Welcome, Kristina Newman-Scott — the newly minted president of BRIC.
Kristina is an accomplished artist and visionary arts administrator who was, up until this appointment, director of culture for the State of Connecticut. She will assume the mantle at BRIC from Leslie Griesbach Schultz, who has pioneered BRIC for the past 13 years — in September — amidst BRIC’s 40th anniversary. Well, happy anniversary to ya!
Kristina became an acclaimed painter while still a Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in her hometown of Kingston, Jamaica. When she moved to Connecticut in 2005, she took her first job as a curator and arts administrator — as director of Visual Arts at Real Art Ways in Hartford.
From 2012 through 2015, Kristina applied her experience as an artist, and as an organizer of artists and arts and culture programs to her first job in government, as director of Marketing, Events, and Cultural Affairs for the city of Hartford.
She is also the first immigrant and first woman of color to serve as director of Culture and State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Connecticut.
Hilary Ackermann, chairperson of the BRIC Board of Directors, said, “We are thrilled and honored to welcome Kristina to Brooklyn, and consider her arrival one of the foremost triumphs of BRIC’s 40th anniversary.”
Kristina added, “I am honored be a part of the BRIC team, and to continue this important and rewarding work.”
Standing O wishes good luck to Kristina as president, and to Leslie Griesbach Schultz in her future endeavors.
BRIC [647 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place in Fort Greene, (718) 855–7882].
Kudos to Wirdah Khan, a graduating senior at Benjamin Banneker Academy High School, who is this year’s winner of the Joseph E. Mohbat Prize for Writing, which recognizes a talented and motivated Brooklyn public high school senior who has demonstrated a gift of self-expression through the written word. Congrats are also in order for this year’s runner-up, Zariah Harrell, from the same school.
Wirdah will be attending Brooklyn College in the fall and plans on majoring in biology.
Wirdah’s foray into writing was not planned, but at the urging of her teacher, when she saw the topic of #MeToo movement, she knew she had much to add.
In her submission, she vividly and painfully chronicled hers and her sister’s experiences dealing with sexual harassment in their daily lives.
“This year’s Mohbat Award essays showed us how perceptive and committed the young people of Brooklyn are today,” said Nancy Schuh, who established the award in honor of her husband Joe Mohbat.
The award, established in 2011, is valued at $2,500 and consists of a $1,500 cash award and a writing mentorship valued roughly at $1,000. Wirdah will receive the cash award of $1,500, while runner-up Zariah will have the opportunity to benefit from the Mohbat writing mentorship worth $1,000.
She will attend Kean University in the fall and major in psychology.
Benjamin Banneker Academy High School [77 Clinton Ave. at Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, (718) 797–3702].
Congrats to Bay Rocker, Peter Frank Santovito. His hit single “Beat of my Heart” is in the Top 20 of the Cashbox Top 50 Adult Contemporary Music Charts. Give it a listen.