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About Dar's Lectures & Workshops

Dar Williams Standing in Rubble

High School and College

Wesleyan Course: Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy

This course compared three movements in which music played a crucial role:
  1. The Consciousness Movement leading up to Woodstock and beyond.
  2. The Civil Rights Movement leading into the Black Power Movement.
  3. The Women's Music Movement leading into different branches of commercial music (Lilith Fair) and alternative culture (Riot Grrrls)
Then the course looked at how music and musicians move into the marketplace, comparing and contrasting the music of movements and markets and looking at the inevitable overlap of the two.

Panel Discussions


  • Women in Music
  • Life on the Road
  • Balancing Career and Family
  • Green Touring
  • Touring As An Indie Artist
  • Music and Social Justice

Speaking Engagements and Teaching

Writing a Song That Matters

Writing a Song That Matters
Dar leads an inspirational songwriting retreat for any and all who want to improve their songwriting. Attendees spend five days at the Garrison Institute, a beautiful former monastery perched on the Hudson River. For details, go to

Writing Books and Writing Songs

Writing Books and Writing Songs
An engaging, age-appropriate discussion of each creative process (prose and poetry) and a comparison of the two. Based on the writing of 8 studio albums on Razor & Tie Records and two young adult novels for Scholastic Press. Presentations are often 40 minutes of lecture/demonstration followed by 20 minutes of Q&A, but they are time-adaptable.

Schools Include:

  • Palmyra Middle School, Palmyra, NY
  • Ridgefield Middle School, Ridgefield, CT
  • Yorktown Middle School, Yorktown, NY
  • Meredith Middle School and High School, Meredith, NH
  • Ossining Middle School, Ossining, NY
  • Potomac School, McClean, VA
  • Seven Bridges Middle School, Chappaqua, NY
  • Milton Academy, Milton, MA


Tips and tricks of songwriting plus the encouragement to court inspiration, stay the course, and create a finished song.
  • Folks Festival, Boulder, CO
  • Fur Peace Ranch, Athens, OH
  • concert day workshops at colleges and high schools
  • Steve Earle's Camp Copperhead
  • Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch

Positive Proximity: What I Found In A Thousand Towns (including the one where I live)

After 20 years of touring in countless towns and cities, fundraising for libraries, public radio and community gardens, and supporting the renovation of old theaters, Dar discusses the social capital-building, what she calls Positive Proximity, that allows towns to become unique, prosperous and self-reliant.    
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Wesleyan University