Artist as Catalyst, Program Lead – Los Angeles
Brandon Santiago is a San Francisco-raised Puerto Rican artist, cultural strategist, filmmaker, and producer with a global presence as an educator, performer, and speaker. Despite facing the challenge of dropping out of high school, Brandon discovered his passion for education through the performing arts, including theater, film, and Spoken Word. Since then, Brandon’s life mission has been to leverage his expertise as a tool and weapon to break barriers and build bridges from the margins to the core.
In his roles as Program and Executive Director, Brandon has successfully led multiple internationally recognized organizations, including Youth Speaks, The Future Project, and The Ghetto Film School. He executive produced the world’s largest International Youth Poetry Festival, Brave New Voices, and played a pivotal role in executing and designing numerous award-winning and groundbreaking issue-based national campaigns on various subjects, ranging from public health and school reform to environmental justice. Drawing upon his expertise in critical pedagogy and his fervor for creative youth development, Brandon has been instrumental in bringing about transformative change within communities and organizations across the US and on multiple continents.
Brandon’s story has led him to prestigious venues and platforms, including the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, TEDx, and Univision’s Despierta America, where he has been featured as both a performer and speaker. With a longtime passion for sports, Brandon co-hosted the Bay Area’s first-ever all-Latino sports radio show. Combining his passion for sports with his love for the arts, he co-created an innovative Arts-Athletics Program that has been piloted around the globe.
As a filmmaker and producer, Brandon has partnered with hundreds of young BIPOC creatives and storytellers to executive produce international films and award-winning projects, which can be viewed on platforms such as Hulu and the Criterion Collection.
After serving as the Executive Director for the Ghetto Film School in Los Angeles–in 2024 Brandon has recently transitioned to become the Chief Growth Officer at Get Lit Words Ignite.