June 18, 2008
Dear Ms. Lerner,
Yesterday, I received an invitation from your Professional Development Program to sign up for a Kirby Tepper-led workshop on communications.
To my great disappointment, I just found out that the one-day workshop is already sold out. I would have loved the opportunity to work on "interpersonal communications and public speaking skills" and be taught by Mr. Tepper how to "be authentic and comfortable talking about your work in social situations like gallery openings."
Creative Capital deserves kudos for offering artists like me such a unique opportunity. Everybody knows that artists are notoriously bad at articulating themselves. With your assistance, we can finally learn how to communicate with others to meet our goals. What a great idea to hire a specialist whose diversity training programs have, according to your invitation, been sought after by private industry, multi-million dollar corporations and numerous government entities! I wonder what it took to convince Mr. Tepper to conduct a low-budget workshop at Creative Capital? With a fee as low as $75 (plus the modest processing fee of $2.87), it promises to be a life-altering experience and should be considered a bargain.
Mr. Tepper's experience of working for the government will doubtlessly prove to be an amazing asset for all participants: artists should look no further than politics to find the right lessons to learn. I was also happy to hear that Mr. Tepper, in addition to being an executive speech coach and marketing specialist, has an M.A. in psychotherapy: artists can always use an extra therapy session here and there.
Mr. Tepper's affiliation with Broadway's highly anticipated musicals A Room With a View and Gladiator reassures me that he has an instinct for what's "hot" right now. Broadway has always attracted talent that knows how to grasp an audience's attention, and fine artists can surely benefit from being taught the particular set of skills required for succeeding on Broadway. I was equally impressed by Mr. Tepper's credentials as a contributing writer to such blockbuster hits as Shrek, a postmodern fairy tale lauded by intellectuals and artists alike as a defining masterpiece.
I am especially crushed that I will miss out on learning how to "successfully pitch your work or ask for money in meetings with presenters and funders." Such life-saving lessons should have been offered to artists a long time ago. Just imagine what could have happened to artists like Vincent Van Gogh or Joseph Cornell had they had a chance to improve their social and business skills through one of your many professional development programs! Van Gogh would surely have been the darling of Paris' high society (instead of wasting away in provincial Southern France), and Cornell could have emerged from his basement on Utopia Parkway in Queens to become the Toast of Manhattan.
It is comforting to know that some struggling artists were ahead of their time and have paved the way for your approach to help artists improve their communication skills: I can think of at least one who truly changed the world once he sharpened his public speaking skills -and learned how to use his body language to great effect - his name was Adolf Hitler.
I hope that the workshop's guaranteed success will compel you to extend Mr. Tepper's engagement at Creative Capital -provided his busy schedule allows for it. Of course, a non-for-profit organization like yours cannot possibly compete with his illustrious clients Sidney Poitier, Carol Burnett, et al (not to mention his powerful clients on Wall Street and in Washington). Maybe participants' fees could be doubled to give Mr. Tepper more of an incentive to make himself available. I am sure many a New York artist would be willing to pay way more than the $75 you are charging for this, Mr. Tepper's first engagement at Creative Capital.
I am looking forward to a future that may see a Kirby Tepper PBS Special, a Creative Capital-sponsored training program on DVD, and a Kirby Tepper self-improvement book for artists on mastering the art of lucrative self-promotion.
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