One would not necessarily expect a Los Angeles based entrepreneur like Barrett Wissman to be igniting a Renaissance in the classic art forms, but he most certainly is. Called by some the “Medici of the 21st century,” Wissman began his quest with a simple idea, to “convey a new meaning for performance arts.”
As a business visionary and a patron of the arts, Barrett Wissman is perfectly appointed to lead what can be called a “paradigm shift” in what has essentially become a performing arts monopoly held by a few bottom-line motivated moguls cheapening the world of art.
As Gulf Elite explained, “With 500 artists, 200 specialists, 30 years of experience, 10 offices, 6 divisions, 5 continents, Barrett invested time and effort into turning the company from a one among many to a leading player in the performance art scene. The story doesn’t end here. Barrett Wissman helped turn IMG artists into a comprehensive one stop shop firm for art. Among the services IMG put in place are Ballets, events planning and recently the world’s largest fireworks celebration in Dubai. IMG manages some of the greatest companies spanning across the discipline, from the grand Bolshoi Ballet and National Ballet of Canada to the innovative LA Dance Compnany, Gallim and Ballet Black. IMG also books and manages tours for the world’s most prestigious orchestras and ensembles including the Vienna Philharmonic, The Cleveland orchestra and the London symphony orchestra.”
Wissman sees “innovation as differentiation,” and implemented his dream of promoting higher arts and world class performances as universal. He decided early on that the best way to achieve this was through the creation of an arts festival. Choosing the smaller, off-the-beaten-path location of Tuscany, Wissman parleyed a small performance in an abandoned 18th century opera house into what became the internationally recognized “Tuscan Sun Festival.”
The success of the Tuscan Sun Festival brought Wissman acclaim, and within a short period of time he was in demand to help promote similar festivals in other locales. In Northern California Wissman’s involvement helped launch the Napa Valley Festival del Sole, a frenetic embrace of high-class performance art in a pastoral, magical setting.
Barrett Wissman is also the force behind IMG, a Los Angeles, California-based entertainment and media agency. Under the leadership of Wissman IMG has been organizing events around the world. Through IMG Wissman planned the world’s largest fireworks display in Dubai, manages the Bolshoi Ballet and the innovative Los Angeles Dance Company.
As the “Medici of the 21st century” Wissman has this to say:
“One has to lead when doing something important. No matter what your job is, no matter what your work is, you have to lead.”
Santa Monica-based Milken Institute is once again asking some of the hardest questions of our times- and looking to some of our greatest leaders for the answers.
The Milken Institute Global Conference took place this past April in Beverly Hills, California. On hand to discuss some of the most pressing and hard-to-solve problems of our day and age were quite a number of the world’s greatest leaders and thinkers. Among those leaders present were former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
Kagame and Blair shared the stage in a panel discussion entitled “Where Does the Growth Come From?” Blair also took part in a discussion on “Progress versus Pessimism in the Middle East.” In a panel which examined today’s “Global Risk,” retired US General Wesley Clark, former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistan ambassador to the United States together voiced their ideas.
The Milken Institute not only organizes and sponsors conferences, but it also produces reports on vital issues. Not long ago Milken published a report suggesting unique solutions to the global problem of looting of artifacts, which is today having a devastating effect on the science of archeology with an equally negative impact on national heritage treasures.
This report, entitled “Financial Innovations for Developing Archeological Discovery and Conservation,” was written by Caitlen MacLean and Glenn Yago of the Milken Institute. This 36-page report outlines “market-based solutions” to be used in the fight against looting. The authors received input from a large number of “economists, representatives from museums and the archaeological community, attorneys, and antiquities dealers and collectors.” Among these experts were Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam, owners of Phoenix Ancient Art, S.A; Neil Brodie, Social Science Research Associate, Stanford Archaeology Center and former Research Director at the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre, University of Cambridge; and Lynn S. Dodd, curator and lecturer, Department of Religion, University of Southern California.
For further information about the many projects the Milken Institute engages in, visit their website.
For the past 32 years Siena College has asked selected Americans how they feel about their First Ladies, and each time Eleanor Roosevelt has come out on top. The latest poll, which questioned 242 historians, political scientists and published scholars, and released on Saturday, shows Abigail Adams in her traditional spot in second place, and Jacquie Kennedy retaining third place compared with the last poll which was held in 2008.
Fourth place went to Dolly Madison and Michelle Obama took position five in her first appearance on the list. Hillary Clinton fell from fourth place in 2008 down to sixth. During the years Clinton spent as First Lady the Siena poll, taken in 1993, placed her in second place.
The scholars put Clinton in the top spot, however, as the First Lady who they could see most suited to being President. Sixty-nine percent thought Clinton could take the nation’s highest office, while only 39 percent saw Roosevelt as such. Obama was rated highest as far as which First Lady ran her family life best, with 43 percent thinking so. Kennedy came in second place as a family woman with 22 percent and Edith Roosevelt third with 17 percent.
The poll was held between October 10 and November 25 in 2013. Online interviews were conducted and questionnaires were sent through the mail. The poll was conducted by the Siena College together with C-SPAN, and released last Saturday in conjunction with C-SPAN’s “First Lady” TV series, whose last episode will be shown on Monday.