Newly Created Role Will Bridge Gap Between Media and Non-Media Programming At the Brooklyn-Based Leading Arts and Media Institution



New York, New York (July 26, 2023)– BRIC, the internationally-renowned arts and media institution based in Brooklyn, announces the appointment of Deron Johnston as the Chief Program Officer (CPO). In this new role, Johnston will spearhead the integration of BRIC’s platforms and programming, aligning them with the institution’s overarching mission to support creatives, while serving the greater community. This strategic move will reinforce BRIC’s commitment to fostering artistic expression, content creation, community-oriented programming, and cultural engagement into the future.

Johnston will report directly to BRIC Media President Wes Jackson and work as a key member of the executive leadership team. He will be responsible for overseeing the creative direction of BRIC’s media and non-media programming inclusive of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, BRIC JazzFest, Contemporary Art, Adult Media Education, Youth Education, Community Engagement, BRIClab Residencies, BRIC TV, Studio BK, and Brooklyn Free Speech. With his extensive background as a nonprofit executive and accomplished musician/producer collaborating with a range of artists such as SZA, El Da Sensei and Tame One, Johnston brings a unique blend of expertise to this new role.

Prior to joining BRIC, Johnston served as Director of Community Development, Strategy & Innovation at the Center for Justice Innovation, where he demonstrated exceptional skill in managing fundraising efforts while championing the interests of underrepresented communities. Throughout his career, Johnston has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to community development, earning prestigious awards such as the Spark Prize for Brooklyn Nonprofits, JP Morgan Chase Advancing Cities, the Center for Active Design: Excellence Award.

Johnston’s vast experience in serving marginalized communities has also led him to oversee city-wide initiatives aimed at enhancing public safety and economic mobility for thousands of Brooklynites and beyond. His work includes providing technical assistance in community organizing to various stakeholders, including community-based organizations, foundations, elected officials, and nationwide city/state/federal agencies. Additionally, he has led place-based projects that revitalize neglected neighborhoods, fostering their stability, beauty, and growth.

BRIC President Wes Jackson said:

“ I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Deron into the folds of the BRIC universe to help shape the next chapter of our work together. Uniting BRIC’s many diverse programming arms under the vision of one executive is a strategic move that will help us better serve our communities in unique and innovative ways. With his background as both an artist and community organizer, Deron is positioned to help us not only grow our impact, but ensure that we’re meeting our communities where they’re at and center those who most need access to art, culture, and media literacy.”

BRIC Chief Program Officer Deron Johnston said:

“It is an honor to serve our community through one of Brooklyn’s most crucial art, culture, and media institutions. Through the arts, our communities strengthen their sense of self and direction, reaching a potential that is sometimes blocked simply by circumstance. BRIC operates at the cross-section of creativity, community, and opportunity, creating pathways for creative thinkers and doers to connect, learn, and benefit from that realized potential at the highest level. My journey as an artist — and, eventually, executive — was only made possible because of that cross-section. As BRIC enters its next chapter, I am humbled and eager to ensure that BRIC continues to grow as a fulcrum of culture and opportunity for creatives from all walks of life.”

With Johnston’s appointment as BRIC Media’s CPO, the institution is poised to strengthen its role as a global cultural hub.


* * *


For More Information Contact:

Wendy Washington

[email protected]

Decota Letman

[email protected]

Brittanyy Peterson Naya Samuel

[email protected]

Naya Samuel

[email protected]

BRIC is a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. For over forty years, BRIC has shaped Brooklyn’s cultural and media landscape by presenting and incubating artists, creators, students, and media makers. As a creative catalyst for their community, BRIC ignites learning in people of all ages and centralizes diverse voices that take risks and drive culture forward. BRIC builds Brooklyn’s creative future.

Read More

BRIC Announces “Raised By Brooklyn” Gala and House Party, Honoring D-Nice
Kimani Rogers, Susan Murray, and Tucker Reed Named New BRIC Board Members
BRIC’s Website, Designed by Bellweather Agency, Nominated for 28th Annual Webby Awards in Three Categories