December 5, 2022 

Media Contact:
Malissa Bodmann


Arts Champion Will Draw on Her Experience with Diverse Artists and Institutions 

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Assembly for the Arts has hired arts leader Deidre McPherson as its first Chief Community Officer. McPherson will lead efforts to improve equity and connections among arts nonprofits, individual creatives and small business communities in Northeast Ohio. 

Jeremy Johnson, President and CEO of Assembly for the Arts, said McPherson will help the organization achieve its mission to ensure that everyone who lives and works in Greater Cleveland benefits from a diverse and equitable art and cultural sector. 

“Deidre is a widely known and respected arts champion. She understands Greater Cleveland’s arts and culture landscape. I’ve seen her work firsthand, leading various initiatives that center the voices of our region’s diverse creatives. She will be a great asset to our team, making connections and expanding efforts to understand and deliver what artists of color and other communities need to thrive,” Johnson said. 

Prior to joining Assembly, McPherson held leadership roles at the Cleveland Museum of Art (2017-2021) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2014-2017). At both institutions, she was responsible for curating and managing events and exhibition-inspired programs designed to create vibrant, socially relevant, and welcoming destinations. Most recently, McPherson was the Director of Artistic and Community Initiatives for FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (2021-2022), where she introduced community engagement practices that focused on uplifting historically marginalized populations of Greater Cleveland. 

McPherson said she was drawn to Assembly because it has “has done an incredible job developing an artist and community-centered approach that has a bold and unapologetic focus on eradicating inequities in the arts. Jeremy Johnson, the Assembly board, and staff have put the organization in a strong position with great opportunities ahead. I’m extremely proud to have a chance to work alongside them to build on what’s been accomplished to date.” 

“I want artists and our creative community to know that they don’t have to leave Cleveland for larger cities to have a sustainable career,” she said. “We have an arts ecosystem led by bright leaders with visionary ideas that can transform and improve the quality of life in our communities. We have the talent, grit, amenities, and passion to make our city a place where artists and creatives can build, and entrepreneurs can thrive. I’m committed to working with Assembly to support them 

in bringing their creative projects to life in ways that help improve the quality of life for Clevelanders, especially in parts of our city that need it the most.” 

McPherson earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in music performance. She serves on the boards of Bike Cleveland, Sankofa Fine Art Plus, and Cleveland VOTES. 


Assembly for the Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a focus on advocacy, cultural policy, racial equity initiatives, research, marketing that elevates the region, and services for nonprofits, artists, and creative businesses. It is governed by a volunteer board with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Assembly by design operates in close partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, a government agency, and Assembly for Action, a 501(c)4 political action nonprofit to serve the entire creative sector. Assembly is supported through major funding from: The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Ohio Arts Council, Huntington, KeyBank, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, Fred & Laura Beth Bidwell, and Barbara S. Robinson.