SongwritingWith: Inc.

Collaborative songwriting building creativity, connections and strengths, one song at a time.

aka SongwritingWith:Soldiers   |   Nashville, TN   |  www.songwritingwithsoldiers.org

Mission

To transform lives by using collaborative songwriting to build creativity, connections, and strengths.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Kristin Starling

Main address

632 Fogg Street Suite 8

Nashville, TN 37203 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Be An Artist

EIN

26-1626709

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SongwritingWith:Soldiers

We pair veterans, military families, and active-duty service members with professional songwriters in retreat and workshop settings to craft songs about military experiences and the return home. Collaborative songwriting fosters trust, connection, and well being.

Through collaborative songwriting, participants build trust, forge bonds, and release pain. Newly written songs are recorded on site and veterans registered with ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers) as co-writers of their songs. Our creativity workshops deepen connections, with sessions in photography, video, journaling and more, many led by veterans.

After the retreats, all participants receive books with lyrics and photographs from the weekend, CDs of the songs, and DVDs of the final performance. These lasting artifacts preserve positive memories and songs instill pride and serve as stepping-stones for reconnecting with family, friends, and communities.

The program also nurtures post-retreat growth. Participants provide peer support at future retreats, reconnect through our online SW:S forum, and interact through Creativity Calling, a quarterly teleclass focused on creative pursuits featuring special guests. Members of all military branches referred through contacts with VA Hospitals, Veterans Centers, Mental Health professionals. Costs are covered for participants.

SW:S songs shared through CDs, downloads, concerts, and social media to bridge the divide between military and civilian communities.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Veterans

We pair veterans, military families, and active-duty service members with professional songwriters in retreat and workshop settings to craft songs about military experiences and the return home. Collaborative songwriting fosters trust, connection, and well being.

Through collaborative songwriting, participants build trust, forge bonds, and release pain. Newly written songs are recorded on site and veterans registered with ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers) as co-writers of their songs. Our creativity workshops deepen connections, with sessions in photography, video, journaling and more, many led by veterans.

After the retreats, all participants receive books with lyrics and photographs from the weekend, CDs of the songs, and DVDs of the final performance. These lasting artifacts preserve positive memories and songs instill pride and serve as stepping-stones for reconnecting with family, friends, and communities.

The program also nurtures post-retreat growth. Participants provide peer support at future retreats, reconnect through our online SW:S forum, and interact through Creativity Calling, a quarterly teleclass focused on creative pursuits featuring special guests. Members of all military branches referred through contacts with VA Hospitals, Veterans Centers, Mental Health professionals. Costs are covered for participants.

SW:S songs shared through CDs, downloads, concerts, and social media to bridge the divide between military and civilian communities.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants who would recommend program to others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreats

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

100% of clients served.

Percentage of clients who achieved goal of writing at least one song

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreats

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

100% of clients served.

Percentage of clients who report an increase in hope and optimism

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreats

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

RESULTS FROM OUR LONG-TERM SURVEY OF PARTICIPANTS

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is that, through creative self-expression and positive connections, participants will release pain, reduce stress, increase well-being, build hope, and return home supported by their songs and their new SongwritingWith:Soldiers community.

In 2012, SW:S began with one veterans retreat in Texas. Since then, we've held more than 45 retreats and workshops in 7 states, and expanded our program to include military families, military couples, female veterans, and student veterans. We hope to bring the SongwritingWith:Soldiers program to veterans and their families in every state across the nation. Too often, military men and women carry their stories alone. Through collaborative songwriting, stories are shared, released, and transformed into something beautiful.

Key Activities 2021
4 - SW:S Retreats (3 TN, 1 CO)
4 - SW:S PATHH Retreats
2 - One-day online program w/individual writing sessions
4 - Half-day online reunion program w/group writing session
98 - PATHH (12-VA, 12-AZ, 10- MTT, 11-CSG, 12-GAF, 12-TMF,
12-BRB, 10-SDI, 7-NWP)
Core Programming
● Build on post-retreat tools and offerings
● Support PATHH expansion
● Build out online offerings
SW:S Team
● Further develop curriculum and training (PATHH, Retreat and Online)
● Add resources to support organizational capacity
Evidence-Based Applications and Outcomes
● Partner on research to strengthen/refine program offerings
● Further develop and apply Positive Psychology/Character Strengths
Outreach and Community
● Cataloging, sharing content
● Robust social media presence
● Connecting through live performances in Q4
Development
● #Creativity Reflections Book - donor recognition
● 10th Anniversary multi-year gift solicitation and cultivation
● Increase monthly donors

We continued our strategic focus on ensuring long-term financial and program sustainability, while gaining important growth and recognition of our signature programs for veterans, active duty service members and their families.

As SW:S moves towards our 10th anniversary in 2022, we remain committed to strengthening the organization and furthering the mission-driven purpose established by our founders.

To achieve this goal, our initiatives embrace three requirements: Solidify. Amplify. Sustain. With this strategic emphasis in place we successfully accomplished the following key objectives:

o Focus on Existing Demand—continuing to service existing military-focused demand (veteran, active military, and families)
o Grow Through Partnership—Leveraging evidence-based programing through strategic partnerships that explore both ingredient and stand-alone approaches
o Build Infrastructure—Invest in strengthening infrastructure to ensure that we are building a sustainable, scalable, self-supporting nonprofit able to carry our mission into the future

SongwritingWith:Soldiers continues to connect with funders and partners who strongly believe in our mission and wish to support us.

Examples include two "in progress" partnerships with corporate sponsors, a new board member who is spearheading the first SW:S research project, a renowned documentary filmmaker who is filming SW:S retreats for a feature-length project, invitations to present our unique program to audiences at universities, conferences, corporate gatherings, and private parties.

Like many nonprofits, we continue to rely on individual donors to keep our program free to veterans and their families. At the same time, the high level respect for our young organization assures us that we will continue to meet and exceed our goals.

Despite the challenges of 2020, SW:S did not pause in our mission to build #CREATIVITY, #CONNECTIONS, and #STRENGTHS for veterans and active duty military in need. In the face of increased isolation and pressure on those living with PTSD, we're proud that our whole community rose to meet this moment with resilience and inspired action.

We served hundreds of veterans and their families with new web-based offerings, including four innovative virtual songwriting sessions, eleven live streaming concerts, creativity and wellness offerings engaging more than 400 past participants, a redesigned website, and additional measures to work with veterans safely resulting in four in person retreats in 2020.

PROGRAM
● 4 SW:S PATHH in person retreats with Boulder Crest serving 21 veterans with additional measures to ensure safety of participants within pandemic restrictions
● 51 SW:S collaborative songwriting sessions in person for Warrior PATHH in 7 different locations serving 275+ veterans and first responders
● Held first retreat with new Facilitator/Songwriter Team (Kevin Reeder and Jay Clementi)
● Creative Community Courses (CCC): 50+ courses and interactive interviews engaging more than 400 past participants, 10 CCC sessions featured SW:S veterans
● Online Group Songwriting Pilots: 4 sessions including events for non-SW:S participants; Covid Responders; All-Female Veteran and Tennessee Retreat reunions
● New tools and skills developed to present online collaborative songwriting and after-retreat engagement giving us powerful resources that will continue to benefit and help deliver our mission
● Added online follow up group song to in-person retreat outreach and community building
● Pilot retreat with Ohio Innocence Project supported by the Mayerson Foundation

MUSIC
● Named Jay Clementi in a new position of Music Director
● 7,694 complete listens on Bandcamp
● Trained new Lead and PATHH writers for both in-person and online sessions
● 10 “Songs From Home” concerts on Facebook Live featuring SW:S writers performing songs written during retreats and PATHH and giving insights into the backstory of the experience.
● 3 Collaboration videos released on SW:S Facebook and YouTube channels featuring veteran’s perspective and a look at its longer-term impact
● PBS concert special Songwriting With Soldiers available for free streaming during National Military Family Appreciation Month in November

ORGANIZATION -Held Strategic Direction Planning session and developed a 3 year Strategic Plan:
o Focus on Existing Demand—continuing to service existing military-focused demand (veteran, active military, and families)
o Grow Through Partnership—Leveraging evidence-based programing through strategic partnerships that explore both ingredient and stand-alone approaches
o Build Infrastructure—Invest in strengthening infrastructure to ensure that we are building a sustainable, scalable, self-supporting nonprofit able to carry our mission into the future

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Veterans, Active Military, and their families.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

SongwritingWith: Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SongwritingWith: Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gary Leopold

Retired

Term: 2018 - 2020

Harry Ballan

Touro College

Barbara Kornreich

Piper7Media

Mike Schatzlein

TRC Studios

Donald Navor

Lieutenant Colonel, USA (Retired)

Mary Judd

Co-Founder and Program Director

Kristin Starling

Ex Officio/Executive Director

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/6/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data