Award-winning arts administrator launched historic initiatives and led BRIC through the pandemic
Search for next leader begins immediately
BROOKLYN, AUGUST 3, 2021 – BRIC, a leading arts and media institution anchored in Brooklyn, today announced that President Kristina Newman-Scott has informed the organization that she will be stepping down from her role effective August 31, 2021. After working closely with the Board of Directors through her transition, Ms. Newman-Scott will become a consultant to BRIC as the organization continues to bring cutting edge new programming to the Brooklyn community. BRIC’S Executive Committee will work with the senior staff while the Board searches for the next leader.
BRIC’s Board Chair Michael Liburd said, “Kristina was the right leader at the right time for BRIC. She is visionary in her focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and how that strengthens an organization, especially one as rooted in the community as BRIC. Furthermore, she helped create a much more unified and aligned BRIC, which helped us successfully weather the storm of the pandemic. She will be missed by the entire BRIC community.”
Ms. Newman-Scott, who joined BRIC in 2018, was the first immigrant and woman of color in the organization’s history to be named President. Bringing a deep background in the arts and arts administration, Ms. Newman-Scott focused on driving an action plan centered on creators and building on BRIC’s history of serving communities typically under-recognized and underserved by the cultural sector. Under her tenure, BRIC embarked on an ambitious human-centered process in pursuit of clarity of purpose in the form of a new four-year Strategic Plan, leading to a rearticulated mission, informed by the institution’s impact and legacy, and a newly articulated vision statement, guided by aspirational goals. She led BRIC’s efforts as it secured new sources of institutional funding, expanded marquee community programming, launched historic visual arts exhibits, and significantly increased its media exposure.
As the pandemic hit the U.S. and specifically BRIC’s Brooklyn community, Ms. Newman-Scott’s leadership allowed BRIC to continue to support the Brooklyn community and its employees during a period of extreme uncertainty for many organizations. Most notably, she led the reimagining of BRIC’s annual music festival as BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival: Live Everywhere, which allowed this event to reach new, worldwide audiences by transforming the festival into a virtual, multi-platform event during the pandemic. BRIC also partnered with New York City’s Department of Education to launch One Brooklyn TV, educational TV programming running five days a week from the summer of 2020 to enhance the remote learning experience for Brooklyn students and families. All told, BRIC produced more than 190 multi-platform programs during this period, while maintaining its physical space as a virtual production studio to serve artists, community organizations and community leaders.
As the city recovers from the pandemic, Ms. Newman-Scott has also positioned BRIC at the forefront of organizations helping to revitalize the arts. This includes reopening BRIC House to the public with the groundbreaking Latinx Abstract exhibit, focusing on the work of ten contemporary artists who work with varied media and approaches, as well as relaunching the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in 2021 as an in-person event at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
During her tenure, Ms. Newman-Scott was named as one of the 2020 Observer NYC Arts Power 50 and has been a champion for artists and has helped to expand the ways that BRIC supports them. This has included enhancing BRIC’s artist residency programs with the updated BRIClab multidisciplinary residency program, which aims to advance opportunities for emerging and mid-career visual artists, performers, and media makers by offering essential resources, mentorships, and platforms to share their work. The organization also launched the annual Colene Brown Art Prize, an unrestricted $100,000 grant awarded in amounts of $10,000 each to ten under-recognized New York-based visual artists founded by past Board member, Deborah Brown.
Ms. Newman-Scott has also led BRIC’s groundbreaking efforts that made significant strides in promoting real and impactful diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization.
“I could not be more proud of what we’ve achieved over the last three years, and especially over the last 16 months during a global pandemic,” said Ms. Newman-Scott. “Our team demonstrated a genuine spirit of collaboration and focused on centering the voices of artists to reach the people of Brooklyn and beyond. Our ability as an organization to move beyond fear and into possibility during this time will forever inspire me as I transition to my next chapter.”
Lynn Nottage, member of BRIC’s Board, said, “Kristina has been a wonderful friend to the Brooklyn arts community. She gave us freedom and space and encouragement – the nourishment necessary to make good art.”
For over forty years, BRIC has shaped Brooklyn’s cultural and media landscape by presenting and incubating artists, creators, students, and media makers – from launching the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, to establishing one of Brooklyn’s first contemporary art galleries. Going forward, BRIC will continue to build on the success of its marquee programs, while working to ensure Brooklyn’s creative future.
BRIC is a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. Our main venue, BRIC House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio, and artist workspaces. 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. For additional information, visit www.bricartsmedia.org.
James Michael Nichols