Press Release


Event Date: 
7 May 2020 to 31 May 2020
Brooklyn, NY
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Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) today announced its monthly lineup of free, online cultural and civic programs for people of all ages engaged in social distancing, expanding the Library’s myriad opportunities for social connection, cultural exploration, and intellectual study to audiences across Brooklyn and around the world.

This month’s programs include a presentation, in partnership with Theater of War Productions, of The Oedipus Project, a live performance and conversation via Zoom featuring actors Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, John Turturro, among others. The Oedipus Project presents a dramatic reading by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, guided conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon individuals, families, and communities.

The Library will also a present “Philosophy in the Library” live via Zoom, with Dr. Jennifer Scuro, who will discuss how we value labor today, and those who are most burdened by invisible labor; a “Meet the Author” series with some of today’s most acclaimed children’s storytellers; and a weekly guided meditation series with Dr. Chok Tenzin Monlam, a BPL University Open Air professor.

“Although the physical doors remain closed, Brooklyn Public Library continues to be focused on creating opportunities for our patrons to engage in conversation with one another, even at a distance, which is now more vital than ever,” said László Jakab Orsós, Vice President of Arts and Culture at Brooklyn Public Library. “We hope that in both presenting new programs and opening our archives we bring inspiration to people of all ages and provide a platform for stimulating discussions about the civil and artistic issues that our community is navigating today.”

In addition, BPL will also share archival footage of some of its most popular conversations and lectures with literary figures and scholars, including award-winning authors Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Peter Kimani, Rebecca Nagle, and performance artist Laurie Anderson, featuring her 2019 BPL-commissioned Message from the Library. Amid these challenging times, BPL’s curatorial team has selected programs from their archives that challenge and inspire audiences and aims to introduce patrons to some of the world’s most celebrated authors, thinkers, and creatives. 

During the month of May, BPL will continue the 28th Amendment Project, its initiative to discuss, debate, and propose the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution, online. The town halls are free to access and open to all, creating a lively virtual forum to explore ideas for a more inclusive and reflective governance. Originally launched as an in-person town hall series to be held at library branches and schools throughout the borough, the reconceived virtual 28th Amendment Project provides a platform for communities across Brooklyn and around the country to reexamine America’s founding principles at a time when COVID-19 is spotlighting societal and governmental structures once taken for granted. For more details on this program, please click here.

A complete calendar of upcoming programs can be found here with information about how to log-in and registration for specific events.

BPL Presents’ virtual programming expands upon the Library’s more than 60,000 free programs offered each year. Even when its physical doors are closed, BPL continues to provide patrons access to virtual story times with librarians from across the borough, career help through its Business and Career Center, resources for students of all ages, and details on how to ensure all Brooklyn residents participate in the 2020 Census.

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