RHODYLIFE

Mark Cutler puts on ‘Healing Arts in the Parks’

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Along with being a Rhode Island Music Hall of Famer due to his role as the frontman for The Schemers, Mark Cutler is always willing to teach.

The Cranston resident runs a songwriting workshop called The Same Thing Project with people from various backgrounds. Every Thursday morning, the workshop takes place at The Village Theater within the Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main St. in Pawtucket, and it’s free and open to everyone.

Starting on July 8, Cutler will be conducting another songwriting workshop called “Healing Arts in the Parks.” It’ll be taking place on a weekly basis on Thursdays at 7 p.m. with the Roger Williams National Memorial at 282 North Main St. in Providence being the primary setting in July and Slater Mill on 67 Roosevelt Ave. in Pawtucket being the same in August.

Much like The Same Thing Project, “Healing Arts in the Parks” is free and open to everyone while promising to be an ideal event for the whole family. Cutler’s directing of The Same Thing Project got noticed by some folks from the National Park Service and formed the idea for this particular workshop.

“I’ve been directing The Same Thing Project for the past several years,” he said about how this all started. “The Same Thing Project is a songwriting workshop for people from all walks of life. Musicians, non-musicians, artists, retired folks, people with disabilities, blue and white collar workers participate every week in writing a song. Kevin Klyberg, Andrew Schnetzer, Sparkle Bryant and Guy Benoit from the National Park Service were aware of my program and thought it would be a really good idea to hold similar workshops in various public spaces during the summer.”

While taking place in two different locations over the summer, the workshop will be consistent as each date goes by. Cutler’s vision is to have it be a purely organic and improvisational experience.

“The main idea will be the same,” he said about the vision behind “Healing Arts in the Parks.” “We’ll try to have no preconceived notions of what we’re going to write about. I want folks to help determine the subject but I’ll be there to prompt if necessary.”

The main goal for Cutler with the workshop is to bring all sorts of people together. He also would like people who are unfamiliar with music to come and experience the joy and thrill that comes with the art form.

“I hope we can get some people who’ve never met before to create something new,” he said about what he hopes to accomplish. “I’d love to have someone who’s never written a song take part in this program. We’ll encourage unlikely collaborations between future former strangers. I want you to know the rush you get when taking part in the creative process. This is for both musical and non-musical folks.”

If you, some friends or some loved ones are looking to get outside and get those creative juices flowing, stop by “Healing Arts in the Parks” on a Thursday night. You might tap into some talents you never knew you had, and more importantly, you might make a new friend.

To learn more, visit nps.gov/blrv or thesamethingproject.com.

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