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Friday, January 12, 2018

MLK Comes to BK

This coming Monday, January 15, activists, intellectuals, civic leaders, and artists will gather at BAM for the city’s largest public celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2018 marks the 32nd year of this event, but the revolutionary leader has been celebrated in the county that bears his name since the 60s. Dr. King had deep ties to New York City, and visited Brooklyn in 1963 to deliver a sermon at the historic Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights.

Below, illustrator Nathan Gelgud explores Dr. King's 1963 Brooklyn speech and the legacy of the church that helped give voice to the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Black Superheroes on Film

Tamara Dobson in Cleopatra Jones. Photo courtesy Warner Bros./Photofest
By Maureen Masters

Taking inspiration from this winter’s release of Disney’s Black Panther, BAMcinématek presents Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film, February 2—18. Drawing from the more daring elements of science fiction, comic book, and Blaxploitation films, the series includes 27 features and a shorts program highlighting the tenacious spirit of black fictional characters while reimagining the textbook definition of superheroes.

The series is programmed by BAMcinématek Senior Programmer Ashley Clark. “Marvel’s Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), is one of the most hotly anticipated blockbusters of the year,” says Clark, “and is rightly seen as a new high watermark in the representation of black characters in the fantasy genre.”

Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year's Wish

Photo: Mike Benigno
New Year’s Day is traditionally a day on which we look back and look ahead. We consider the importance of good friends and family, and also assess what we hope to improve—in our lives, our communities, and the world. The first day of a new year always presents a fresh start in our efforts to work toward a better future.

This past year has been a difficult one for so many. Global, national, and local communities have experienced natural disasters, terrible acts of violence, insecurity and fear. Indeed, there are so many people today who find themselves vulnerable. At such time, BAM reaffirms its commitment to being an open and inclusive place, one that respects multiple voices, cultures, and beliefs.

Complex problems can’t be sorted out easily or immediately. What we can do is to offer our home as a place for consciousness raising and communal gathering. Whether by hearing from thought-leaders, engaging in discussion, or by exposure to a variety of artists’ perspectives on our society—expressed on film or on stage—there is strength and support in those moments when we gather knowledge and clarity.

BAM is a home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. To us, adventurousness is showing compassion in the face of hate, courage in the face of adversity, and open-mindedness in the face of ignorance and uncertainty. It’s providing artistic work that both provokes and consoles, which questions preconceptions and opens our minds to ideas beyond our comfort zone or familiarity—and which provides a forum for those voices not often heard, for the widest audience we can reach.

I wish you peace and happiness in 2018, and hope to see you at BAM.

Katy Clark
BAM President