PERU, IN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Kenneth Feld, 57, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, Inc. and owner/producer of Ringling
Bros. and Barnum & Bailey was inducted into the International Circus Hall of
Fame in Peru, Indiana on July 22. Feld became the Hall of Fame's newest circus inductee
when he was presented with the honor at the Annual Circus Greats Awards Dinner
and Induction Ceremony appropriately held inside a circus big top at the Peru
museum (former home to the American Circus Corporation).
"It's an honor to be inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame and
join my father and so many others who have contributed to making Ringling Bros.
and Barnum & Bailey truly The Greatest Show On Earth," said Feld. "This
honor reaffirms the responsibility I have, along with my daughters, to maintain
the high quality, family-focused productions which continue to define Ringling
Feld was among nine nominees who were considered and voted upon this past spring
by the Hall of Fame's Circus Greats Review Council and Induction Board. He was
subsequently elected to the owners/management/administrative category of circus
Feld's induction comes nearly 20 years after his late father, Irvin,
was inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame (1987). With Kenneth
Feld's induction, the number of individuals, families and troupes honored in the
Hall of Fame now reaches 163. Other circus greats enshrined in the
Hall of Fame include aerialist Lillian Leitzel, animal trainer Gunther
Gebel-Williams, clowns Emmett Kelley and Lou Jacobs, and Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey founder and great, P.T. Barnum.
"We are very pleased to induct Kenneth Feld into the Circus Hall of Fame. The
Feld family has had a major impact on the American circus," said Thomas
Dunwoody, executive director of the International Circus Hall of Fame.
Feld Entertainment's productions include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and its three
touring circus units; Disney On Ice; Disney Live!; and launching in Fall 2006,
Doodlebops Live! The company also owns and operates Hagenbeck-Wallace, a scenic
design shop in Palmetto, FL which designs and builds sets for all Feld
Entertainment productions; a train operations center that maintains the two
mile-long Ringling Bros.circus trains; and Feld Consumer Products which
develops and markets concessions products.
Highlights of the Felds' innovations included creating second and third touring
units of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, modernizing the creative and
business practices of the circus, and launching Disney On Ice in 1981 and Disney
Live! in 2004. In 1999, Kenneth also introduced American audiences to Barnum's
Kaleidoscape, the first Ringling Bros. production under a canvas big top since
His expertise and creativity also led to the formation of the
Las Vegas extravaganza featuring master illusionists Siegfried & Roy at the
Mirage Hotel, where the production ran until 2004, and paved the way
for other big-budget Las Vegas productions.
His vision goes beyond entertainment as evidenced by his commitment to saving the endangered Asian elephant species.
In 1995, Feld established the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant
Conservation (CEC). Located in central Florida, this 200-acre, $5-million,
state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the research, reproduction and
retirement of the Asian elephant. Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant
Conservation has the largest sustainable population of captive Asian elephants
in the Western hemisphere. On April 6, 2006, Ringling Bros. welcomed Mable, the
20th elephant calf and rare second generation born into the Ringling Bros.
breeding program. The Center has become a global focal point for the worldwide
study of Asian elephant behavior and reproduction.
In addition to his commitment to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center
for Elephant Conservation, Feld has announced more than $300,000 in funding to
the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park supporting Asian elephant
research projects and a partnership with the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas, allowing
the Zoo to acquire — through the company's companion elephant program — a male
Asian elephant from the Ringling Bros. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner