Founder and Creative Director, SongWritingWith:Soldiers
Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter based in Austin whose thirty-year career redefines what it means to be a musician. In addition to fifteen critically acclaimed albums, Smith continues to break new ground using the craft of songwriting in education, entrepreneurship, and in service to others. He is the founder and creative director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit that pairs award-winning songwriters with veterans and service members in retreat settings to craft songs about combat and the return home. The collaborative songwriting process is the heart of SongwritingWith:Soldiers. To date, the program has held more than fifty events across the country, and has expanded to include retreats for military families, military couples and student veterans. The music created during retreats and one-day workshops is shared online and through social media and concerts to raise awareness and help bridge the divide between military and civilian communities.