Foundation Provides Funds for New Professional Development Program at Brooklyn Academy of Music

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) today announced the launch of the BAM Professional Development Program (BAM PDP). Led by BAM and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management (DVIAM) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the BAM PDP will be one of the first programs to reside in the BAM Richard B. Fisher Building—the first addition to BAM’s Fort Greene campus since the Majestic Theater (now the BAM Harvey Lichtenstein Theater) opened in 1987.

Conceived as a new kind of arts, education, and community center, the BAM Richard B. Fisher Building, at 321 Ashland Place, was designed as a special home for BAM performances, artists, arts groups, and the community. The building will officially open to audiences with the 2012 Next Wave Festival, but beginning in May 2012 Brooklyn artists taking advantage of the BAM PDP will
already be in residence.

With the support of the Brooklyn Community Foundation Arts for All Fund and the New York Community Trust, the BAM PDP is designed to aid Brooklyn arts groups looking to mount a self-produced performance in the building’s new Judith & Alan Fishman Theater Space, and enable them to develop a set of capacity building skills in areas key to their success. The program will focus on
the growth and training of each organization as a whole—offered at no fee to participants—and provide a new level of support, not previously offered in Brooklyn, that culminates in a performance.

“We are excited to launch the BAM Professional Development Program during our 150th anniversary celebration,” said BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins. “We would like acknowledge our partners at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management and the generous leadership support of the Brooklyn Community Foundation and the New York Community Trust who have made it possible to bring this opportunity to the artists who comprise the rich cultural community of

The BAM PDP combines the experience and expertise of BAM and the Kennedy Center with a ground-floor perspective attuned to the issues and challenges facing arts groups. Selected organizations will have access to the facility to mount their performance, supported by a subsidized rental rate, while building the foundation to ensure their long-term success.

The 14-month program consists of nine three-hour workshops in key management areas including financial management, programmatic marketing, and strategic planning. Other highlights include peer mentoring sessions, a seminar series following a BAM production, executive coaching from BAM staff and DVIAM faculty, an online organizational assessment, and the tools of a world-class facility—including the flexible 250-seat Judith & Alan Fishman Theater Space and the 1,600-square-foot Rita K. Hillman Studio.

Participating organizations are asked to include both their artistic and administrative leaders, when applicable, to take part in all workshops and webchats. If the organization has a board of directors, the board chair or other board leader is also asked to participate in key workshops—fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning.

Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center and founder of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management said, “I applaud BAM for working to empower arts organizations with strong, effective, well-trained leaders. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management has advised hundreds of arts organizations nationally and internationally, and we are pleased to bring our capacity building expertise to BAM and its PDP partners.”

The BAM Community Partnership Council, composed of community leaders, government officials, and BAM trustees, was formed to explore the needs of the community and plan effective use of the BAM Richard B. Fisher Building. Council Chair and BAM trustee Claire Wood said, “We are excited that one of the first programs offered will provide affordable access to this wonderful facility and the tools of the BAM PDP.”

For its inaugural year, the BAM PDP will accept applications for six spots. Each year the program focuses on a particular performing arts discipline; dance is the focus of the first session. Interested groups must be 501(c)3 (non-profit) performing arts organizations with dance as a primary or secondary focus, be committed to producing a performance in the Judith & Alan Fishman Theater Space, be located and operating in Brooklyn with a minimum annual operating budget of $100,000, and have a minimum of three years of performance history or other activity. A full list of requirements can be found online at

Applications are available online starting October 4 and must be submitted by December 5.

Applicants are required to attend one of two information sessions to be held on October 27 and November 8. A panel of arts administrators, discipline-specific experts, and community leaders will review all applications and announce those accepted to the program in early March. Workshops will commence in May 2012, with performances slated for the following spring and summer.

Founded in 2001 by Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser, the DeVos Institute leverages this expertise to train, support, and empower arts managers and their boards locally, nationally, and internationally. Since its inception, the DeVos Institute has advised hundreds of organizations throughout the United States, as well as individuals, organizations, governments, and foundations in nearly 70 countries on six continents. For more information about the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, visit