Port Townsend, Washington
Songwriting Works Educational Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization based in Port Townsend, WA, operates internationally providing workshops, trainings, tools, and respite activities that engage hundreds of elders, families, caregivers and music / arts professionals each year. The program’s mission is to restore health and community through the power of song. In conjunction with local, regional, and national arts, aging, health and education partners, Songwriting Works seeks to ensure quality of life for older adults across the cognitive spectrum and to transform the health and well-being of society.
The organization grew out of the Songwriting Works method of musical engagement that founder and director Judith-Kate Friedman developed as California Arts Council artist-in-residence at Artworks / Institute on Aging / Mt. Zion/UCSF (1990-92) and replicated with elders across the care continuum (Marin Arts Council 1995-99, Jewish Home of San Francisco 1997-present, et al.). To date, more than 3,000 older adults and caregivers have participated, composing 300 songs. The Songwriting Works experience has been likened to musical mural painting. Elders and families join together with trained professional songwriters to collectively compose and perform their own original songs. Workshops take place at skilled nursing, assisted living, adult day and community centers. 80% of Songwriting Works‘ family programs serve participants who have early to late-stage Alzheimer’s or other dementias.