The Brooklyn Academy of Music, also known as “BAM,” is one of the borough’s hotspots. For over 150 years, this multi-arts center has hosted many adventurous audiences and shows. Its world-famous programs in many artistic genres engage communities all over.
Indeed, BAM is the oldest performing arts center in the United States. It began life in 1861 as a multi-room concert complex where the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn could perform. Though its original building burned down in 1903, a rise in BAM’s stock price ensured its reconstruction. World War II would present a further problem, however. As their support base declined, the organization was forced to rent out the building to stay afloat. It was Harvey Lichtenstein who, in 1967, revitalized the center to its full potential.
Today, BAM’s primary programming consists of its “Next Wave Festival.” This annual showcase honors hot entities in music, theatre, and dance from around the world. In addition, the company holds a slew of movie screenings in its Rose Cinema as well as a variety of Education and Humanities events. In recent years, the BAM stage has welcomed such luminaries as Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, and Paul Simon. Any of their projects would be worthy of a look! Of course, the Brooklyn Academy of Music has presented its fair share of successful productions. However, most noteworthy is that their shows foster their borough’s community. They also represent a “common ground” where diverse New York artists can gather to be creative.