“The essence of life is collaboration.”

-Darden Smith

Honored to cross paths with an Austin-based songwriter and musician today at the Art of Entrepreneurship luncheon with the Delafield Arts Center.

The event’s featured speaker, Darden Smith, embodies the spirit of the Delafield Arts Center’s mission (create, cultivate, collaborate and share).  He inspired every single attendee (statistical fact :). Darden is a clever storyteller with the added blessing of being able to translate his experiences or his interpretation of other people’s stories into songs.  When Darden launched into his first song, I thought he reminded me of John Hiatt.  Now that I own his cds, I believe his sound is a unique blend of southern rock.

Why did I love his presentation so much?  Darden appears to eat, breathe and live a creative life.  He talks to students across the country encouraging them to explore creativity through songwriting.  He was a guest speaker at Emma’s performing arts high school class advising the students:

“We’re all born artists and we don’t need to follow any special route to become artists. We just need to pay attention, and discover what it is we truly enjoy doing. With intention you can follow a creative path.”

My favorite song? Angel Flight

Darden collaborated with Radney Foster to write the song Angel Flight.  Radney created a poignant video of Angel Flight, and a portion of sales of the song (available on iTunes) is donated to the Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation. Darden will include Angel Flight on his upcoming album as well.

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In an interesting twist, Darden Smith’s most recent cd is titled, “Marathon.”  Which reminds me to mention that this week I hit my marathon fundraising goal thanks to my generous donors!  Grateful to everyone who contributed; proving everything really is a collaboration.

Team Ann’s Hope celebrating recently (partial team photo).
Our collaborative effort raised more than $35,000 to fund melanoma research!  Photo credit: Amy Stigler

Links:

Delafield Arts Center

Darden Smith – Songwriter. Musician. Innovator.

Ann’s Hope Foundation for Melanoma