Wes Jackson named president of BRIC

June 7, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BRIC, a leading multidisciplinary arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn, announced Tuesday that Wes Jackson will be appointed president of the organization, effective July 18, 2022. 

Jackson has more than 25 years of experience as a leader, entrepreneur, innovator, creative and executive in entertainment and academia. He comes to BRIC from Boston-based Emerson College, where he was the director of the Business of Creative Enterprises (BCE) Program and senior executive in residence. 

While at Emerson, he was instrumental in increasing enrollment fivefold, launching the graduate degree, founding “The Future of Creative Industries” Conference, and the Global BA degree. He is an alumnus of BRIC Arts Media and has collaborated with the organization as a creator and speaker in several capacities since 2016. 

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead an outstanding organization like BRIC. It is a pillar of Brooklyn and the arts community worldwide. For decades, BRIC’s excellence has touched so many. With its mission and reputation, BRIC is entering a powerful era of growth. I look forward to working with the team to ensure we realize our full potential,” said Jackson. 

Jackson’s career began with producing concerts for Nas, The Roots, The Dave Matthews Band, the Fugees, and A Tribe Called Quest. His first venture, Seven Heads Entertainment, helped launch the careers of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Talib Kweli, El-P (Run The Jewels), Common, and others. Music from Seven Heads Roster was included in HBO’s “The Wire,” “The Boondocks” and the film “Brown Sugar,” among others.

Jackson would later found and lead the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, an annual event that ran for 15 years with the mission to create a world-class event to honor hip-hop music and culture and the borough of Brooklyn. 

“Wes Jackson is a thinker and doer. His approach to leadership, entrepreneurism, art and culture, public service, creativity, relentlessness, academia, integrity, and curiosity plus his love for Brooklyn inspire us. Leading BRIC into its bright and evolving future while embracing transformation, growth, and innovation will be an extension of his life’s work,” said Michael Liburd, BRIC board chair. 

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Wes also taught at the City University of New York and consulted for Jazz At Lincoln Center, MTV, Grammy Camp, and VH1. Jackson is a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library and board chair of the Brooklyn Crescents.

He succeeds Kristina Newman-Scott, who, in turn, was preceded by Leslie Griesbach Schultz. BRIC House is a 40,000-square-foot arts-and-media complex that brings BRIC’s year-round live performances, visual arts exhibitions, media-making and education programs together under one roof. It attracts 100,000 visitors each year, and is a cornerstone of the Brooklyn Cultural District. 

BRIC’s programs include the free, summer-long BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, whose 44th season is currently underway; the New York Emmy Award-winning BRIC TV, whose programming includes acclaimed original scripted series, a live daily show, and hyper-local news stories and documentaries; Brooklyn Free Speech TV, a leading public access TV network; BRIC JazzFest and more.

A crowd outside BRIC Arts Media House on Rockwell Place. Photo courtesy of BRIC

BRIC supports the work of artists and media-makers who reflect the diversity of New York City through programs including BRICLab, which awards 10 residencies per year to playwrights, choreographers, composers and others developing new performing arts works; residencies providing 16 visual artists with work space each year; commissioning programs for Brooklyn filmmakers to create new scripted TV series; and long-term residencies for established Brooklyn artists.

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