Commonly known as BAM, this leading arts venue does just that. With a Fort Greene district named after it, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is compromised of various venue that are more avant-garde and unique than the next. It’s the oldest continuously running performance art center that just keeps getting stronger, in 2008 it had a record-breaking attendance of 550,000!
The main building contains its major venue, the Howard Gilman Opera House. The theater, designed by the famous theater-architect company Herts &Tallant, contains 2,109 seats under its soaring ceiling and has seen legendary performances by Enrico Caruso and Vanessa Redgrave. There are also the BAM Rose Cinemas, where one screen shows classic movies and the other three show first-run and independent films. For night owls, there is the BAMcafé, a restaurant that offers free music performances on Friday and Saturday nights. Every exhibition, screening and performance is carefully chosen to further the BAM goal of the preeminent place for progressive art, and its popularity shows that it achieves its goal every night of the week!
BAM’s Harvey Theater, located a few streets away, is smaller and offers a different, more intimate experience, having originally been a traditional playhouse housing Shakespearean revivals, vaudeville reviews, and musicals. BAM also organizes multiple festivals, from DanceAfrica to BAMcinemaFEST, art exhibitions, and educational programs.