Left: Adjoa Jones de Almeida. Right: Carolyn Royston. (Photos: Jonathan Dorado)
The Brooklyn Museum is pleased to announce that two new Deputy Directors are joining its leadership team: Adjoa Jones de Almeida has been appointed Deputy Director for Learning and Social Impact and Carolyn Royston will join as Deputy Director for Engagement. These newly created positions will reinforce the Museum’s commitment to community impact and reimagine strategies for delivering engaging experiences for all visitors.
“Adjoa and Carolyn are trailblazing arts leaders, and we are confident that they will make great contributions to advancing our commitments to audiences near and far and to deepening our social change efforts,” said Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum.
In the new role of Deputy Director for Learning and Social Impact, Jones de Almeida will oversee the Brooklyn Museum’s Education Division, expanding the reach of its School Programs, Family and Community Programs, Adult Learning, and Teen Programs, as well as the Museum’s Public Programs and Community Engagement teams. Jones de Almeida will also work to deepen the Museum’s commitment to social justice and develop a sustained, multiyear strategy to engage audiences around issues that reflect urgent global themes—with serious implications for the Museum’s neighborhoods, the city, and communities everywhere—including mass criminalization and climate change. Jones de Almeida has worked in the Museum’s Education Division since 2013 and has served as the division’s director since 2016. After graduating from Brown University in 1995, she received a Fulbright scholarship to research community schools and cultural identity in Bahia, Brazil. In 1996, she helped to create Sista II Sista (SIIS), a collective dedicated to supporting Brooklyn’s young women of color in developing personal and collective power through Summer Freedom Schools and community organizing projects. Reflecting on her ten years of experience with Sista II Sista, she contributed to the award-winning anthology The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (2007, Boston: South End Press). In 2005, she earned an M.A. in international educational development from Columbia University’s Teachers College investigating global popular education movements. From 2006 to 2013, she lived in Arembepe, Bahia, where she co-founded Diáspora Solidária, a community based organization committed to social and environmental justice, youth development, and artistic expression. In 2017, she was awarded the 92Y/Women in Power Catherine Hannah Behrend Fellowship.
“Building on the Brooklyn Museum’s tremendous legacy of activating the arts in service of local communities, I am excited to help reimagine the role of museums in people’s lives through innovative collaborations centering the needs and perspectives of POC and working-class communities, while continuing our commitment to widespread access, inclusion, and dialogue across difference,” said Jones de Almeida.
As Deputy Director for Engagement, Carolyn Royston will lead the Museum’s audience engagement strategy with a critical focus on digital initiatives and will oversee a multifaceted team including digital communications, graphic design, marketing, merchandising, public relations, and visitor experience. Over the last two decades of working with museums, Royston has transformed the way that cultural organizations use technology to effect change, connecting contemporary audiences to extraordinary museum collections. She joins the Museum from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she served as Chief Experience Officer, a new role that integrated the digital and physical visitor experience to illuminate the power of design to transform communities and individual lives. Royston has had senior positions at other museums in the U.S. and UK, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in Boston, and the Imperial War Museums and Victoria and Albert Museum, both in England. Royston completed the Oxford Cultural Leaders program in April 2021 and was a Getty Leadership Institute (GLI) fellow in 2017. She served as president of the Museum Computer Network (MCN) in 2017 (MCN’s fiftieth anniversary year) and is currently on the board of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC).
“At this critical moment in time, as the country and the world emerge from a series of crises in a fractured state, the Brooklyn Museum—rooted in one of the most vibrant creative and cultural ecosystems in the world (Brooklyn!)—has an unparalleled opportunity to serve as a platform for inspiration, for scholarship, and for important discussions. I can’t think of a more exciting place to be,” said Royston.