Karen Brooks Hopkins
“At BAM, Karen created a feeling of family, of belonging to a community of artists ... She gives artists their voices.”
—Isabella Rossellini, Actor and Author
Thu, Feb 17, 2022
A Conversation with Karen Brooks Hopkins

Karen Brooks Hopkins
In conversation with Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public Theater
With a special introduction by Laurie Anderson

“Karen was an eminence ... Over the years, I grew to respect her, to know her, and inevitably, to adore her.”
—Mark Morris, Founder, Artistic Director, and Choreographer, Mark Morris Dance Group
In this intimate evening of conversation at BAM, Karen Brooks Hopkins discusses her memoir of 36 years at the world-famous cultural institution. A page-turning look behind the scenes of America’s oldest performing arts center, BAM … and Then It Hit Me is filled with stories and photographs of artists and icons—Princess Diana, Ingmar Bergman, Chuck Davis, David Byrne, LL Cool J, and Pina Bausch, among others—along with hands-on practical advice on fundraising and leadership. The book is a paean to the glory of the arts and the evolution of Brooklyn: in Karen’s words, “the coolest neighborhood on the planet.” Through personal stories and raw reflections, tales of glamour and of grit, Karen looks back upon her career’s twists of fate, the total failures, and great triumphs along the way. She is joined in conversation by Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater.
Karen Brooks Hopkins is President Emerita of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she worked for more than three decades, serving 16 years as its president with humor and vision. Hopkins oversaw the performing arts and cultural institution’s staff and its multiple theaters and cinemas, ranging from BAM Howard Gilman Opera House to the intimate Fishman Space. She has served as chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, on the boards of prestigious local and state organizations, and was named Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France. Hopkins is also the recipient of the King Olav medal from Norway and the Commander of the Polar Star from Sweden. During her tenure, President Obama presented the Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts organizations by the U.S. government, to Hopkins at a White House ceremony in 2014. Her widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts and Cultural Organizations, is in its second edition.

Special thanks to the Onassis Foundation for their support of the International KBHBook tour.

The Onassis Foundation is proud to have Karen serve on its Board and as Senior Advisor on its U.S. cultural activities.

Anthony S. Papadimitriou, President The Onassis Foundation.

Approx 1h 30min


All performances will adhere to protocols developed in accordance with New York State regulations and in consultation with medical professionals for the safety of our artists, audiences, and staff 

February 2022
30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5
Thursday February 17, 2022
Performances no longer available.

Leadership support for BAM Access Programs provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Oskar Eustis
Oskar Eustis
Oskar Eustis has served as the artistic director of The Public Theater since 2005, after serving as the artistic director at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI from 1994 to 2005. Throughout his career, Eustis has been dedicated to the development of new work that speaks to the great issues of our time. He has worked with countless artists in pursuit of that aim, including Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Henry Hwang, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Richard Nelson, Rinne Groff, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Lisa Kron. He is currently a professor at New York University and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University.
“It was a seismic era at BAM, the echoes of which are still felt today.”
— Bill T. Jones, Choreographer and Director
“Working at BAM has been a highlight of my theater career, performing for an audience that is representative of our diverse city ... Karen is one of those people who generously gives of their energy, humanity, enthusiasm, and intelligence—always encouraging you to think big.”
— John Turturro, Actor and Director
“Karen is a true force of nature ... We are lucky to have her as one of our city’s great builders and leaders.”
— Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor of New York City (2014—19)
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