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Michael W. Smith, as well as 11 other Christian songwriters, retired earlier this year in Scotland to write songs to raise money to be donated to charities under the CompassionArt project.

People can donate what they want and download six of the songs at http://widget.nabbr.com/compassion_art.html.

CompassionArt, under the leadership of the Grammy Award Winning American Christian Singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith, announced the January 27 release of the charity’s self-titled album, CompassionArt: Creating Freedom from Poverty. All the publishing royalties from the 15-song disc will be donated to various organizations supported by the participating artists and songwriters, including Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, Kirk Franklin, and CeCe Winans, among others.

“We have united ourselves as a community of artists and songwriters to give it all away,” Smith said. "Please join us by purchasing the album, playing these songs, and singing them in your church services.

In addition to the album, the songwriters have produced a book, The Art of Compassion, to be published in January 2009. The twelve-chapter book is focused on worship, hope and justice found in each of the writers’ lives.

“Hopefully, these songs will be played for a long time,” Smith said. “If one or two or four of these connect on the church level where people are singing them in church every Sunday, that’s income as well.”

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