Amsterdam Amsterdam Thumbs Amsterdam
July 14 - 20, 2014 10 AM to 1:30 PM each day

The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam

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Program Overview

  • The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam will help you become more creative in your personal and professional life; the creativity training we provide uses the tools of creative writing, memoir, art, photography, storytelling, mapmaking, and guided visualization.
  • Participants come from many different countries and professional fields, including business, education, psychology, the sciences, and the arts.
  • Many people who have taken the Workshop say that it was a transformative experience, helping them to write their books, start new companies, complete long overdue projects, transition to rewarding retirements, and change the way they look at life.

Program Details

  • The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam meets for 5 days, 3 1/2 hours per day (from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM). You will have the rest of the time to wander around Amsterdam and the vicinity.
  • Class will take place at Hotel NH Caransa.

Why Amsterdam?

  • What makes Amsterdam so exciting is the fusion of its quaint 17th century historical atmosphere  with the sensibility of a friendly, modern city. The small scale of the buildings and the intimacy of the streets, canals, and squares create an atmosphere that is unique in the world. You will find yourself boating down canals, sampling fabulous Dutch and Indonesian specialties, people-watching in cafes, and venturing out into the lush countryside.
  • The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to such cultural highlights as the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt's world-famous Night Watch. You can also visit the Royal Palace on the Dam, the Jewish Historical Museum, Rembrandt's House, and the Artis Zoo.
  • While your surroundings and experiences in Amsterdam will help to awaken your imagination, the techniques we explore in class will sharpen your appreciation of this charming city.

What Will You Learn?

The Creativity Workshop is an experiential workshop of doing and experimenting. Our exercises and instructors’ talks focus on helping you:

  • Learn practical techniques to stimulate your imagination and innovative thinking.
  • Explore the process of creativity, rather than simply focusing on the product.
  • Discover how to find inspiration in the world around you.
  • Get over creative blocks and the fear of failure.

More on What You Will Learn
  • Work with many different mediums to develop your creativity in your chosen medium more deeply.
  • Use your memories to trigger your imagination.
  • Engage your curiosity every day and make it work for you.
  • Establish a 15 minute a day creativity practice to accomplish your goals after the Workshop ends.

Daily Schedule


Here is a sampling of just some of the exercises and techniques we will be working with in class. Participants tell us the time in workshop seems to fly by. The order and kinds of exercises and the instructors' talks may vary. Some exercises are done individually while others are collaborative.

Monday, July 14, 2014: Arrival. Free day

  • Time for you to settle in and relax.

Tuesday, July 15: First day of workshop

  • Introduction to the hows and whys of The Creativity Workshop.
  • Relaxation: Exercises in relaxation techniques to help your imagination flow.
  • Guided Visualization: Calling forth the vocabulary of your imagination using the myth of the hero's journey as a framework.
  • Automatic Writing and Drawing: Finding your hidden imagery.
  • Show and Tell: Retrieving and sharing childhood memories to spark new ideas. This exercise will sharpen your storytelling skills.
  • Instructors' talk: How some famous writers, scientists, and artists found their inspiration, and how you can use some of their methods to find yours.

More on Daily Schedule

Wednesday, July 16:

  • Relaxation.
  • Guided Visualization: Mapmaking as a way to find, chart, and communicate your creative process and projects.
  • Automatic Writing: How automatic writing (also known as “free writing”) can help you create in new and surprising ways. How you can use automatic writing to outrun your inner judge, get over creative blocks, and discover new ways of developing and editing written work. How alternating between writing and drawing can help you develop creative flexibility and mental dexterity.
  • The Interview: Listening to and experiencing a life outside your own. How listening is as important as doing in creative work.

Thursday, July 17:

  • Guided visualization: Letter writing as a way to express voice, character, and audience.
  • Miniature Theatre: Storytelling with found objects.
  • Automatic Writing: Writing in Groups. How writing and/or drawing with others can stimulate your imagination and expand your point of view.

  • Instructors' talks may include:
    • The importance of play in creative work
    • Valuing creative process over product
    • How to do ongoing creative work in short modules of time
    • How to use luck and coincidence to jump-start creative projects

Friday, July 18:

  • Guided Visualization: The Myth of the Other.
    Imagining yourself living a parallel life. What would you do that you aren't doing now?
  • Trips to the Past: Using a foreign environment to invoke memory and inspire transformation.
  • The Close-Up: Using photography and drawing to focus on details and change the way we see.
  • Instructors' talks may include:
    • Following your innate creativity and listening to its intuition
    • How to rekindle fearless imagination
    • The Power of the Magic phrase: “What If”

Saturday, July 19:

  • Guided Visualization: The Legend of the Hand.
  • Automatic Writing and Drawing continues with a new twist.
  • Cafe Exercise: Writing about, drawing, and photographing people you find in local cafes.
  • The Illuminated Manuscript: A collaborative exercise in combining mediums and perspectives.
  • Instructors' talk may include:
    • The Gift of the Amateur
    • Creativity is a Muscle: Use it or Lose it
    • Making your home and work environments inspiring
    • How to stay creative after The Creativity Workshop ends

Sunday, July 20: Departure

Amsterdam Package Includes Tuition, Hotel, Breakfast

  • Spouses/companions who would like to travel with their partners but do not want to attend the workshop may share a room for an additional fee.
  • Vacancies are limited and hotel rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. We encourage early registration in order to obtain the level of accommodations you seek.


Arrival: July 14 - Departure: July 20, 2014
The Creativity Workshop will take place at Hotel NH Caransa.

This package includes:

Tuition for The Creativity Workshop in Amsterdam

6 Nights at Hotel NH Caransa
in a Single Room with Private Bath

Air Conditioning


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You can register for The Creativity Workshop and make your own housing arrangements.
Contact us for pricing and details.

The Creativity Workshop will take place at Hotel NH Caransa.

Click Here for a map of the area and nearby hotels.





To reserve your place: full payment is required.

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By registering you agree with our Terms and Conditions.


  • We cannot guarantee the quality, cooling level, or functioning of the hotels' air conditioning. Air conditioning in Europe is seldom up to American standards of cool.
  • European hotel rooms tend to be smaller than American ones.

Special Offers

Save on packages for The Creativity Workshop with our Special Offers.

The following offers do not apply to our Workshops in New York and Singapore. Offers are not combinable.

  • $700 off for participants taking the workshop for the third or more times. (Offer does not apply to Workshops in New York and Singapore.)

  • $500 off for participants taking the workshop for the second time. (Offer does not apply to Workshops in New York and Singapore.)

  • $150 off each participant for groups of 4 people or more registering together. (Offer does not apply to Workshops in New York and Singapore.)

  • $100 off your registration if you bring a friend to other than New York or Singapore. (The $100 off will be credited to you after your friend pays for the full tuition.)

  • $100 off each participant for groups of 3 people registering together. (Offer does not apply to Workshops in New York and Singapore.)

  • $50 off each participant for groups of 2 people registering together. (Offer does not apply to Workshops in New York and Singapore.)

Register Now

By registering you agree with our Terms and Conditions.

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“You will come back (from The Creativity Workshop) with a heart full of artistic passion, completely convinced that creativity and imagination--yours and everyone else's--is the answer to just about any question the world could pose. Plus, you'll have the tools to enable you to fill a whole cargo hold's worth of luggage with paintings, poems, drawings, and essays. This is one of the 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life.”

Pam Grout, author, The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, National Geographic Publishers, 2008
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