LitArtlantic kicks off tonight in Bethesda with a host of events dedicated to the local arts. The event is organized by The Writer’s Center, Round House Theatre, Songwriters’ Association of Washington, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Docs in Progress, and American Independent Writers. LitArtlantic’s free events include a discussion on creativity with 9:30 Club founder and filmmaker Bill Warrell, and a chat with photojournalist, poet, and radio producer Askia Muhammad. On Saturday from 1 to 2:15 .m., the Young Songwriters’ Showcase features Margot MacDonald, Alex Culbreth, and René Moffatt.
MacDonald, a musician and songwriter, serves on the Songwriters’ Association of Washington Board as youth outreach director and showcase presenter.
“The entire event is going to be a cool new thing,” MacDonald says. “There aren’t many events that bring all the arts together. There’s Artomatic for artists, and music festivals, but nothing that incorporates all the arts. Artists like to dabble in other arts. I’m a musician, but I do visual arts as well, and I do writing on the side, so it’s cool to bring them all together.”
MacDonald says she expects the Songwriters’ Showcase will draw everyone from middle-schoolers to middle-agers, and says that she, Culbreth, and Moffatt will talk about their experiences writing songs to help others with the process.
“We’re going to play a couple songs of original work, and talk about our process,” she says. “We’re going to talk about what a songwriter does, how to write songs, and how to get into the groove.”
MacDonald says the best way to teach people how to write songs is to show them how to harness inspiration.
“Some people start with music, but a lot of people start with the writing part,” she says. “Some people have to set up a time to do songwriting, some need to let it flow. It’s a matter of figuring out how you work and what you need.”
LitArtlantic starts tonight at 8 P.M. and runs to May 22 at the Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. Free. (301) 654-8664.