Deidrea Miller, Head of Communications

Far before Deidrea Miller joined Christie's Americas, she experienced the positive power of art and storytelling through roles in education and government. Today, she channels these learnings to head up strategic communications at the storied auction house. We spoke with her about this new role, how she landed there and what her favorite parts of the work are. Plus, read on for a few highlights to know in Christie’s marquee sale taking place this month, and some of the favorite local Brooklyn spots she frequents. 

How did you get your start in the art field?

The arts have always moved me, but working for New York City's public school system inspired me to make a career in the field. Part of my job was to oversee messaging for the arts curriculum for the city's 1.1 million students. That experience showed me the ways that art changes lives. For example, some high schools held art classes first period as a well-documented way to reduce truancy. It was gratifying to see students expressing themselves through the arts and engaging with other subjects via the arts.

Getting into the art field has not been an overnight process, and I've found creative ways to inch my career in that direction. I volunteered as a guide at the Studio Museum in Harlem and joined the Socrates Sculpture Park Board in Queens, New York. And most recently, I covered Cultural Affairs for the NYC Mayor's Office to finally "getting there" by joining Brunswick Arts. It's been a journey, and I'm thrilled that it has led me to my role at Christie's.

You've held posts across arts, culture, and government; what are some commonalities of working in comms across these industries?

At its heart, this job is about helping people tell their stories powerfully and finding the most prominent platforms to do just that and reach the audiences that matter—whether that means longtime or new stakeholders. I've been lucky to help organizations respond to some of the most challenging issues of our day in ways that are authentic and align with their missions. I did this for the Mayor of New York, as a consultant, and now as the Head of Communications for Christie's Americas.

You were recently appointed Head of Communications, Americas. Tell us what your new role entails.

I oversee strategic communications for Christie's across the Americas. I work with executive management to set our communications strategy and implement complex, multilayered campaigns to communicate Christie's business priorities, values, and vision for the future. Christie's has been a global presence in the art world for 250 years. Like every institution, we are adapting to enormous societal changes, technology, the economy, and culture.

Did you have any mentors or people who inspired you throughout your career?

I've been fortunate to have mentors who have inspired and pushed me throughout my career. I've always modeled my career after Ann Canty, who also has a background in government and leads communications for the American Museum of Natural History. Ann has always made time to give me advice and encouraged me to pursue my dream of working in the art world. And I must give a call to Ben Rawlingson-Plant at the Guggenheim Museum, who has opened so many doors for me and become a close advisor and friend over the past few years.

What is your favorite part of the work you do?

I work with a fantastic team of communications professionals who share a passion for art and beauty with our incredible specialists. Another fantastic aspect of my role is navigating how to position Christie's to appeal to new collectors who haven't traditionally engaged with the art world. Last year, 32% of our new buyers were millennials.

As a Brooklyn local, what are some spots we might run into you?

I recently moved to Brooklyn Heights with my partner, 9-year-old daughter, dog, and cat. So, that keeps me pretty busy in my free time. You'll often find me in Brooklyn Bridge Park playing ping-pong or walking my dog. We also spend lots of time at DUMBO House on the weekends with my daughter for breakfast or Inga's on Hicks Street with friends having a drink. But my favorite spot is the Prospect Park Tennis Center when I have a chance to get out there.

What are some current or upcoming projects you're excited about?

Currently, we are full steam ahead planning our upcoming 20th and 21st Century Marquee Week this May. It's incredible to come to work and see one of the most beautiful artworks by Andy Warhol's Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, which will be sold on the first day of sales. The sale of the Marilyn is expected to fetch more than $200 million, which will benefit children's charities around the world. I'm just in awe of that level of generosity.


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