Press Release

Brooklyn Public Library Offers Virtual Live Events and Opens Its Cultural Archive for Patrons on Pause

Brooklyn, NY
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Digital screenings of author talks, lectures, performances, and audience-favorites such as Classical Interludes, BPL-commissioned Kahn Humanities lectures, and keynote addresses from A Night of Philosophy and Ideas to be made available, for free, to all.

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) today announced its evolving line-up 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. 

BPL Presents will offer both live, real-time digital programs, along with unprecedented access to its archive of lectures, performances and author talks. Amid these challenging times, BPL’s curatorial team has selected programs from their archives that challenge and inspire audience, and aims to introduce patrons to some of the world’s most celebrated authors, thinkers, and creatives. 

Highlights include former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; award-winning author Arundhati Roy on her book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; Nathaniel Rich on his work Losing Earth; shorts from the International Children’s Film Festival; a performance from the Classical Interlude Series by piano duo Rolf Schulte and James Goldsworthy; and a special edition of Stomp, Clap and Sing with award-winning songwriter Esther Crow. 

“Engaging in a dialogue with our community is at the heart of everything we do at BPL,” said László Jakab Orsós, Vice President of Arts and Culture at Brooklyn Public Library. “We are presenting a wide range of programming to stimulate critical thinking, to embrace our roles as citizens in a democracy, and to find inspiration in music and literature as we practice social distancing and prepare to re-enter a vastly changed world.”

The 28th Amendment Project, BPL’s recently launched initiative to discuss, debate, and propose the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has moved 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.

All BPL Presents programs will be available on specified dates on the BPL Presents webpage, where they will remain accessible for 24 hours. Additional content will also be available on the BPL Presents YouTube and Facebook pages. A complete calendar of upcoming programs can be found below. 

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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Photo by Gregg Richards. Image courtesy Brooklyn Public Library.

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