R. Jeep Bryant Named President of the Arts & Science Council

Categories: News & Media
Award-winning executive will lead ASC during a pivotal time for Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s arts and cultural sector.
R. Jeep Bryant.
R. Jeep Bryant.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 6, 2019) – The Arts & Science Council (ASC) Board of Directors has hired R. Jeep Bryant as president beginning July 1, 2019. Bryant, a seasoned arts and business leader with global management experience in government relations, philanthropy, change management, public relations and marketing, will take the helm of the 60-year-old nonprofit that serves as the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the arts and cultural community in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. ASC’s current president, Robert E. Bush Jr., a nationally known and highly regarded leader in the arts, retires June 30, 2019. Bush joined ASC in 2000 and served as interim president in 2013 before being named president in 2014.

Bryant, who grew up in Charlotte, was previously director of marketing and business development for The Broadway League® in New York City, the National Trade Association for the Broadway Theatre Industry. During his time there, he increased sponsorship revenue for the Tony Awards®, created a marketing initiative targeting families to attend Broadway shows, launched a diversity taskforce to increase attendance and engagement with African-American Broadway consumers, identified opportunities to reach new audiences and produced experiences to reach Latino and Hispanic communities. Prior to joining The Broadway League®, his career has been in the financial services sector in various communications and philanthropic roles.  As executive vice president and chairman of the Bank of New York Mellon Foundation, he directed $20 million in annual contributions which included signature arts and cultural sponsorships, as well as a program that transformed the lives of at-risk youth. He also worked with community leaders on strategic investments in low-income communities, opened the company’s first Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. and led outreach to policymakers and elected officials. Bryant has worked for PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, the former First Union Corporation in Charlotte and began his career in broadcast journalism at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, S.C. and WBTV in Charlotte.

“Jeep’s unique mix of experience in cultural engagement, government relations, change management, marketing and community relations for nonprofit and for-profit organizations, coupled with his strong interpersonal skills, are critical to ASC’s work to support the arts and cultural community and made him the perfect candidate for this time in ASC’s history,” said ASC Board Chair Paula Vincent who co-chaired an eight-member Search Committee comprised of business, civic and cultural leaders with ASC Chair-Elect Valecia McDowell. “We are grateful for Robert’s strategic vision, passion and leadership during his five years as president and are confident Jeep will continue to lead ASC forward during this critical time for the arts and cultural sector.”

The national search was facilitated by the firm Arts Consulting Group. The opportunity drew interest from more than 100 highly qualified and diverse candidates from across the U.S. due to ASC’s brand and national reputation along with Charlotte-Mecklenburg being a well-regarded city.

Bryant joins ASC as it is seeking a designated revenue stream from Mecklenburg County voters to stabilize and transform the cultural sector to ensure cultural equity and that all residents have access to arts and cultural experiences. While ASC’s historical funding model, driven by workplace campaigns, served the community well for many years, its revenue had declined sharply in recent years. The proposed designated revenue stream would stabilize support for all parts of the cultural sector – education programs, neighborhood and town-based projects and programs, support for individual artists and operating support to small, mid-size and large arts, science and history organizations.

“It is an honor to be selected for this leadership role at such an important time for ASC and to return home to Charlotte. I look forward to working with the board, staff and partners to realize the full promise and potential of the organization,” Bryant said. “The funding challenges will require an energetic commitment and tireless effort from all of us. With the community’s support, we will expand ASC’s investments in arts, science and history opportunities that are vibrant, diverse and inclusive. Together, we will advance the region’s economic vitality and the quality of life for all.”

Highlights of Bryant’s community leadership include serving on the boards of the theater at Lincoln Center, North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet), the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Broadcasting Authority and The Institute for Public Relations. The Charlotte chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recognized Jeep’s corporate and community leadership with its Infinity Award in 1998.

“Jeep provided outstanding support to Lincoln Center Theater and was an engaged and thoughtful member of our Board,” said Hattie K. Jutagir, Lincoln Center Theater’s executive director of Development and Planning. “He leveraged the resources of his BNY Mellon team to support our Education Program and he personally supported our fundraising galas and theater renovation projects. In fact, there is a seat in his name in the Mitzi Newhouse Theater as a reminder of his commitment to the artists and staff who work here.”

Bryant attended Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and sang in the chorus at South Mecklenburg High School. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism.

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ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Region.

Contact:

Krista Terrell, APR | 704-335-3035 | krista.terrell@artsandscience.org

Bernie Petit | 704-335-3055 | bernie.petit@artsandscience.org

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