The Creativity Workshop is based in New York City and is taught around the world.
It was established in 1993 by educator and writer Shelley Berc and educator and multimedia artist Alejandro Fogel. The organization is dedicated to teaching individuals and groups about their creative processes.
Shelley Berc has been teaching people in all disciplines how to access, nurture, and expand their creativity for over 20 years. She believes that creativity is a common denominator of humanity and she is passionate about educating individuals and organizations about how to develop this uniquely human gift.
Berc emphasizes that many of the creative thinking processes that a scientist, a CEO, and an artist go through are extremely similar, even though the outcomes are as different as can be.
Berc was a full professor at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and the Iowa Playwrights Workshop from 1985-2000.
She is a well known author of novels and plays. Her novel, The Shape of Wilderness, was praised by The New York Times as “a vividly imagined parable…a strange and potent book”. Her numerous awards include a McKnight Fellowship, two Lila Wallace/Readers Digest awards, Rockefeller/Bellagio Fellowship, a Pew/ TCG National Theatre Artists Residency, and an NEA Opera/Music librettist fellowship.
Shelley Berc’s theatre pieces have starred many notable actors, such as Patrick Stewart, Stanley Tucci, and Tony Shalhoub. Her plays have been performed at the American Repertory Theatre, the Yale Rep, Seattle Rep, and Classic Stage Company among others.
She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and was one of the first women to graduate from Amherst College.
Alejandro Fogel has been teaching individuals of all backgrounds about how to increase their creativity, innovative thinking and perception for over 25 years. He has demonstrated to his students that they all have artistic abilities and that those abilities are also very useful in many non-artistic fields.
Fogel is both a visual artist and a writer. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work is greatly influenced by his passion for preserving the indigenous cultures of South America. His work combines writing, painting, installations, prints, videos, photographs and travel performances. He uses this multimedia approach to celebrate the creativity of every day life by transforming mundane objects and materials into treasured possessions.
Coaching Che Guevara, his most recent book, explores the overlappings of time and place, philosophy, and physics, politics and peoples in the throes of war and migration. He follows his father’s journey in World War II Europe and his subsequent migration to Argentina. Fogel’s own story of growing up in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War weaves in and out of his father’s tale.
Fogel has received numerous awards and honors. His paintings and installations are in museum collections worldwide. He was an Institute of Current World Affairs fellow and an artist-in-residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio.
He studied at the University of Buenos Aires and has an MFA in Multimedia from the University of Iowa.
Elizabeth Eiss is our specialist for The Creativity Workshop for Business.
She is a well-rounded and seasoned senior executive who has successfully led operations in multi-billion dollar companies to start up ventures. As both an intra-preneur and entre-preneur, she has an extensive track record of progressive accomplishment and positive impact to bottom line results.
Elizabeth’s expertise includes strategic planning, growth strategies, change management, merger and acquisition, people leadership, organizational effectiveness, turn-arounds, workflow/process design and leveraging technology systems to create business value. Her sector expertise includes insurance, financial and investment services, software development and applied consulting.
Currently, Elizabeth is a faculty member of The Creativity Workshop specializing in the application of creativity development techniques to a wide range of business opportunities and challenges. As an Executive-on-Demand, she also coaches and consults for a number of companies to drive initiatives from strategy to successful execution.
Since 2006, Elizabeth has been a Managing Director of Golden Seeds, an investment firm dedicated to delivering above market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them.
She earned her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and continued her education through the Wharton School of Business Senior Executive program.
Elizabeth actively mentors a number of rising leaders in their professional development. She has served on the advisory board of Pro Mujer, a microfinance organization devoted to bettering the lives of women in South America through an integrated program of lending, training and healthcare. She also served on the corporate advisory board of the School of American Ballet, the training institute of the New York City Ballet.
Professor Kirpal Singh is recognized internationally as an expert in the field of creativity development and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and seminars on Creativity & Innovation. He has been a faculty member at The Creativity Workshop since 2004.
He is the founding Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies at the Singapore Management University, where he is a professor and teaches courses in creative thinking. Dr. Singh’s latest book, “Thinking Hats & Colored Turbans” deals with the exploration of creativity in business, art, science, and life. He has been a consultant in innovation to several large corporations (such as AMEX, IBM, Singapore Airlines, L’Oreal).
Singh is also a fiction writer and poet. He was recently a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaching poetry. He is the author of 15 books and more than 40 journal articles. Singh, a recipient of numerous writing awards, has given readings of his work at Literature & Arts Festivals all over the world, including The Edinburgh, Cambridge, York, Adelaide, Toronto, and Sydney Festivals.
He has lectured and served as a writer-in-residence at universities in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, UK, USA, India, Philippines, Mexico, Germany, Italy, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hungary. In 1997 he was Distinguished International Writer at the world-famous
University of Iowa International Writing Program. In 2005 Professor Singh became the first non-American to be appointed to the American Creativity Association’s Board.
Patricia Foster is the author of All the Lost Girls (memoir), Just Beneath My Skin (personal essays; starred review from Kirkus Reviews) and the editor of Minding the Body and Sister to Sister. She won the PEN/Jerard Fund Award, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, the Hoepfner Award, and the Dean’s Scholar Award for nonfiction received a Florida Arts Council Award, the Lake Effect Fiction Award, and a Yaddo Fellowship for fiction as well as four Alabama Arts & Humanities grants.
Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Vogue, Chronicle for Higher Education, Glamour, Ploughshares as well as other newspapers and journals.
She’s published both nonfiction and fiction in the Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, Antioch Review, Massachusetts Review, Glimmer Train and other quarterlies. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and her Ph.D. from Florida State University. She is a professor in the MFA Program in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa and has been an exchange professor in France.