Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter and the founder and creative director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers. SW:S uses songwriting as a catalyst for positive change. They offer participants a unique way to tell their stories, rebuild trust, release pain, and forge new bonds. In SW:S retreat and workshop settings, service members are paired with professional songwriters to craft songs about their experiences, often about combat and the return home. Through their songs, participants rediscover their creativity and reconnect with family, friends, and communities. The songs are recorded and shared through CDs, concerts, and social media in order to bridge the divide between military and civilian communities, and build awareness of the challenges faced by our returning service members.
Smith is a master at making collaborative songwriting a safe place for personal expression and making creativity accessible and desirable. He is honored to put these skills to work with SW:S.
His 30-year career as a musician includes 14 critically acclaimed albums, TV appearances on Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show, and countless concerts and shows. Along with touring in the U.S. and Europe, Smith works with Fortune 500 companies on creativity. His 2013 TEDxAUSTIN presentation, "Fearing Your Gift," can be viewed here. An in-demand speaker on creativity, he was the 2011-2013 Artist-in-Residence at Oklahoma State University's Institute for Creativity and Innovation.