Karen Brooks Hopkins: Bringing a Little Brooklyn to DC (An EALS Post)
Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (EALS) is an annual meeting for young professionals who work in the arts—organized, executed, and run by American University (Washington, DC) Arts Management students. It is an opportunity to discuss the issues, unique or universal, that affect all arts organizations.
One of the goals of the 6th Annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium is to address what is on the horizon for arts organizations and arts professionals.
With that in mind, we at EALS are very proud to announce that the opening plenary speaker for the event this year is Karen Brooks Hopkins!
Karen Brooks Hopkins is the president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), where she has worked since 1979. As President, Hopkins oversees the institution’s 179 full-time employees and facilities, including the 2100-seat BAM Howard Gilman Opera House and 874-seat BAM Harvey Theater, the four-theater BAM Rose Cinemas, the BAMcafé, and the BAM Fisher–opening in fall 2012.
Since taking over as president of BAM in 1999, Hopkins has led the organization with stunning competency, riding the waves of financial and philanthropic ups and downs. The annual attendance has exploded, the budget has over doubled, and the organization’s endowment has almost tripled to over $80 million.
She has also introduced a number of new programs including educational programs that serve children, underprivileged teens, and senior citizens. In 2004, she unveiled an $8.6 million restoration that returned the iconic BAM neo-Classical building to its former glory. Hopkins has also partnered with Robert Redford to establish the Creative Latitude Festival, which brought Sundance Film Festival winners to BAM.
In May 2004, Hopkins concluded a two-year term as the Chair of The Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), which consists of 33 prominent New York City cultural institutions. In this capacity, she also served as a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and is currently a member of the Board of NYC & Company, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and New York’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Hopkins is an active member of the Performing Arts Center Consortium, a national association of performing arts centers, and served as its chair from 1994 to 1996.
In November 2006, Hopkins was awarded the honor of Chevalier de L’Ordre des arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, for her work supporting the French arts in the United States. Then in 2007, she was named one of the “100 Most Influencial Women in New York City Business” by Crain’s. That same year, she was appointed Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star, in recognition of her role in solidifying ties between the performing arts communities of Sweden and the United States. And in May of 2012, Hopkins was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.
Hopkins graduated from the nearby University of Maryland, and received her MFA from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She also served as an adjunct professor for the Brooklyn College Program for Arts Administration for four years. Her widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations, is currently available in a revised second edition through Greenwood Publishing.
Please join us at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, coming up on April 7 in Washington, DC (just before Arts Advocacy Day)! Spend a whole day with other amazing arts managers—hear from great speakers, share your knowledge, and learn something new. Also, be sure to like and follow EALS on Facebook and Twitter for new announcements and symposium news.