Mark Cutler’s Same Thing Project announces ‘Community Songwriting for Mental Health’ College Tour

The Same Thing Project, founded in 2016 by Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame inductee Mark Cutler, is taking its innovative community songwriting workshops to college campuses for the 2022-23 academic year in a tour titled Community Songwriting for Mental Health. This first-of-its-kind college tour has been developed with support from the National Museum of Mental Health Project (NMMHP) as a means of addressing the mental health challenges being faced by today’s college students.

The Same Thing Project is one of the first organizations in the United States dedicated to community songwriting, which it defines as “discovering one’s voice, alongside others, to create words and music for shared experiences and emotions—everyone becomes a songwriter. No music experience required.” Recognition of the mental health and well-being benefits of community songwriting is increasing nationally. During the summer of 2022, the City of Detroit kicked off an effort that uses community songwriting to create conversations about mental health and well-being. With the goal of creating positive emotions on campus, the Community Songwriting for Mental Health College Tour is believed to be the first effort of its kind to focus on colleges.

In March, The Same Thing Project held a community songwriting workshop at Dean College in Massachusetts under the direction of Mark Cutler, who is also a songwriter-in-residence with NMMHP. Over 20 students attended and co-wrote a song entitled “What’s Gonna Happen.” Michael Adamowicz, Director of the Morton Family Learning Center at Dean, observes, “Mark Cutler…is an expert at working with students with learning differences; his gentle, encouraging approach allowed everyone to participate and feel included. Building community through music, is there anything better?”

NMMHP Board member Anne Walton explains, “In any form, art speaks the unspoken. The Same Thing Project offers participants the opportunity to explore thoughts and feelings through words and music. This collaboration is a natural extension of the work of NMMHP.”

The Community Songwriting for Mental Health College Tour emerged, in part, from work performed by MBA students at Assumption University and from the work of Emily Taylor, College of the Holy Cross ’22, who is an advisor to NMMHP. The tour is expected to focus on Southern New England during the Fall ’22 semester but has already received an inquiry from a large university in Texas.

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