Max Weitzenhoffer is one of the foremost patrons of the arts. As Chairman of Nimax Theatres, he owns six theaters in the teeming arts district of the West End in London, England. His extensive career involves roles as Chairman of the OU Regents, President and Chief Executive Officer of Seminole Manufacturing Company, and Visiting Professor of Musical Theater. Max earned Tony Awards for the revival of Dracula, and best musical for The Will Roger Follies. In 1994, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Max holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from OU.
“Artists and artrepreneurs need more than just the mastery of creativity, artistry and business know-how to succeed, they need to create a success mindset through the unlocking of powerful creative networks.” – Idris Mootee
NETWORK: Idris Mootee
Co-Founder of Urban Coolab – an Ai start-up working on computational creativity. He was previously co-founder and global CEO of Idea Couture, an innovation firm serving Fortune 500s with offices in San Francisco, London, Toronto, New York City and several other cities. Idea Couture has helped create more than US$2 billion in economic value for its clients in one year. He has been the leading force in applied design thinking in business strategy, service design and experience transformation. Idris has a front-row seat to the high velocity change that is occurring as technological disruption comes to take hold in every industry. He is the author of four books on business including the best-selling Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation. He designed and taught the Design Thinking Program for Corporate Creativity at Harvard University. He received business education from Ivey Business School and London Business School. Idris is a fine art painter best known for his work at the confluence of classical and pop art.
“It is critical as arts leaders to be constantly learning and growing – building expertise while holding central an ability to adapt and change. The arts have never flourished without constant reinvention and new ways of looking at the world around us.” – Shanta Thake
EXPERTISE: Shanta Thake
As Senior Director of Artistic Programs for the Public Theater of New York City (which co-produced the hit musical, Hamilton), Shanta Thake is an expert curator of eclectic performing artists with groundbreaking acts. The focus of her creative efforts for the past decade has been bringing together consistently varied, top quality booking to Joe’s Pub – the Public Theater’s intimate, genre-blind cabaret space named in honor of Joseph Papp, founder of the Theatre. Additionally, she contributes to the arts as Co-Director of globalFEST, a world music festival. Shanta holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater with a Certificate in Management from Indiana University at Bloomington.
RESOURCES: Kim Noltemy
As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Kim Noltemy is a pioneer in the use of cutting-edge technologies and innovation in the arts. Kim brings a wealth of resources as former Chief Operating and Communications Officer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, responsible for a 65-person team and overseeing $46 million in ticket sales and revenue. She is a brilliant media strategist, executive producer of the award-winning Boston Pops television programs, and 2 seasons of New Tanglewood Tales. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
“The Arts Incubation Lab is a unique program bringing together successful leaders in the arts with advanced students seeking both practical knowledge and inspiration.
Hearing from and interacting with the next generation of leaders is crucial to the future success of our arts and culture.” – Ryhna Thompson
VISIBILITY: Ryhna Thompson
As Founder and President of Envision Management & Production, Ryhna Thompson is truly a visionary of multi-disciplinary arts. At Envision, an emphasis is placed on the artist and their unique approach to the creative process. Ryhna understands that exposure to a broad audience is among the most vital elements of a successful career in the arts. She is tri-lingual and actively gives back to the community through her work as Director of Music Managers Forum Canada and Director of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity. Ryhna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Geography & Anthropology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
EXPERIENCE: Raymond Bisha
As Senior Vice President of Marketing for Naxos Records, Raymond Bisha is a proven leader with extensive experience in Arts Marketing. With training as a classical musician, Raymond performed as Third French Horn for the Landestheaterorchester in Detmold, Germany. Prior to his long career at Naxos, he served as Tour Manager and Television Production Manager for the Canadian Opera Company and then served as Producer for Stereo Morning, the national classical morning show on CBC Radio 2. Raymond holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, a Certificate in Arts Management from George Brown College.