Bear Music Fest
BEAR MUSIC FEST • Sept 10-13, 2020!

News & Artist Content Builder

Social Movements & Moving Songs

Music to Life: Rachel Garlin

Bear Music Fest is proud to partner with Music2Life to present this unique workshop around songwriting for social change. Music to Life builds activism through music. In collaboration with cause-driven artists and mission-driven organizations, they address the challenges of attracting and retaining supporters, and help ameliorate the circumstances of those who struggle.

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 1.30.20 PM.png

Social Movements & Moving Songs: An interactive workshop

In this interactive presentation and workshop, we’ll consider some of the songs that have moved our society to change (past and present) and also tap into our own socially conscious inner poets. Rachel will guide the group through some of the history and ‘magic’ behind songs that have moved our hearts and minds around an issue . . . and for those who want to go a bit further, there will be an opportunity to co-create an original piece that reflects our ideas, concerns, and hopes for the world. This workshop is: live, community-building in a creative, at-your-own-pace, guided-improvisational space. Join us!

This workshop is perfect for ages 13+ & adults

Rachel Garlin.jpg



Berkeley native Rachel Garlin grew up going to folk music festivals in Golden Gate Park, playing basketball for the state championship Berkeley High Yellowjackets, and participating in civic life as a teenage activist. These strands came together after college when she became a teacher (and hoops coach) with an activist bent and a touring singer-songwriter whose character-filled songs have been noted for their vivid, lyrical imagery and themes that are "fresh and often unexpectedly moving" (East Bay Express).

Now, as a faculty of member of several Bay Area schools, Garlin continues to write, record, and perform around the country, headlining at venues such as Club Passim and the Bitter End. With five albums of original music (including a live album recorded at the historic Freight and Salvage), Garlin has also produced several activist music videos with Bay Area teens including “You Be You” (a co-production with students in the Gay-Straight Alliance at Live Oak School in San Francisco), and “Equality” (which speaks to Dr. King‘s legacy as it has plays out at King Middle School in Berkeley.)

Garlin’s fifth and most recent album, Wink at July, continues in the folk-rock storytelling vein that brought her past accolades from Performing Songwriter Magazine, recognition from the Music2Life Foundation, and won her first place in the Newport Folk Festival’s Talent Search. Media fans include Curve Magazine (“storytelling at its best”) and Diffuser Magazine (“an impressive catalogue of unforgettable stories.”) Garlin’s songs have aired on Click and Clack's Car Talk, NPR’s Democracy Now, and radio stations throughout the country. Her live performances bring together a natural stage presence and the same folk, rock, and Americana flavors tha season her recordings.