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Great to know: Lisa Cleff Kurtz, Philanthropist, Education and Arts Activist, and Rainmaker

Editor’s note: Nearly two decades ago, my fate was forever altered due to a chance encounter with the then-San Francisco based creative industry rainmaker, Lisa Cleff. After several months of her mentoring me in the field of sales, I was hired by high-tech PR firm The Terpin Group, thanks almost entirely to her recommendation. When The Darnell Works Agency launched in 2000, not only was she a main client and collaborator, her referrals have resulted in more than a dozen vital DWA client relationships… including those at ATTIK, CBX, PLUS, PostWorks and Sid Lee, to name but a few. Naturally, shining a light on this phenomenal luminary is a great honor for me, especially since the interview itself was conducted by her daughter, Zoe Lindgren, a rising NYC creative in her own right. For your further enjoyment, I also highly recommend this great interview by Timothy Huang, who spoke with Lisa in 2016 about her career – and her role as a star board member of A.R.T. / New York.

How did you get your start in your career? Read more

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Design Competitions from Design Week, Adweek, Communication Arts, Core77 and Fast Company


Several very prestigious design awards programs are currently open for entries – I thought you would appreciate the heads-up and some brief details… which I am presenting in order of the currently published submission deadlines. Best of luck friends! Read more

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MLK Day of Service 2018

The MLK Day of Service is an opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy through service and volunteerism.

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. To learn more, please visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday.

It’s also my pleasure to provide the following graphic illuminating the life and lasting legacy of Dr. King, courtesy of http://OnlineCollegeCourses.com. “People honor and celebrate the life of Dr. King for many reasons, but most importantly, for his role in working to achieve race equality in America. Dr. King had arguably the greatest impact of any single person during the fight for racial equality, and the fact that his life was cut short causes people to wonder what he may have gone on to achieve in his lifetime. Read more

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January Edition: Ultimate Events Happening Soon

In this topsy-turvy world, deciding when and where to invest one’s time and energy is of critical importance. Especially for creatives and other entrepreneurs where the need to be strategic and innovative is constant, conferences, festivals and other thoughtful gatherings of respected peers represent momentous opportunities for building vital connections and seeing exactly what people are thinking and responding to. This actively researched and updated series is my ongoing contribution toward helping us all learn about Ultimate Events on a timely basis.

Follow this link to the parties listing for CES, running 9-12 January in Las Vegas: http://cespartylist.com – and here’s where to find the full program slate for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Read more

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Giving season: Heroes 2017


Together with my family, I am sending my warmest thoughts to many friends and colleagues worldwide, and feeling a lot of gratitude. I truly appreciate your help in sending daily clicks to https://GreaterGood.com, where our simple mouseclicks can benefit a number of vital causes each and every day.

I’m also especially thankful to the individuals behind my client companies Cutters Studios, Gentleman Scholar Studios and Luci Creative for their leadership and help in supporting the following heroic organizations. Read more

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Giving season: Love

In the video above, in his own words, Narayanan Krishnan says, “I thought, what is the purpose of my life? What am I going to do? …And I quit my job and I started feeding all these people from 2002.” And later: “There are thousand and thousands and lots and lots of people suffering. What is the ultimate purpose of life? It’s to give. Start giving. See the joy of giving.

I have done some research on homelessness over the years, and we all know that there are displaced people living on the city streets everywhere in America. The organizations and initiatives highlighted below represent just some of the many phenomenal community efforts supporting homeless people in the U.S. and elsewhere. I found many of them through http://JustGive.org, and I’m also proud to point you to this list JustGive publishes, entitled 35 Ways You Can Help the Homeless. They list as item 7, “give money,” and to that, I’ll add my plea to give whatever you have to spare (from loose change to your time), to those people you see in need.

Also, it’s the time of year when I invite you to join me in sending daily clicks to https://GreaterGood.com, where our simple mouseclicks can benefit a number of vital causes each and every day.


Thank you! Read more

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Take your best shot on 28 Nov., Giving Tuesday

Great things are shaping up, thanks to you and everyone else making plans to participate in the sixth annual #GivingTuesday festivities. This movement began in 2012 as an organized effort dedicated to giving back. As a result, on Tuesday, 28 Nov., charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and others all around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and to give.

Participation is simple. Read more

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Ready to Gobble Gobble Give?

Each year, people all across America gather-up on Thanksgiving morning for a few hours to feed the homeless. Some of these efforts are organized by Gobble Gobble Give, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity where your vital donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. For their upcoming gatherings in Austin, Boca Raton, Detroit, LA (Echo Park, Downtown and Santa Monica), Las Vegas, Nashville, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana and Washington, D.C., participants will bring their own dishes and prepare meals using all the food that comes in (and care packages, too). Then, everyone will hit the streets together to give it all away to homeless men, women, and children.

If you are available to get involved with the Gobble Gobble Give festivities this Thanksgiving, participation only takes a few hours, and it very well might change someone’s life, including yours.

Gobble Gobble Give started with one person, 12 years ago, Read more

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November Edition I: Ultimate Events Happening Soon

With each new day, you can guarantee that some very bright people are planning get-togethers designed to have massive impacts for everyone involved. The settings can be musical, artistic, creative, academic or business-focused; these are events you hear about before saying, “that sounds awesome,” and “sign me up.” This actively researched and updated blog series is my answer to helping people learn about ultimate events on a timely basis.

Follow this link to the official Events listing for this year’s European Creativity Festival, running 9-11 November: http://www.europeancreativityfestival.com Read more

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September Edition II: Ultimate Events Happening Soon

With each new day, you can guarantee that some very bright people are planning get-togethers designed to have massive impacts for everyone involved. The settings can be musical, artistic, creative, academic or business-focused; these are events you hear about before saying, “that sounds awesome,” and “sign me up.” This actively researched and updated blog series is my answer to helping people learn about ultimate events on a timely basis.

Follow this link to see all the events and activities set for this year’s New York Advertising Week, kicking off 25 September: http://newyork.advertisingweek.com/calendar Read more

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