Join us for a Fireside Chat exploring innovation, creativity, and collaboration, including a special opening reflection by BRIC Board member and Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Lynn Nottage.
Welcome by Michael K. Liburd, BRIC Board Chair
Moderated by: Kristina Newman-Scott, BRIC President
Featuring: Michelle Coffey, Executive Director, Lambent Foundation
Lewis Smithingham, Director of Creative Solutions, MediaMonks
Scherezade García, Artist
About our guests
Kristina Newman-Scott serves as President of BRIC, a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. She is the first immigrant and first woman of color to serve in this position and one of the very few women of color leading a major New York cultural institution. A TEDx speaker, guest lecturer, visiting curator, Kristina currently serves on the Boards of the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Arts Strategies, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. She resides in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, with her husband and two children.
A valued voice in progressive philanthropy, Co-Founder and Executive Director Michelle Coffey, sustains the strategy and vision for Lambent Foundation and its network of grantee partners. Through its grantmaking, Lambent explores how contemporary art and aesthetics serve as a strategy for promoting thriving cultural practices in Nairobi, New Orleans, and New York City. Michelle’s adaptive orientation and abolitionist lens drive her to work for just and equitable futures where more people hold collective power.
Lewis Smithingham is the Director of Creative Solutions at MediaMonks, the world’s largest and most awarded creative and production partner. A problem-solver who identifies innovative digital opportunities, Smithingham has had a hand in several of MediaMonks’ large-scale, live experiential projects for brands like Old Spice, Amazon and Xfinity. Whether designing new products, tools and technologies or driving high-risk projects toward success, Smithingham keeps on the pulse of technological advancement to simplify complex challenges.Scherezade Garcia (born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; based in Brooklyn, NY) is known for her mixed-media paintings that are informed by her Caribbean heritage. Garcia describes her work as being centered on the politics of inclusion. History, especially the colonial history of her native Dominican Republic, plays a central role in her work while she decodes visual narratives of power to bring forth suppressed voices, visually. She is an assistant professor at Parsons School of Design at The New School.
Lynn Nottage is a playwright and a screenwriter, and the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Her plays include Floyd’s, Sweat, Mlima’s Tale, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Ruined, Intimate Apparel, Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Stone, Por’knockers and POOF!. Musical librettos include The Secret Life of Bees and MJ (upcoming). She has also developed This is Reading, a performance installation in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ms. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, among other awards, and is an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts.
A believer in the power of media, art and culture to transform lives, Michael K. Liburd has been on the BRIC board since 2010, helping to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the arts. He was named Board Chair in June 2019. Liburd, a native New Yorker, runs Griffin Ward, LLC, a partnership that advises companies in management, marketing, live events and content distribution. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he contributed to the success of iconic consumer brands and media properties, such as Viacom’s Showtime Networks and Kraft General Foods, through positions in live television programming, marketing, sales and promotions. He is also a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library and Poly Prep Country Day School.