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Arts Diplomacy – overcoming generational hatred, fear and prejudice through songwriting

Four or five of us were standing around talking during a break in our songwriter conference.

In the group –

A plastics manufacturer, an EPA enforcement agent, a metal and plastics recycling business owner, a firefighter / river pirate who once swam the Cumberland River to show how dirty it was…

At one point after a productive and spirited discussion, the plastics guy clapped the EPA guy on the back and laughed, “I’ve spent all my career being scared to death of guys like you.”

Not because of any wrongdoing, I should add, but just because of the job description and built in prejudices surrounding each.

What, might you ask, can bring together such a motley crew of diverse individuals?

Only one thing I know of could bridge that mighty divide…


In this case, songwriting and specifically our annual confab, the Nashville Songwriting and Music Business Conference.

The conversations that are set in motion at these events lay the foundation for lasting relationships that thrive and collaborate to this day – to make the world a better, safer, and more effective place for you and me.

And to think it all started with the camaraderie spun off a simple act of songwriting.

This tendency to at-one is the driving force behind all the songwriting and skills capacity building I do through my educational and entertainment media companies, Songpreneurs, Hillbilly Culture and Songlife.

It guides the k-12 in-schools programs, the high school, college and adult education jobs and literacy skills training, and the corporate / government team building practicum curricula.

Over the years I have seen thousands of people – from copyright attorneys and esteemed world IP judges at the United States Patent and Trademark Office annual Copyright Seminars, to 7 and 8 year-olds and their learning coaches working remotely from South America with my interactive Ready Set Write™ program in cooperation with the U.S. Embassies, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Arts Envoy program.

I have seen bullied kids spill their troubled hearts out through rapid fire rap lyrics to their tormentors and watched the repentance in the eyes of the accused… Witnessed the forgiveness when the bully, chastised and wiser, reaches across the table to congratulate the kid on his good work – shakes his hand, even, in front of the watching class.

I have seen the friendless, “odd” kid receive his first friendly pat on the back from a room full of strangers, appreciating for the first time the value of his difference, and their obligation to acknowledge him and the pain they had been heaping on.

Some changes take time, and some happen in a sudden flash.

Songwriting changes a person in both ways.

A sudden flash of insight strikes the individual like a tremor of lightning and electricity pulses through the nerves and ratchets up the body’s vibration.

It enlivens every cell and makes a visible and sometimes audible (to the person inside, not for others to hear) – pop.

It can happen multiple times in one session if the students are ready and that’s how they get hooked on writing, reading and seeking out information they are curious about.

That’s the immediate change, and the other part takes time, and repetition helps.

As students learn to trust their ability to read, write and seek out interesting information, they are rewarded, and seek to do the same more often.

This is the needed and highly prized, sought after, self-motivating force that pushes a person toward ever greater excellence in work and life.

It is also the part that strives to cooperate with others.

Cooperating with like minded people is one thing, and can be difficult enough.

Cooperating with dis-similar people is more of a challenge, and yet, it can generate such new and innovative solutions because of the variety of divergent influences brought to bear.

It might sound impossible that a team building activity could bring together 32 world dignitaries speaking 28 different languages to work in small groups and each write a song in

less than 90 minutes with only two facilitators…

But that is exactly the results that we have come to expect from delivering the power packed Write Brain™ workshops and team building activities over the past 10 years.

Cooperating can be difficult unless one has a proven method and pathway to achieve effective communication.

Our proven Write Brain Song Crafting™ method is the bridge needed to bring people together and explore their creativity and writing as a healthy form of self expression.

Bringing people together is the mission, songwriting is the vehicle, and arts diplomacy is the path to overcoming generational hatred, prejudice and fear.


Book my team to provide Write Brain™ songwriting teambuilding for your next corporate event

U.S. Embassy and government agencies – request Amanda Colleen Williams Arts Envoy Specialist at the Arts Envoy desk in the Cultural Affairs Office here

Schools and community groups, fill out your request for Ready Set Write™ in schools literacy program here -

Interested in pursuing your songwriting full force this year? Apply for a spot in the Songpreneurs Leadership Community and access our workbooks for home study here:


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