Robert Barrett Painting “Gluttony”

Robert Barrett, Artist painting on Gluttony

“Seven Deadly Sins” artist, Robert Barrett, at work on “Gluttony”, one of seven paintings in the series.  All seven paintings will be on exhibit this October in Rancho Mirage, CA at THE RIVER Gallery.  This will be the first exhibit of Roberts artwork in 22 years.  While not at the easel, Robert Barrett had a highly successful career in cultural tourism.  While in Los Angeles, Rancho Mirage, California and also while a Museum Director at the Fresno Art Museum, the economic impact of Robert Barrett’s career can be measured in Billions of dollars for all of Southern California in terms of jobs, tourism income and revenue to cultural organizations.  It was Robert Barrett who coined the phrase, “Los Angeles, the cultural capital of the 21st Century”, an accomplishment for all in Southern California still saluted on University of Southern California radio station, KUSC.


Curriculum Vitea

Mark Davidson-2017

Strong team builder and leader with a three decades long track record of fund raising experience as a museum director and destination marketer.  Has successfully and repeatedly formed marketing coalitions that resulted in millions of dollars to promote destinations.  Proven program leader with well-established planning and management by objectives skills that deliver results and make a difference.

Professional Experience

Director of Marketing and Public Relations, City of Rancho Mirage,
Rancho Mirage, CA, September 2007 to May 2016

  • First ever tourism manager for the Palm Springs Valley’s only luxury destination.
  • In a two-month period researched, wrote and secured unanimous City Council approval for the first municipal tourism marketing plan.
  • Leadership resulted in Rancho Mirage Occupancy exceeding the regional competitive set by more than 10% for many consecutive years.
  • Conceived and published RM Magazine and RM INSIDER.
  • Built and managed City websites and social media programs.
  • Conceived and launched inaugural program for Rancho Mirage amphitheater.

Vice President Development, Otis College of Art and Design
Los Angeles, CA, October 2005 to June 2007

  • Authored and secured board approval for a five year Development Department business plan.
  • Conceived new organizational chart and job descriptions for team of fourteen employees.
  • Guaranteed Department success by recruiting three seasoned fundraisers from major Los Angeles cultural institutions.
  • Hired a media consultant to extend brand awareness of the College and pave the way for a capital campaign.
  • With support for the James Irvine Foundation, the California Community Foundation and Merrill Lynch contracted Jack Kyser, Chief Economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation to research the creative economy of the Los Angeles region. The resulting report presented at a breakfast meeting attended by 300 regional businesses, cultural and political leaders indicated conclusively that creativity drives the world’s seventeenth largest economy.  Media attention for the report was significant.

President, America’s Greatest Cities
Los Angeles, CA, March 2004 to September 2005

  • Conceived and created a national marketing organization for seven major US domestic destinations.
  • Secured the backs of 40 million Kellogg adult cereal boxes for the purpose of encouraging travel to domestic urban destinations.
  • Coordinated sweepstake prize promotion that awarded 140 deluxe trips to couples that entered competition described on Kellogg’s cereal boxes.
  • Through the support of American Express created and launched two 8 page travel planners inserted in major domestic and international publications.

LA INC. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA, June 1996 to February 2005

Senior Vice President Marketing, LA Inc.
Los Angeles, CA, July 2003 to February 2004

  • Raised funding for and produced at the Walt Disney Concert Hall a media event on LA culture for 300 of the world’s leading travel writers.
  • Led executive team that rebranded the Los Angeles Bureau.
  • Annually raised $2 million to fund Bureau programs.
  • Responsible for corporate global communications and media relations.

Vice President Marketing, LA Inc.
Los Angeles, CA, July 1999 to June 2003

  • Served as editor and publisher for the Los Angeles Visitor Industries 2000-2003 global Strategic Marketing Plan.
  • In partnership with MOCA funded and launched the domestic marketing program for the Andy Warhol exhibition that resulted in $55 million in visitor spending.
  • Conceived, funded and published LA NOW a magazine that served as the official visitor guide for Los Angeles.
  • Annually raised over $2 million to fund marketing programs.
  • Responsible for the production of all corporate collateral and the tourism website for Los Angeles.
  • Responsible for corporate domestic communications and media relations.

Associate Vice President Cultural Tourism, LA Inc.
Los Angeles, CA, July 1998 to June 1999

  • In partnership with Disney Theatrical funded and launched a national marketing campaign for the Los Angeles production of Lion King that resulting in $128 million of visitor spending.
  • In cooperation with LACMA funded and launched an international marketing campaign for the Van Gogh exhibition. This campaign’s “book a room get a ticket” concept became the national model for blockbuster marketing and established LA as a world leader in cultural tourism marketing.
  • Annually raised over $1.5 million to fund the marketing of LA’s cultural attractions and events.
  • Responsible for domestic and international communications related to LA’s cultural events and attractions.

Director of Cultural Tourism, LA Inc.
Los Angeles, CA, June 1995 to June 1998

  • Resolved climate control issues at the LA Convention Center that allowed the Smithsonian to launch its 150th anniversary exhibition tour in Los Angeles. In partnership with the Smithsonian and ten LA hotels created and launched the first LA cultural tourism promotion that resulted in over 3000 hotel room nights.
  • Formed regional cultural tourism advisory committee, comprised of over 150 LA leaders to assist the Bureau market the region.
  • In partnership with the Getty organized the Center’s international media preview.
  • Formed a partnership with San Diego and San Francisco to market the culture of the State to domestic leisure travelers. The resulting multi-faceted program won an Odyssey Award from the Travel Industry Association of America and was cited as the national model for cultural tourism marketing.
  • Secured the first National Endowment for the Arts grant in support of cultural tourism marketing.
  • Organized the first western state conference on cultural tourism on behalf of a coalition of national agencies and associations.

Museum Director / Chief Curator, Fresno Art Museum
Fresno, CA, July 1980 to June 1995

  • Led effort to fund and build a 15,000 square foot addition to the only accredited California contemporary art museum between LA and San Francisco.
  • Made the museum a center for the exploration of women in the arts. Dedicated one entire year to exhibitions and symposia that focused on women artists.
  • Curated exhibitions and produced catalogs for many leading California artists including June Wayne, Betye Saar, Ruth Weisberg, Viola Frey…
  • Instituted an artist-in-residence program that resulted in school tour attendance growing to over 10,000 school children per year.
  • Established the museum’s first endowment fund and to keep patrons focused on the fund created an Endowment Society that continues to meet annually.
  • Implemented the museum’s member communications and media relations programs.

Visual Arts Supervisor, City of Long Beach
Long Beach, CA, September 1972 to June 1980

  • Created one of the nation’s first CETA funded artist-in-residence programs.
  • Supervised a city-wide continuing education program comprised of over 150 classes per season.
  • Co-founded and taught classes in the Community Arts Certification Program at California State University, Long Beach.

Volunteer Teacher, Peace Corps
Saglipie, Liberia, November 1968 to January 1971

  • Taught English as a Second Language in a grammar school in Saglipie, Liberia.
  • Established a model reading program in which older students using Liberian folk tales wrote and illustrated books for the younger students.

Recent Professional Affiliations

  • California Travel Industry Association, Chair 2003-2004
  • California Travel & Tourism Commission, Chair, Cultural Tourism Committee, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chair, Annual Gala Auction Committee, 2002 and 2003
  • Mayor Hahn’s Arts Council, City of Los Angeles, Chair, Cultural Tourism Sub-Committee, 2004
  • National Cultural Tourism Alliance, Founding Member, 1998


California College of the Arts, Oakland California
Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA)
Masters of Fine Arts (MFA), Painting

Special Interests

Painting, travel, reading, cooking, golf, tennis, swimming, family and friends

Whats art got to do with it?

Report Cover: Whats Art Got To Do With It?

This report offers a mechanism to think strategically as a community about the way arts could be kept at the forefront of policy discussions about the future of Los Angeles and ways to capture the ideas at the intersections of the arts in Los Angeles so that we can mobilize those ideas for the common good.


Whats Art Got to Do With It?
Power, Commerce and Community in the New Los Angeles
Friday, February 26, 1999
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California


By Robert Barrett, (former) associate vice president of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau and Martha Harris, vice president of public relations, University of Southern California