Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts
2900 Campus Road. Phone: 718-951–4500
In Walt Whitman’s poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the famous Brooklynite writes romantically about a crowd’s shared experience. At the recently refurbished Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts, there’s no denying that the audience sitting in the art deco theater’s 2,350 seats are sharing a romantic, rousing, or riveting experience while watching wallet-friendly performances by greats like Tony Bennett, Luciano Pavarotti, Les Ballets Africains, Tom Jones, and the late Ray Charles. So let’s see what’s going in Elsewhere Brooklyn.
And that’s not even all that this organization – known as BCBC around the borough – has to offer. Established in 1954 on the scenic campus of Brooklyn College, its mission is to offer arts education programs that mirror Brooklyn’s diverse communities at affordable prices. They introduce the youth to theater, dance, and music – boosting their imagination, honing raw talent, and exposing kids to new ideas and cultures that create a community-connection that would make Whitman proud.
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
651 Fulton Street, Phone: 718-636–4100
BAM is many things to many Brooklynites. For cinephiles, it’s paradise, with new screenings and revivals at the beloved BAMcinematek program. For music lovers, it’s the best place to hear live performances from acts as varied as hometown rockers the National and to Brooklyn’s own Sharon Jones & he DapKings.
For thespians, it’s home of cutting edge theater productions and revered opera performances. For historians, it’s the nation’s oldest continuously operating performing arts center — a home hub for culture since 1861. See also this Introduction to the borough of Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 Seventh Avenue, Phone: 718-622–3300,
Grammy-winning pop princess Alicia Keyes launched her music career at the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music. So did Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Musto, Village People lead singer Miles Jaye, and Kathleen Hurley — the voice of Dora the Explorer.
The destinies of Broadway star Armelia McQueen, Hank Crawford’s jazz pianist Danny Mixon, and Emerson Buckley — conductor of Luciano Pavarotti’s Madison Square Garden concerts — have also been shaped by the top quality arts education they received at the 115-year-old music academy operated out of a completely restored, five-story, Victorian Gothic mansion in the heart of historic Park Slope.
200 Eastern Parkway, Phone: 718-638–5000
Thanks to Manhattan’s rising rents and pervasive sense of stodginess, you’ll find plenty of artists on this side of the East River. The same can be said about art itself. The Brooklyn Museum is a top-tier art institution with a world-class collection that covers a wide scope.
Kids love the “The Mummy Chamber” and the famed Egyptian collection. Locals adore the museum’s Hudson River School painters. Art students come to study the well-regarded Islamic art collection. And tourists come from around the world to marvel at the masterwork that is Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party.” Check out more Brooklyn Museums here.
61 Wythe Avenue, Phone: 718-963–3369
The arrival of Brooklyn Bowl in 2009 was the most revolutionary moment in bowling since the advent of the ball return. Gone are the days when going to the bowling alley meant leaving your cool cred at the door with your street shoes.
Brooklyn Bowl broke new ground by offering fine dining from BlueRibbon and top-notch concerts from acts like The Go! Team and The Roots in its cavernous 23,000-square foot space. It’s not your grandpa’s bowling alley — but with 16 lanes and multiple bars serving boozy milkshakes and White Russians, it’s safe to say The Dude would abide.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
145 Brooklyn Avenue, Phone: 718-735–4400
Everyone needs a place they can go to feel like a kid again. Thankfully, Brooklynites don’t have to go further than the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. This Crown Heights institution has been making kids — and parents — smile since 1899 when it opened its doors as the world’s first museum designed entirely for children. With a broad collection of nicknacks and artifacts, the museum’s ever-changing exhibits are hands-on, interactive, educational, and just plain fun for kids of all ages.
203 Meserole Avenue, Phone: 718-349–9146
Many memorable television shows and series have called the streets of Brooklyn home and Broadway Stages has never been far out of the picture—including on the salty FDNY drama “Rescue Me” and the quirky musical comedy “Flight of the Conchords.”
Hollywood has also had its fair share of work with the soundstage provider, such as New York native Robert DeNiro’s CIA thriller, “The Good Shepherd.” Broadway Stages operates 20-some-odd sound stages throughout the borough from its Greenpoint office and is continuing to keep Brooklyn on the screen with “The Good Wife,” a scintillating drama about the fallout of a political sex scandal (sound familiar, Sheepshead?).
647 Fulton Street, Phone: 718-683–5600
Since 1979, BRIC has been making Brooklyn a more entertaining place to live. The non-profit arts organization is behind a number of popular projects and initiatives, including the beloved Celebrate Brooklyn concert series, which has brought big names to the borough including David Byrne, Big Daddy Kane, Maceo Parker, and Rufus Wainwright.
The organization provides subsidized studio and rehearsal space for artists, sends artists to Brooklyn’s public schools, and stages contemporary art exhibitions. BRIC is also behind several important community media initiatives like Brooklyn Independent Television, Brooklyn Free Speech TV, and Brooklyn Community Access Television, which bring local news, opinions, and views to television sets around the borough.