The Brooklyn Academy of Music revealed on Friday plans for its long-awaited expansion along Fulton Street.
The project, called BAM Strong, will connect the Harvey Theater with a vacant space at 623 Fulton Street and the ground floor of 230 Ashland Place. The expansion aims to make the venues more accessible and will also establish BAM’s first dedicated visual art exhibition space, the Rudin Family Gallery.
BAM Strong is expected to open in October at the start of the 2019 Next Wave Festival, the first season curated by Artistic Director David Binder.
“As we enter an exciting new chapter in BAM’s history, signaled by the arrival of our new Artistic Director David Binder, we’re proud to announce opening plans for BAM Strong,” said BAM President Katy Clark. “This project provides our campus with dynamic improvements and additions while greatly increasing accessibility for all our visitors.”
The expansion includes a renovation of the Harvey Theater’s outer lobby, which will bring a new box office, a new open staircase as well as the 115-year-old theater’s first elevator to make each level more accessible, BAM stated.
Plans for the second floor include a new patron lounge, facing Fulton Street via an ornate floor-to-ceiling, semi-circular window, and a sculpture terrace for upcoming public art installations.
The new 1,100-square-foot Rudin Family Gallery will occupy a new one-story construction in the formerly empty lot at 623 Fulton Street. Larry Ossei-Mensah will serve as guest curator for the gallery and collaborate with BAM Artistic Director David Binder on exhibitions and events.
A lighted canopy on the ground level will connect the Harvey Theater, the Rubin Family Gallery and 230 Ashland Place. BAM acquired the site for 230 Ashland Place, which is located on the ground level of a residential building, in 2010. Plans for this third site are still under consideration, the academy said.
“We are thrilled that the project will provide our always adventurous institution with new opportunities — from visual art programming, to easier access to affordable seats, to new spaces for our audiences to gather,” said BAM Board Chair Adam E. Max. “Having our Fulton Street spaces united under one canopy also reflects the evolution of BAM and the growing Brooklyn Cultural District.”