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. In 2000, she left academia to dedicate herself wholly to the Creativity Workshop, which she founded in 1993 with Alejandro Fogel when they were cultural ambassadors for the United States Information Agency.
As well as being a prominent educator, Shelley Berc is a well known author of novels and plays. Her novel, The Shape of Wilderness, was published by Coffee House Press. The New York Times praised it as "a vividly imagined parable...a strange and potent book...a fantastical world of unusual sensuality and invention". Her second novel, Light and Its Shadow, was recently published by Ethos Press. Her numerous awards include a McKnight Fellowship, two Lila Wallace/Readers Digest awards, Rockefeller/Bellagio Fellowship, National Jewish Culture Playwriting award, the prestigious two year Pew/TCG National Theatre Artists Residency, an NEA Opera/Music librettist fellowship, and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for best off-Broadway play.
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.
Born and raised in Argentina, Fogel is deeply involved in bringing to light the history of pre-Columbian cultures and their tragic plight.
Since 1995 he has been creating art works and a book of writings that follow the footsteps of his own life in 1960s and 70s Argentina (under Peronism, the Dirty War, and the Return to Democracy) and how they intersect and diverge from his father's journey to South America from war-torn Europe.
Alejandro Fogel has received numerous awards and honors. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, where he studied and wrote about the descendants of the Incas now living in Argentina. He was also an artist-in-residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. He received the Rolex Award for Enterprise to publish his multidisciplinary project, The Inkas’ Road.
Additional awards include: the Arche Biennial Award in Painting, the National Endowment for the Arts of Argentina First Prize in Painting, The Pio Collivadino Award of the Argentine National Gallery of Art, and the Richard Wagner International Association Award in Painting. Alejandro Fogel worked with the Argentine Commission of Visual Arts helping to develop a native folk artists archive.
Alejandro Fogel’s paintings and photographs are in museum and private collections in Europe, South America, the Middle East and the US.
Elizabeth Eiss is our Business Specialist. A progressive, systems thinker, Elizabeth has an extensive background in both intra and entrepreneurship. Over the course of a versatile career, Elizabeth has run business divisions for F500 companies, lead a multibillion dollar merger and acquisition team, launched the US platform for a global insurance firm and has spearheaded several startup ventures. She was frequently tapped to lead initiatives to leverage technology and as a turnaround expert.
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. She also coaches and consults with a number of creative companies primarily in the areas of organizational leadership, growth strategies, communications and operational execution.
She earned her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and continued her education through the Wharton School of Business Senior Executive program.
Since 2007, Elizabeth has also been Managing Director for Golden Seeds, an investment firm that is dedicated to delivering above market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. Elizabeth has also served on the advisory boards of Pro Mujer International and The School of American Ballet.
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.
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.