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Thread: BAM Cultural District: Theater for a New Audience - by Hugh Hardy

  1. #16

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    Although its a box its still very much a Gehry Building. What does the backside of the building look like?

  2. #17

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    From H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture



    http://www.h3hc.com/dev/index2.php?page=FIRM

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Although its a box its still very much a Gehry Building. What does the backside of the building look like?
    The backside of the theatre is posted.

  4. #19

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    From what Ive seen and read, construction on this project has already started. I must admit, we complain that things in this city are always behind schedule.. but when they do start on time.. we dont even notice.

  5. #20
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    So are the Brooklynites gonna fight this one too?

  6. #21

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    I think the Nimbys have their hands full at the moment. Less than two blocks away is the Atlantic Yards project.... A battle that they are desperatly loosing. However, I dont think Nimbys would oppose this even if they could. Its privatly funded, on private land, for the public good. Its not tall, its an architectual gem, and it will add to the neighborhood.

  7. #22
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    I think most Brooklynites are supportive of this project as well as the BAM Library. There is an article posted in the Fort Greene development thread in Real Estate that talks about some of the objectins to BAM expansion, but it has more to do with inclusion than consruction. I'm see positive feedback and positive coverage of this and the BAM Library.

  8. #23

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    Good sign. For the nation's fourth biggest city, Brooklyn needs more culture.

    Nets Arena will help, if they have concerts. Don't know why they don't include some theatres and concert venues there in view of the great accessibility by public transport.

  9. #24
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    Actually, BAM hosts quite a number of concerts throughout the year. The last one I attended was a benefit concert for Katrina Victims in December 2005. It was a 25 Year Anniversary of the album "Horses" Concert by Patti Smith. Great time. Also, Robert Redford is moving the Sundance Film Festival to Brooklyn. The new 110 Livingston Street will include a new performnce theater. The Shore Theater in Coney Island is to be renovated and reopened.

    Brooklyn also has arguably the best free concert series of any Borough:

    http://www.celebratebrooklyn.com/celebrate/schedule.asp

    http://www.brooklynconcerts.com/seaside.html

    http://www.brooklynconcerts.com/mlk.html

    In addition, it has some of the best live music venues (clubs) in the city. Keyspan Park has hosted Def Leppard, Phish, Wyclef John amongst others. Coney Island hosts an annual film festival and the annual Siren Music Festival. McCarren Park in Williamsburg has had an amazing roster of rock concerts this summer as well. The Brooklyn Lyceum has become a top-notch venue for acts looking for a "perfect space" to shoot "live performance" music videos.

    Brooklyn has plenty of "culture" going on, but I imagine the new arena will give MSG a run for its money.

  10. #25
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    Also, Robert Redford is moving the Sundance Film Festival to Brooklyn. The .
    Can you show where you got this information from? My company often works very closely every year with the Sundance Film Festival, and I have several friends who are also programers of what is arguably one of the largest film markets in the world, and we've heard zero information about this.

    Could you be refering to the annoucnemnt that BAM will be showing films that played as part of the festival? A large move like that would be substantial news, not to mention a huge conflict of interest with Deniro's Tribeca Film Festival and the New York Film Festival (which our film Climates will be making it's American debute .

  11. #26
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    I got the gist right if not the exact facts, it is Redford's Sundance Institute that is coming to BAM (as you referred to).

    BOB LIKES BROOKLYN
    Redford unveils plans to set up Sundance outpost in Ft. Greene

    The Natural' choice: Movie star-director Robert Redford told reporters at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Jan. 5 that his Sundance Institute plans to collaborate with BAM on "Creative Latitude," which kicks off in May in Fort Greene.

    The Brooklyn Papers / Jori Klein

    By Lisa J. Curtis
    GO Brooklyn Editor

    Giddy with excitement, Brooklyn's VIPs welcomed Robert Redford to Fort Greene on Thursday. The actor-director made the trek to the Brooklyn Academy of Music - with a considerable entourage - to announce his Sundance Film Institute's planned collaboration with BAM, "Creative Latitude," which will kick off in May.

    As first reported by GO Brooklyn in October, the collaboration is key element of the Sundance Institute's 25th anniversary celebration, according to Golden Globe-winning actress Glenn Close, a member of the Institute's board of trustees.

    "Creative Latitude: Sundance Institute at BAM" will bring some of the artistic development programs of the Sundance Institute and a selection of films from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah to BAM, May 11-20. The title of the collaboration is, in part, a reference to each organizations' support of "fresh creative visions" and because Park City and Brooklyn share the 40.6-degree latitude, explained BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins.

    Details about the planned activities were scant, and while Redford told GO Brooklyn that there would be opportunities for Brooklyn filmmakers to be involved, he declined to specify how or in what way.

    "This is just the beginning," he explained.

    Also, the slate of films that will be shown at BAM as part of "Creative Latitude" - "the meat of the programming" - will not be announced until the conclusion of this year's Sundance festival, according to BAM Executive Producer Joe Melillo.

    Many of the thousands of submissions to the Sundance festival are from Brooklyn, said Sundance Institute Executive Director Ken Brecher, so it's possible that some of the movies that will be screened in "Creative Latitude" will be by local filmmakers.

    "I don't think there would have been a Sundance last year if it wasn't for Brooklyn," said Brecher, who acknowledged the success of Noah Baumbach's Park Slope film, "The Squid and the Whale." "It's absolutely true that this is the artistic center of our country."

    "I think ['Creative Latitude'] is a great idea," Park Slope actor-director Steve Buscemi told GO Brooklyn. "The more independent film we can bring to Brooklyn, the better for Brooklyn."

    The director of "Trees Lounge" recalled that the day he spent watching French screen siren Isabelle Huppert star in the play "Psychose 4:48" at BAM's Harvey Theater and introduce the film "Wanda" at BAMcinematek was a "perfect weekend."

    "That's what living in the city is all about," said Buscemi, who took a moment to talk with Redford at the event, igniting a firestorm of flashbulbs from the assembled news photographers.

    Among the supporters who have helped to make this new initiative possible, according to Hopkins, is philanthropist Diana Barrett and her husband, the home improvement guru, Bob Vila, who were both in attendance on Thursday.

    Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz welcomed Redford with open arms, assuring the matinee idol that the festival will help solidify the burgeoning Brooklyn film scene's reputation as "Hollywood East."

    "I assure you that your work in Africa, and in Park City, and the Wild West, Bolivia, Montana, La La land and beyond has been a warm-up, a dress rehearsal for your moment on the real big stage of Brooklyn, USA," said Markowitz.

    The borough president also announced to the crowd that he hoped a film about Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, which Redford is producing, will have its premiere in this borough.

    "I think that would be fabulous," Redford told GO Brooklyn, although he pointed out that the script of the film, which will feature him in the role of Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, has only recently been finalized.

    "If you really want to help us, bring back Ebbets Field," Redford told Markowitz.

    Redford said that the Brooklyn Dodgers was just one aspect of the "mythology of Brooklyn" that influenced him as a kid, so it came to mind when it was time for Sundance to set up an outpost on the East Coast.

    "We're a farm club for the majors and we were doing the development and we needed to ship the talent some place," explained Redford. "And New York proper is pretty well loaded up with stuff. Brooklyn has an edgier image, it seemed right for us. It seems like a great place to go, if we could make that work."

    After talking with Sundance Institute Trustee and BAM patron Jeanne Donovan Fisher and BAM trustee Jonathan Rose - for whom the BAM Rose Cinemas are named - Redford said he was hooked.

    "What really struck me as we were pursuing this is how much commonality there was in terms of tradition, sensibilities, commitment to new artists and therefore new work, and also trying to build new audiences to be witnesses to the new work," recalled the Sundance kid. "This seemed like a wonderful place where we could work together."

  12. #27
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    The New York Times
    City Expands Its Role in Brooklyn Cultural District
    By ROBIN POGREBIN
    Published: August 15, 2006

    Responding to repeated delays, the city is taking a more aggressive role in developing the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, removing control from a nonprofit planning group and shifting the site of a theater designed by Hugh Hardy and Frank Gehry.

    Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said the city began moving to jump-start the cultural district last spring.

    “Projects have languished for a while, and we have taken things forward,” he said in an interview. “We’ve created new structures within the city to better implement plans. We are moving very aggressively.” “Having a world-class series of institutions at the heart of the revitalization of downtown Brooklyn is absolutely critical,” Mr. Doctoroff said of the area surrounding the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

    The BAM Local Development Corporation, which had overseen the art district’s budget and planning for its new cultural buildings, will now be subsumed within a new umbrella organization, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, which also includes the Downtown Brooklyn Council, the Fulton Mall Improvement Association and the MetroTech Business Improvement District.

    Joseph Chan will leave his post as a senior policy adviser in Mr. Doctoroff’s office to serve as president of the partnership. It will have its own board of directors. Jeanne Lutfy, the president of the BAM Local Development Corporation, said she did not feel threatened by the city’s expanded role. “We think it’s a great thing,” she said. “The city has always been a partner in this.’’

    “They’re just bringing more resources to the table, so we can get it into the ground faster,” she added. Currently the city has $74 million in financing allocated for the cultural district for fiscal 2006 through 2009.

    Ms. Lutfy said she and Harvey Lichtenstein, chairman of the corporation, would still take part in the planning. (Mr. Lichtenstein, citing a family illness, referred calls to Ms. Lutfy.)

    The city has approached the Theater for a New Audience, an Off Broadway troupe known for productions of Shakespearean and classical drama, and asked it to cede its planned site at Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues and build across the street instead. The site it originally hoped to occupy, next to a planned Brooklyn Visual and Performing Arts Library, is being reconceived as a kind of public gateway to the cultural district. “It’s the ninth-inning good idea,” said Kate D. Levin, the city’s Cultural Affairs Commissioner. “We could configure this differently.”

    City officials note that the theater’s new proposed location is slightly larger and might allow the theater to avoid building an underground parking garage, which was part of the original plan.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Hardy, the main architect on the theater project, said he was unavailable for comment. Mr. Gehry said he was amenable to a new location. “I think it’s fine,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt anything. It means a little bit of reworking. It gives you some opportunities we didn’t have on the other site.”

    The glass-and-stainless-steel building will be the theater’s first permanent home. It will house a 299-seat theater, a rehearsal room and a studio that will seat 50.

    Ms. Levin said the change in site would not delay the project. “We’re hoping to break ground in the next year or so,” she said.

    The city has also taken the lead in negotiating with various organizations about sharing a building with the library, designed by Enrique Norten. A partner would help the library pay for construction costs and overhead. Candidates include an international foundation that deals with art and education, officials involved in the talks said, but they refused to identify it.

    The library is currently without a leader. Two directors have come and gone since planning for the new building began, which has delayed fund-raising.

    The BAM Cultural District was conceived as a $650 million effort to revitalize the area by converting vacant and underused properties into spaces for arts organizations.

    Yet six years after the district was proposed, ground has not been broken on either of the signature projects. And the master plan for the district has meanwhile passed from Rem Koolhaas and Diller, Scofidio & Renfro to Dan Wood of Work Architecture Company.

    The $36 million theater project, announced in March 2004, was the first major undertaking of the new district. When Mr. Hardy’s design was unveiled a year later, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the city was committing $6.2 million to the project, and Kate D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner, said she expected the theater to be built within two years. Now officials estimate that the theater will be completed around sometime before 2009.

    Jeffrey Horowitz, the theater’s founder, said his institution had raised an additional $6 million in private money, which he saw as notable progress, given the theater’s modest level of support. “We don’t have a huge roster of people with deep pockets,” he said, adding, “We’re confident that we’re going to meet our goal.”

    Mr. Horowitz said the new location might better serve the theater because it offers improved loading access. “It’s a very attractive alternative,” he said. The theater hopes to reach a formal agreement with the city on the new site by the fall.

    The Brooklyn Visual and Performing Arts Library has faced similar delays. When Mr. Norten’s design was unveiled in May 2002, officials predicted a groundbreaking in 2005 and a grand opening in 2007. Herbert Muschamp, who was then the architecture critic for The New York Times, hailed the project as the city’s “first full-fledged masterwork for the information age.”

    Initially the library said it hoped to raise $120 million for the project, $75 million of which would be for construction. It has said that 10 to 15 percent of the overall cost would be met by the local development corporation by using capital funds allocated by the mayor, the borough president and the City Council. For fiscal 2006 and 2007 the city has allocated $8 million for the library.

    Carol Linn, the library’s coordinator of special projects and policy analysis, said the cost estimate was likely to be revised, but she declined to be more specific. “This is still a project that is very much in the forefront for us,” she said. Mr. Norten, who designed the library, was also upbeat. “I’m very positive,” he said.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmg View Post
    City officials note that the theater’s new proposed location is slightly larger and might allow the theater to avoid building an underground parking garage, which was part of the original plan.
    Hope that doesn't mean there'll be a parking lot instead.

  14. #29

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    Has Norten's Brooklyn Visual and Performing Arts Library been cancelled? If not, what's the status?

  15. #30
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    That whole section of Flatbush Avenue and its crossroads has been under construction by the city installing ventilation fans for the subways. Nothing will start until that is complete (and it seems to be going slow.)

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