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Life & Arts

Valerie Mitchell Johnston, Deputy General Counsel, Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Valerie Mitchell Johnston, Deputy General Counsel, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Johnston was previously Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for HIT Entertainment, a children's entertainment production company owned by Mattel. She comes to Lincoln Center with over 20 years of industry and law firm experience in development, production and distribution of content across various media in domestic and global markets.

In her new position, she is responsible for assisting the General Counsel in managing all legal aspects of the nonprofit organization’s programmatic, educational, fundraising and administrative activities, particularly its strategic initiatives in digital media.

In her six years at HIT Entertainment, Johnston’s work included handling production and distribution across the U.S., Latin America, and internationally. Prior to HIT, she worked at Sesame Workshop as Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs, where she oversaw business affairs of global television syndication, home video, publishing, digital and themed entertainment businesses. Previously she was associated with the law firms of Proskauer Rose LLP and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Johnston earned her JD from Harvard Law School. She graduated from University of Illinois with a B.A. degree in English literature. She was a longtime board member of the National Black Programming Consortium.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus.