The Housing Development Consortium of King County has recognized Music Education grad students Skúli Gestsson and Chris Mena for their leadership of a recent collective songwriting project with clients of Seattle-based Path With Art.
Path With Art, which seeks to use art and creativity to transform the lives of people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and other trauma, hosted a community songwriting course at the organization led by Gestsson and Mena.
The resulting song, “A Mosaic Inside Me,” written and recorded at Seattle’s Jack Straw Studios, was named the winning entry of the Consortium’s Affordable Housing Week Songwriting Competition. Other homeless advocacy organizations competing were Seattle’s Weber Thompson House and Kate’s House Foundation.
“We couldn’t be happier that HDC selected Path with Art’s song as the winner of Affordable Housing Week,” says a blog post from another competitor, Weber Thompson, a Seattle architecture firm focused on developing affordable housing that submitted an original song, “Our House,” to the competition.
“Cheers to another successful week of dedicated housing advocacy and education in our region, and cheers to creativity as a means for positive change! That is a cause we can always get behind.”
Mena and Gestsson have brought their community songwriting program to organizations in Washington state, including the Yakama Nation Tribal School in Toppenish, WA. Both are PhD candidates in Music Ed at the University of Washington.