About Innovative Giving Enhancement
Innovative Giving Enhancement 501(c)(3) received its nonprofit registration in 2014. Although originally envisaged in 2011 by IGE president and founder Michael Becker, as an international communitarian salon for a select group of friends, artists and master musicians during the Venice Art Biennale, overwhelming interest for participation in future programs encouraged dramatic reevaluation of the concept.
As IGE transitioned from salon to nonprofit, organizational structure and operations were created to maximize benefits for Musical Ambassadors, nonprofit partners, local communities and participants. With significant input from musicians, artists, potential and past participants, music and travel industry professionals, related nonprofit directors, legal and international advisors, it became evident that IGE Music and Art Immersions could bring substantive benefit to many through its novel improvisational structure. Not only could IGE provide context for musicians, artists, and friends to dislocate from the mundane, rediscover inspiration and build community, but Immersions could be structured to profit participants and the communities in which Immersions are set in substantive, myriad ways.
On successful conclusion of the prototype 2013 Venice Immersion, IGE orchestrated three successive Immersions in 2015, 2016 and 2017, each more intricate and expansive than the last. This October, IGE launches the inaugural Barcelona Music and Art Immersion, with Lisbon 2019 and Prague 2020 under development.
IGE Musical Ambassadors
Musical Ambassadors are the essence of IGE Music and Art Immersions. IGE honors Ambassadors for unusual commitment over careers to musical, educational and broader communities. These eminent master musicians embrace cross-cultural, multi-genre collaboration as they contribute to the dynamic synergism at the core of the Immersion experience. It is around Musical Ambassadors, against the backdrops of historic Venice, Italy and now, magical Barcelona, Spain that Immersions coalesce and unfold. Ambassadors orchestrate Immersions as they perform in rehearsed and spontaneous ensembles.
IGE Board Members
Michael Becker, President
Michael Becker founded IGE in 2014 on retirement from nearly three decades of international teaching in Nepal, Japan, China, Switzerland, Ecuador and most recently, Portland, Oregon. Prior to teaching, Michael worked as socially responsible investment broker, advertising account executive, and groundbreaking natural foods restaurateur.
Given lifelong love for travel, decades as an ex-patriot, and significant experience creating and implementing extraordinary international travel experiences for students and adults, Michael synthesized his expertise and various interests into creation of an entirely unique public charity for benefit of musicians and artists, international arts nonprofits and local communities.
Scott Law, Musical Director
Multifaceted artist Scott Law is an accomplished guitar master, songwriter, vocalist and solo recording artist operating at the very highest level of his craft. A not so secret weapon sought after for his distinctive ability to elevate the potency of any stage collaboration, Law is a fearless improviser circulating with legendary Bluegrass, American Roots, Rock and Jamband luminaries including Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), The String Cheese Incident, Peter Rowan, Darol Anger, The Travelin’ McCoury’s and many others. Scott’s original music and guitar style comes straight from the heart of psychedelic Americana, granting him the creative latitude to constantly push the envelope and help create singular, unforgettable musical experiences for audiences worldwide.
Arthur Steinhorn, Secretary & Treasurer
Arthur Steinhorn has spent over three decades as a finance professional in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In addition, for the past two decades he has served in various positions, including President and Treasurer of numerous non-profit boards.
Leonardo Suarez Paz
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina is known for his uncommon talent as a singer, a career he began at the age of 6, a tango dancer and an artist who “possesses a unique spirit and is a virtuoso extraordinaire on the violin” (Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York). Leonardo made his debut as a violinist at age 14 and at 16, he became the youngest member of the Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires. As a classical musician he recorded with Placido Domingo, accompanied Alfredo Kraus, Aaron Rosand, was a soloist for Julio Boca’s Ballet Argentino and concertmaster for Savion Glover’s Classical Savion tour. He was the featured on the Grammy-winning albums 100 Años de Mariachi with Placido Domingo, Tango, with Carlos Franzetti and Ruben Blades, Amarte Es Un Placer with Luis Miguel and performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Spoleto and Umbria Jazz Festivals in Italy and others.