BAM…and Then it HIT me

September 1, 2020

Karen Brooks Hop­kins’ mem­oir of her 36 years at BAM (The Brook­lyn Acad­e­my of Music), Amer­i­ca’s old­est per­form­ing arts cen­ter, is a wild ride! BAM…and then it HIT me is filled with sto­ries and pho­tographs of unlike­ly the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions enter­tain­ing and some­times dif­fi­cult celebri­ties, guid­ance on fundrais­ing and lead­er­ship, the glo­ry of the arts, and the evo­lu­tion of Brook­lyn, the coolest neigh­bor­hood on the planet.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Karen Brooks Hopkins

  1. Can you recall your first live the­ater expe­ri­ence? What do you remem­ber about it?

  2. How do you react when you see or expe­ri­ence an artis­tic event, such as, a show or exhi­bi­tion that makes you uncom­fort­able or chal­lenges your values?

  3. When did it hit you?” The show that blew your mind and stays with you always.

  4. How do the arts orga­ni­za­tions in your neigh­bor­hood impact your life and your community?

  5. Do you con­sid­er your­self an artist?

  6. Do you sup­port the arts? Why or why not?

  7. Did you grow up in a Jew­ish home that val­ued cre­ativ­i­ty and the arts? How did it shape your life?

  8. What role do you want the arts to play in your children’s education?

  9. Have you found the issue, orga­ni­za­tion or cause you know will be your life’s work? How does it feel to ded­i­cate your­self ful­ly to that spe­cif­ic thing or place? Is it a bur­den or a joy, or a bit of both, to com­mit your­self to suc­cess at this level?