Live Interview February 17 at BAM
Karen Brooks Hopkins, who led the renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music through decades of transformative growth and international influence, has shared her memories and insights in a powerful new book, BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me.
Published by Powerhouse Books, the work will be promoted on a worldwide tour sponsored by the Onassis Foundation and beginning ‘right at home where it all started.’ Hopkins will be interviewed live this week at BAM by Oskar Eustis, the Artistic Director of New York’s Public Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 17.
Hopkins’ memoir is an exhilarating romp through the evolution of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one of Brooklyn’s most historic and enduring cultural institution, and an inside look at how it grew to exert considerable influence on theater, opera, dance, and film worldwide.
BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me is filled with riveting stories and historical photos from the institution’s remarkable array of performances over the years, as well as backstage drama, wildly ambitious fundraising schemes, and blazing moments of artistic glory. In the book, Hopkins recounts witty anecdotes and breathtaking close calls with iconic artists such as Laurie Anderson, Pina Bausch, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Brook, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Davis, Jeremy Irons, Dr. John, Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Spike Lee, Annie Leibovitz, Roy Lichtenstein, LL Cool J, Sam Mendes, Mark Morris, José Parla, Robert Redford, Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, John Turturro, Rufus Wainwright, Robert Wilson, and more. Readers will revel in the front-row-seat experience of the ups, downs, successes, and global reputation-building of the world-famous cultural center.
BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me also provides insight into the phenomenal not-for-profit fundraising strategies and initiatives Hopkins developed for BAM, and offers an expert primer for sustainable arts and non-profit leadership and management. Hopkins shares the outreach and engagement strategy she employed, in collaboration with fellow arts leaders, in the creation of the Brooklyn Cultural District, which not only contributed to the dramatic evolution of a neighborhood, but also doubled down on the vast borough of which it is part, championing its cultural richness and establishing Brooklyn as a global brand.
In the book, Hopkins explains how arts and culture are a powerful tool for the development of dynamic, inclusive communities, and of socially and economically vibrant cities. BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me features more than three hundred seventy color and black-and-white photographs, documenting the greatest moments in BAM’s history, and the glittery, culture-making highlights of the legendary performances during Hopkins’ phenomenal tenure there, paired with stories that are shared with the public for the first time.
BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me is also be available via Audible, as an audiobook.
Over the coming months, Hopkins undertakes an extensive international book tour supported by the Onassis Foundation, on whose Board she serves, and for whom she serves as Senior Advisor for the U.S. cultural activities.
February 17, 2022
In conversation with Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public Theater
March 27, 2022
Poets and Busboys
In conversation with Carla Perlo, Founding Artistic Director of Dance Place
March 30, 2022
March 31, 2022
New York, NY
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
April 6, 2022
Southern Methodist University
April 13, 2022
New Haven, CT
David Geffen School of Drama at Yale and Yale School of Management
April 14, 2022
May 6, 2022
Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre, UK
May 10, 2022
Piccolo Teatro de Milan
May 19, 2022
In conversation with Paul Holdengraber, Founding Executive Director of Onassis LA
May 25, 2022
Onassis Stegi Center
Dates continue to be added. For the latest itinerary, and for more information, please visit https://kbhbooktour.com/
More About Karen Brooks Hopkins:
Karen Brooks Hopkins is president emerita of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she worked for 36 years, including 16 as its president. As president, Hopkins oversaw the institution’s 230 full-time employees and its multiple theaters and cinemas, ranging from the 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House to the flexible 250-seat Fishman Space.
John Turturro says of her, “Working at BAM has been a highlight of my theater career…Karen is one of those people who generously gives of their energy, humanity, enthusiasm, and intelligence—always encouraging you to think big.” Isabella Rossellini attests, “Karen created a feeling of a family, of belonging to a community of artists. She opened a new chapter in my life.”
Hopkins has served as the chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, has been a member of the mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, the New York State Board of Regents, and on the Boards of NYC & Company, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and currently serves on the Trust for Governors Island.
Hopkins was appointed Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star for her work done with the Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden, named Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, and awarded the King Olav’s Medal by Norway. She was designated a “Woman of Achievement” by the professional association Women in Development in 2013 and named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” by Crain’s New York Business.
Among the many honors BAM has received during her tenure is the 2013 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts organizations by the U.S. government. President Obama presented the medal to Hopkins at a White House ceremony in 2014. In 2015, Hopkins was one of ten esteemed business leaders appointed to the inaugural Crain’s Hall of Fame. Her widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations, is currently in its second edition.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, she received her MFA from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has received honorary degrees from St. Frances College, Pratt Institute, Long Island University, and a prestigious honorary Doctor of Laws from Columbia University.
Following her retirement from BAM in June 2015, Hopkins served as the Inaugural Senior Fellow in Residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, adviser to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, board member of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, senior adviser to and board member of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, and as the Nasher Haemisegger Fellow at SMU DataArts.
Take a walk down memory lane. Karen Brooks Hopkins and BAM photo gallery: