Engaging with a third higher education institution—California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) —Tripepi Smith Principal Katherine Griffiths has written three honorary doctorate salutes, as well as 10 letters of congratulations for the 2022 cohort of Herb Alpert Award in the Arts winners, on behalf of President Ravi S. Rajan.
To gain context on tone and vision, Katherine reviewed examples of previous honorary degree citations and Herb Alpert Award congratulatory letters, as well as prior written materials from President Rajan, including an acceptance letter for international students, a winter letter to staff and a spring address to students, faculty and staff that reflected on CalArts’ accomplishments. She also turned to the Institute’s style guide, which provided guidance on language and grammar usage based on entries from both the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook, as well as preferred styles accepted within the CalArts community.
“The best writing often begins with reading,” said Katherine. “Executive messaging is no different. Developing a word bank and lexicon to craft a leader’s message is vital to achieving an authentic tone.”
CalArts confers Honorary Doctor of Arts degrees to individuals who have consistently represented the bold innovation and visionary creativity championed by the Institute, and who have made extraordinary contributions to contemporary arts and culture. Prior recipients include Roy Lichtenstein, Henry Mancini and Frank O. Gehry. The 2022 recipients were jazz musician Charles Lloyd, composer Wayne Shorter and bassist, singer and songwriter esperanza spalding.
With limited space and a rigid word count, Katherine worked in close collaboration with not only Director of Creative Services Stuart Smith but also Interim Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marylou Ferry, with whom she and Tripepi Smith Art Director Kevin Bostwick previously partnered on the $635 million Campaign for Claremont McKenna College.
The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (HAAIA) is given annually to risk-taking, mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts. The award was founded and conceived by legendary musician, philanthropist and artist Herb Alpert and his Grammy-winning vocalist wife, Lani Hall. Each awardee receives a $75,000 unrestricted prize and residency at CalArts, which administers the prize on behalf of the Herb Alpert Foundation.
This year’s winners, according to HIAAIA Director Irene Borger, share several factors: “They work across genres; they view audiences as participants; they provocatively connect the past to the present to imagine a new future.”
Katherine customized each congratulatory letter with the name and discipline of the recipient, as well as a reference to the rationale for their recognition.
“Thank you! These are beautiful,” said Ferry.
A private university located in Valencia and founded by Walt Disney, CalArts was incorporated in 1961 as the first U.S. degree-granting, higher-learning institution for students of visual and performing arts. A multidisciplinary community of artists, CalArts’ ongoing educational endeavor is grounded in openness, experimentation, critical engagement and creative freedom.
About California Institute of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts is renowned internationally as a game-changer in the education of professional artists. The transformative cultural impact of our alumni shows why: We bring out visionary creative talent unlike any other university, school or conservatory. An all-inclusive community for a diversity of authentic voices, CalArts today offers more than 70 comprehensive degree programs in the visual, performing, media and literary arts.
About Tripepi Smith
Tripepi Smith is a California-based marketing, technology and public affairs firm that serves for-profit, nonprofit and public agencies. Its unique mix of marketing and technology prowess provides a competitive advantage to agencies seeking to leverage the internet to achieve their communication goals. The firm provides full content creation services, including: ghost writing, collateral development, photography, video production, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns and website design and execution. Tripepi Smith clients include: City of American Canyon, City of Culver City, City of Cupertino, City of Daly City, City of Duarte, City of Grover Beach, City of Santa Paula, City of Indian Wells, City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Lake Forest, City of Livermore, City of Napa, City of Paramount, City of Martinez, City of Tracy, City of Vallejo, CalChoice Energy Authority, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Rowland Water District, California Contract Cities Association, California City Management Foundation, Renne Public Law Group, Bob Hall & Associates, West Coast Arborists and Climatec.