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Walter Parks: Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting and More… Arts education for learners of all ages is a core element of the Arts Council’s mission. This year we are piloting a few new outreach efforts in the music, dramatic and literary arts. These programs are related to efforts we have underway that support and nourish visual artists.

The first in our lineup is through a partnership with the Lyric Theatre and features a renowned singer/songwriter, Walter Parks leading a workshop entitled: “Surviving as a Working Artist.”

Surviving As A Working Artist. A Checklist of What You Must Understand
The Partnership of Art and Commerce. Walter will share his experiences of surviving in the arts via 25 years of extensive touring in the U.S. and Europe, with his own groups and as a sideman for Woodstock legend Richie Havens. He will discuss the importance of the arts to societies in general and contrast art’s perceived value in European and American cultures.

The Asset of Style and Honoring Roots. The ability to play with a unique style translates to job security. Walter will discuss the importance of honoring our roots as a pathway to the paramount goal of finding our own artistic style. To demonstrate how Walter found his own artistic style on guitar he will perform several of his own southern-tinged compositions which are inspired by America’s rich original forms – the blues and jazz. He will also perform some popular songs by other artists, with his own interpretation.

Accompaniment. Becoming an effective sideman or band/team player is discussed. This workshop shares ways of assessing a band leader’s rhythmic, harmonic and melodic style so that contrasting chords, chord voicings and rhythms can be used to weave into the overall sound of a band or song.
Getting The Gig. Keeping The Gig. How one carries oneself and the useful skills beyond those on one’s own instrument are factors that influence how long one stays on a gig.

Zen and Value. How to deal with the incessant interior mental battle of second-guessing one’s value and career choice is discussed. It’s essential to be where one is wanted. The pathway to artistic peace of mind is focusing on a style and seeking out an audience for one’s style.

Tickets are $20 Student or $40 Adult and includes a ticket to the Walter Park’s performance, Saturday April 14 at the Lyric Theatre. The workshop is appropriate for Ages 16 years and up. Tickets available at the Lyric Box office or online at

About Walter Parks:
Over the past three decades, Walter Parks has forged a distinctive international career as the lead guitarist for Woodstock legend Richie Havens, half of the folk-duo The Nudes, and guitarist and leader of the swamp/blues-outfit Swamp Cabbage. His original music is inspired by the swampy gospel blues that wails from storefront churches and roadhouses in and around the southeast Georgia low country.

This program is possible with support from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties who are allowing us, with this funding to explore pilot programs in areas we have previously not offered education or outreach programming.