend?
I have to mention Chance the Rapper. I think he’s this generation’s Curtis Mayfield with the way he tackles complex subjects like gun violence in Chicago. I love St. Vincent, Sleater-Kinney, Cat Power, and Perfume Genius. One of our alumni from the Rockshops, Hoe Garden, are a local band to keep an eye on.
One thing you’d tell your teenager self if you could?
It gets better. There’s a whole world out there to discover. But do your homework first.
Lastly, what your favorite HB drink & why?
I’m pretty boring in this respect. I’m happy with a small soy latte. I love sweet things, just not in my coffee.
Girls Rock Louisville is still taking applications until June 18th! Fill out the application HERE. Find out more about the organization and how you can support their mission on their website: girlsrocklouisville.org/.