In the early part of his professional life, Mr. Isaacson was responsible for raising millions of matching dollars in community and government development funding for building industrial parks in Huntingdon and Mifflin counties and the construction of the largest inland body of water in the United States, The Raystown Dam in Central Pennsylvania.
Then after a successful career in non-profit community and industrial development in The Upper Peninsula of Michigan and central Pennsylvania, both depressed areas in the United States, Martin Isaacson earned his Bachelor’s Degree (1972) and a Master’s Degree (1974) in Arts Education from Pennsylvania State University.
Over the past 36 years, concurrently with his teaching, Mr. Isaacson has applied insights he had gained in the study of aesthetics to business: management, strategic thinking, creativity and leadership. Using his own research in culture and aesthetics, he has conducted programs for individuals and corporations, discussing values, aesthetics and creativity for AT&T. Laser Media, Univision, Glencoe-McGraw/Hill Companies and American Medical International (AMI) – now Tenet Hospital System.
Mr. Isaacson was a senior consultant and planning member for American Medical International’s Corporate College with Dr. Warren Bennis, Tim Gallway, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Peter Senge, Dr. Peter Kostenbaum and the late Dr. Jonas Salk. Royce Diener headed the company.
Mr. Isaacson taught creativity through the arts to hundreds of AMI’s middle and top management teams at the Los Angeles Corporate College facility. He conducted similar programs for their company at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and at the Houston Museum of Art for the AMI Houston hospital’s AIDS unit.
For 30 years he was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts, UCLA Arts Extension, on the main campus in Los Angeles where he taught his programs in aesthetics, creativity and media trends. He has authored and taught the following courses at UCLA ARTS EXTENSION:
“The Knowing Eye: Visual Aesthetics for New Media, Film, and Television (Part 1);” “The Hot Frame (Part 2);” “Creating Entertainment as Art – The Media Maker’s Challenge for the 21st Century;” “Unleashing Your Creativity – A Team Collaboration for Film, Television and Visual Media Makers;” “The Fine Art of Understanding Fine Art (Part I: Traditional Art) & (Part II: Modern and Contemporary Art);” “Art, Ethics and Aesthetics;” and “The Eternal Present: Timeless Principles of Art-Making.”
For the last10 years Mr. Isaacson, a lecturer at Ventura College, is teaching his visual arts black and white film photography program assisting Latino students in finding their voice and point of view and transferring that into visual images.
Mr. Isaacson is also a silversmith, photographer, multi-media artist, image-maker and performance artist. He has completed a bodywork of cultural statements through a group of 3-dimensional “Toy Theatre” pieces. He has appeared in his work titled “The Film Stills of Manfred Heimlick 1920-1933,” a theatre art piece he performed at the Electric Lodge that examines truth-telling in the media. He was invited to exhibit photographs in one-man show at the Platt Gallery, American Jewish University. His book art, “The Coyote Journal,” was dedicated to persons seeking personal freedom from persecution and was exhibited at the Los Angeles Book Arts Club invitational inaugural Book Arts Exhibit. Mr. Isaacson created a sterling sliver bracelet for Elizabeth Taylor that was recently featured in the auction catalog of her jewelry collection.
He has facilitated programs for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Artist Training Seminars, conducted by the Education Division of the Music Center of Los Angeles County. Mr. Isaacson also presented his workshop, “Creativity, Language and Learning: Capturing the Living Spirit in Your Students,” at the 34th Annual State Conference of the California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL).
Mr. Isaacson was invited by the Education Division of the Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County to conduct his workshop, “Unleashing Your Creativity,” at LACMA for the Institute of Educators.
While teaching 3-dimensional design and wood shop to the visually handicapped at Braille Institute, Mr. Isaacson designed and coordinated a UCLA Extension national conference for teaching art to the visually handicapped/blind called “New Methods of teaching 3-Dimensional Design to the Visually Handicapped.” He was the recipient of The California Regents Award for that project which was funded by the American Foundation for the Blind.
For the past 20 years, Mr. Isaacson has been presenting his 2-day workshop entitled “Translating Traditional Photography into Contemporary 21st Century Media” at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.
At La Canada High School, Mr. Isaacson wrote and taught “Surfing the E,” an innovative small business educational program using films and team projects to teach creativity and business ethics to small business administration students.
He has addressed the faculty at the University of Southern CaliforniaSchool of Cinema-Television, and the California State University systems. Mr. Isaacson has also delivered guest lectures at the Bowers Museum, the UCLA-Armand Hammer Museum, the Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County’s Institute for Educators, The Getty Institute for Educators, the Dance Department at Loyola Marymount University, Ventura County Community College, the Skirball Cultural Center, the Claremont Graduate School’s Academy for Lifelong Learning, and the American Jewish University.
Mr. Isaacson served as creative consultant to the distinguished late Hollywood glamour photographer George Hurrell and arranged for the sale of the rights to publish his portfolios internationally. He also was a consultant to Tom Kelley Jr. and arranged for the sale of 67,000 negatives of his father Tom Kelly Sr.’s commercial work to Getty Images in London. Mr. Kelly Sr. was the photographer of the iconic Marilyn Monroe nude centerfold in the first issue of Playboy magazine. Isaacson acted as creative consultant to Chris Milk on his “Creators project”, “Treachery of Sanctuary” which is currently touring the world.
Dover Publications has published his picture design book for the graphic arts industry. Mr. Isaacson was the still photographer for the Readers Digest film, “Design 2000″.
Mr. Isaacson has been a member of the National Association of Art Educators, the Society for Photographic Education, California Art Educators Association and a founding member of the Los Angeles Book Arts Club.
Mr. Isaacson is married to Melinda Williams Isaacson and has two children, three grand children and one great grand daughter.