Our Largest Gift to Date

April 27, 2012

Making the Arts More Accessible -
and Affordable - in Brooklyn

Through the Community Foundation’s Arts for All Fund, Up-and-Coming Arts Organizations Are Finding a New Home at BAM

Without a doubt, Brooklyn is the most exciting place in the world right now to be in the business of culture. From St. Ann’s Warehouse to the Brooklyn Museum, the Regina Opera in Bensonhurst to the Music Hall of Williamsburg, our borders are home to the most innovative artists, authors, performers, and producers anywhere.

Yet, here at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, we’re just as interested in audiences as we are artists. Our Arts for All Fund, through which our donor community gave more than $600,000 last year to Brooklyn nonprofit cultural organizations, provides support for programs and institutions that create access to the arts, for all Brooklynites. It’s about connecting artists with audiences and creating more opportunities for our residents to experience the arts—whether as producers or patrons.

The arts are an essential part of Brooklyn life. No ticket price should be too high, nor studio too costly, for the arts to thrive in our neighborhoods. Our support ensures that great artistic experiences are available to audiences of every size, and students of every age, throughout Brooklyn.

Which is why, as we launched the Brooklyn Community Foundation in 2009, we finalized a major endowment gift of $2 million to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to ensure that its new BAM Richard B. Fisher Building, with state-of-the-art performance and rehearsal space, will be affordable and accessible to a wide and diverse range of Brooklyn’s performing arts group and their longtime community audiences, now and into the future. 

BAM, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, has been a leading force in bringing about Brooklyn’s cultural renaissance; and now, through BAM Fisher, it is able to embrace a bigger chunk of the world-class work being created locally, and collaborate with emerging organizations as they make their journey toward one-day filling the seats of the Opera House or the Harvey Theater.  

Over the years, as we’ve observed many arts organizations struggle with myriad challenges, we’ve often thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there could be a BAM School?’ – a place where young, ambitious and creative organizations could learn from the skills and experience of BAM’s leadership about everything from administration and budgets to programming and production.

We’re thrilled that through our endowment gift, "BAM School" is becoming a reality: the BAM Professional Development Program, housed at BAM Fisher in collaboration with the prestigious DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will work with a group of select dance organizations over the next 14 months, to ensure the sustainable growth and success of their missions. The program will culminate with the participating companies presenting a self-funded production in the Judith and Alan Fishman Theater Space at the BAM Fisher. Each year a new discipline and class of organizations will be selected.

Pictured: BAM and BCF Chairman Alan Fishman, Brett Egan of the DeVos Institute, and Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber.

The freshman class of BAM’s Professional Development Program will officially be announced next week. Check our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages to see who made the roster!

We are thrilled to provide the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s donor community with a channel to investing in such an important moment in Brooklyn’s cultural history. 

Together, this gift to the BAM cultural district is truly a gift to the entire Brooklyn arts community: those who make art and those who love it.

Consider a gift to our Arts for All Fund today.


What's Happening Across Brooklyn

Here are a few highlights of news and events we’ve shared with our followers this week. Don’t miss a thing! Like us at Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn and follow us at Twitter.com/DoGoodBklyn.

Calling All Nonprofits -- Brooklyn's Volunteers Need You!
The Brooklyn Community Foundation will launch a new Brooklyn-centric volunteer initiative this Spring at www.DoGoodRightHere.org. We'll be matching Brooklynites with volunteer opportunities at innovative nonprofits across our 70 neighborhoods. At this time, we're asking all nonprofits and community associations with volunteer needs to register on the site and post opportunities. To get started, email ereese@bcfny.org.

NY Times Features Brooklyn College Community Partnership
Our Education and Youth Achievement Fund grantee partners is highlighted for their collaboration with the Brooklyn Zen Center on the Awake Youth Project, in which students attend weekly meditation sessions meant to help them handle the challenges of growing up in the city. Read the story here.

Sakura Matsuri Festival at BBG: Celebrating Japanese Culture
Head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this Saturday and Sunday from 10AM–6PM to experience more than 60 events and performances: Taiko Drumming • Manga Artists • J-Pop Bands • Tea Ceremonies • Samurai Sword Fighting • Cosplay Fashion Show • Bonsai Demonstrations • Minbu Folk Dance • Kids’ Workshops • Puzzle Plaza and More! For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.bbg.org/sakura.