Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was among the Los Angeles political and financial leaders who attended. Founded in 2000, the Center has a distinguished alumni list of international leaders and scholars who are “daily advancing and elevating the management and standards of the public sector worldwide.”

(L-R) David Gergen, Adam Winnick, Gary Winnick, Karen Winnick, Alex Winnick, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Financier and philanthropist Gary Winnick hosted a dinner at his Bel Air home on Wednesday, November 19, honoring David Gergen, Director of The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was among the West Coast political and financial leaders who attended the dinner and an off-the-record briefing from Mr. Gergen on the Obama presidency and America’s current global position.

┬áSaid Gary Winnick, founder and CEO of Pacific Capital Group: “The Center for Public Leadership, initiated and run by David Gergen, was established at Harvard in 2000. The Center provides vital cutting-edge teaching and research as well as hands-on training in the practical skills of leadership for people in government, not-for-profits, and business. Approaching its tenth anniversary, the Center already has a distinguished alumni list of international leaders and scholars who are daily advancing and elevating the management and standards of the public sector worldwide.”

Earlier this year, David Gergen, an advisor to four American Presidents, invited Mr. Winnick to speak at a seminar featuring current global leaders from the worlds of business, government, and philanthropy discussing their personal “leadership journeys” in the context of current issues and events.

Added Gary Winnick: “I was honored to be invited to the Center on the Harvard campus in May by my friend David Gergen and happy to have a chance to expose the mission of the Center to West Coast political and financial leaders. In Cambridge, David assembles a group of brilliant young thinkers and public agency administrators, and I hope more of California’s own best leaders make the trip East to engage and debate issues of public policy at the Center.”

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In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis will open November 18 in light-filled, spacious Winnick Gallery housed at the Manhattan-based Center for Jewish History. The exhibition is uniquely designed to create a dialogue between new installations by contemporary artists and historical representations of the ancient story of creation.

Winnick Hall, the principal exhibition gallery at the Manhattan Center for Jewish History, will feature an extraordinary collection of historical, modern and contemporary artworks exploring the continuing relevance of the story of creation.

In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis will include works ranging from multi-media and sound installations to computer animations, projections, and wall drawings. The exhibition is uniquely designed to create a lively dialogue between new installations by contemporary artists and historical representations of the story of creation.

Gary Winnick said, “We are pleased that the images included in this exhibit will be presented with a compelling array of historical images and artifacts, some rarely seen in public. Our hope for Winnick Hall was that museum curators would use the space in thought-provoking ways to exhibit the extraordinary richness of Jewish cultural life. This new display certainly fits that goal and serves the broader mission of the Center for Jewish History to bring together under one roof significant collections of art, craft and literature that celebrate the Jewish contribution to society.”

Added Gary Winnick: “Genesis, which proclaims the origins of the universe and humanity, has informed centuries of art and scholarship in religion, language, and ancient literature – even contemporary inquiries into physics and the environment. This collection of word, image, and artifact gives visitors and their families a renewed incentive to consider the classic story of creation through a fresh, contemporary lens.”

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The “Road to Freedom” exhibit will open in Winnick Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center on November 19 and remain on view through March 7, 2010. Among the local events portrayed are the picketing of the Kress Store in Pasadena in 1960, the march on Pershing Square on March 14, 1965, and the conflict in Watts in 1965.

Winnick Hall, the largest exhibition space at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, will feature “Road to Freedom,” the grandest presentation in decades of photography from the Civil Rights Movement.

Said Gary Winnick, founder and CEO of Pacific Capital Group: “Our family’s hope in funding the construction of Winnick Hall was to provide a permanent venue large enough to feature major national exhibits on Jewish heritage and American democratic ideals. This is an ideal exhibition for that space. Jewish activists were committed to the Civil Rights movement from its very earliest days. It is absolutely fitting that the Hall now feature this splendid remembrance of the sacrifices and the heroism, black and white together, that made Martin Luther King’s dream a reality and American society infinitely richer.”

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