My name is Karen Bell and I am the administrative associate of the
Creativity Workshop: Creative Writing, Drawing, Storytelling and Memoir,
taught by master teachers Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel.
I wanted to give you information on our exciting summer workshops in
Europe that are designed to stimulate and develop teachers' creativity
and the creativity of their students as a way to inspire and nurture
learning. Whether you are an administrator or a teacher in areas as
diverse as math or art or science or history or english, the Creativity
Workshop can help you design new ways of learning.
Join the hundreds of international educators who have taken this
workshop since 1993 and developed their creative processes through using
memoir, creative writing, storytelling, visual arts, collage, and
Here is the summer 2004 calendar of our Workshop dates and locations and
below it you will find a more detailed description of what the workshops
cover as well as testimonials from educators who have taken them.
You will find even more information on our website at
or call me at (212) 922-1555.
Calendar of Creativity Workshops in Europe 2004
Tuition + accommodations packages available from $1,450.
You can reserve your space now with a $50 deposit.
Save $100 if you register before January 15, 2004.
Istanbul June 7 - 17
Island of Crete
June 18 - 28
Florence June 30 - July 10
Provence July 12 - 22
Barcelona July 25 - August 4
Prague August 6 - 16
Turkish Coast August 18 - 28
Berlin September 2 - 12
Dublin September 14 - 24
The workshop teaches a series of tools which teachers can implement to
help their students and themselves develop their creative,
collaborative, artistic and writing skills, as well as self confidence
and respect for their peers. To this end, the workshop concentrates its
exercises on the following areas:
1. Getting over the fear of creativity
and writers block in specific and gaining self-confidence in one's
ideas. We do exercises which help students get over 'blocks' which make
them afraid to express themselves, say the wrong things, paint a bad
picture, take a stupid photograph, write a foggy paragraph. The workshop
works against self-censorship in the early stages of creation so that
critical analytical skills can come into play later and more forcefully.
To this end, we uses techniques of free form drawing and writing, as
well as visualization and meditation exercises.
2.Collaboration and sharing
The creativity workshop believes that by sharing work in intimate
groups, students (at times without their teacher) can learn to develop
and feel secure in their academic endeavors. Such work also helps
individuals learn self confidence and respectful listening towards
others. The Creativity Workshop involves several modules in which
collaborations, ranging from 2 person teams to a whole class is explored.
3. Map making
Every creative and analytical project has a process or 'way'. To this
end, the Creativity Workshop teaches teachers how to make journey maps
or scrolls with their students of the process and progress of their
work. The maps, which are a visual and written representation of the
on-going work in the classroom, help the student see where they are in
their projects and where they can go with them.
4. Free form writing and automatic drawing
Teachers learn how to use these techniques with their students in order
to help them find innate ideas and develop them. The workshop also
teaches imaginative editing techniques.
5. Day books
We teach methods of keeping a day book of sketches, writing, collage,
and newspaper articles and using the book to do fifteen minutes a day of
free form writing and drawing. We teach teachers how to guide students
into how to read and use these books to create projects.
Storytelling, be it visual or literary, is vital to how we perceive and
share our perceptions of the world. We do several exercises with telling
stories with found objects and also by interviewing each other and then
'becoming' the other person. These exercises also teach listening
skills, which greatly enhance our abilities to express ourselves and
7. Changing perceptions
How we see is important to what we see. We teach a variety of exercises
aimed at altering perceptions physically (through cameras, cut out
shapes, kaleidoscopes, telescopes, microscopes) and emotionally (through
fairy tales, memoir writing or inter-generational interviews), which
assist students in broadening their sense of the world they live in.
8. Using your environment
We teach participants how to use their natural surroundings to generate
ideas. Exercises to be done in local cafes, libraries, cafeterias, woods
and mountains show that inspiration can come from the most usual and
surprising of places.
In our busy, multi-tasking world we seldom feel we have enough time to
create. We teach participants how to 'stretch time' and use 15-minute
blocks to do satisfying creative work on an on-going basis.
Teachers spend each day encouraging and supporting their students. At
times, teachers forget to nurture themselves! The Creativity Workshop
teaches the importance of self-nurturing and curiosity and not always
knowing the 'right' answer.
10. Completing an advance degree
If you are teaching and completing an advanced degree, you should talk
to your advisor and to your Study Abroad office or ask one of your
professors if you can use the Creativity Workshop for an Independent
Study course. In this way, your university can give you credit for it or
if you qualify you can receive 3 credits from the University of Iowa.
The Creativity Workshop was taught as a regular course at the University
of Iowa for many years, offering 3 credits and open to graduate and
undergraduate students through the International Writing Program. The
workshop is 36 contact hours.
What educators and students say about the workshop:
The new millennium needs bold, creative men and women who can turn their
dreams into reality... Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel show how you can
do this through their challenging and inspiring creativity
workshops...even a simple first contact will prove what these two
talented teachers can do for your own gifts. Dr. Kirpal Singh, Writer,
Professor, Singapore Management University, Singapore
One of the qualities of a meaningful experience is that it grows in
depth and positive regard as time goes on. That is how I feel about this
workshop. Daniel Lamken, Teacher, American School of Prague, Czech
When I got home after your workshop in Prague, so many people said to
me: "How was your workshop? You look so alive, so happy, so fresh!"
That's exactly how I feel. I realize that there will be blocks at times,
but I feel a freedom that I have NEVER felt before. The two of you, your
gentle, kind manner, your way of making everyone feel so
comfortable...you have a real gift to share with others. I only wish
that more people could experience what you have to offer. Not only are
you artists, but you give of yourselves in a way that is incredibly
beautiful. Thank you for touching my soul, and helping me see
butterflies, birds, flowers, colors; for helping me soar and feel like
singing and writing and dancing. Dianne Stuckey, Teacher, American
School of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I cannot tell you how inspiring your workshop was on a number of levels!
I continue to draw inspiration from those few days! Deborah B. Reeve,
Ed.D., Deputy Executive Director, National Association of Elementary
School Principals, Washington, DC
This seasoned teacher left the workshop with a sizable bag of useful
ideas to motivate her students to write more and better, a sketchbook
full of essays for herself and a bunch of sweet and fun memories. I give
this course an A. Nicole Fandel, Teacher of French, Concord Academy,
I produced as much poetry in ten days in Chania as I did in a month in a
conventional poetry workshop in another European setting. The primary
difference was the ease of creation and the fun I experienced in the
Creativity Workshop, and I also saved time and money. Shelley and
Alejandro?s emphasis 'In process' works. Sally Naylor; Poet and English
Teacher, Baylor School, Chattanooga TN
This is my third workshop coming up and I can't wait! Shelley and
Alejandro ever so gently are able to get us fellow travelers into a
discovery mode that submerges us deeply into the experience of our very
own creativity. They are magicians! Carroll Blue, Writer and Professor,
School of Communications, San Diego State University
Crossing paths with Shelley, Alejandro, and most of those attending the
workshop in Florence will remain etched in my psyche as one of the most
wonderful, rejuvenating, nurturing, enlightening, relaxing,
growth-inducing, experiences of my life. I use their exercises
effectively in my own classes, even though I teach hard core science.
Mohey Mowafy, PhD, RD, CNS, CEDS, Professor and Director of Clinical
Dietetics, Department of HPER, Northern Michigan University
I taught a creative writing class yesterday afternoon and felt a new
confidence after the summer's Creativity Workshop. I was much more in
control and more confident of what I was doing and saying. My students
seem more excited about their work using your exercises. I feel that in
several months time I shall still be doing and saying things that echo
what we covered in your wonderful workshop. Noel Shepherd, Creative
Writing Teacher, grades 5 and 6, Washington International School
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