The Brooklyn Academy of Music will celebrate its spring gala online this year, hosted on the organization's website and open to the public. Like many organizations, the shift to a virtual event is in accordance with COVID-19 safety and social distancing guidelines.
The BAM Virtual Gala 2020 on May 13 will honor actor and director Cate Blanchett, author Zadie Smith, and philanthropist and producer Jeanne Donovan Fisher for their contributions to film, literature, theatre, and cultural philanthropy.
The evening will feature tribute performances from artists who have performed at BAM in the past, including: Bettina Wagner-Bergelt, the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch artistic and general director , who has offered a solo to be danced by company member Julie Anne Stanzak and filmed by French filmmaker Nathalie Larquet in honor of Blanchett. The Grammy-winning ensemble Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker, will perform a Philip Glass composition dedicated to Jeanne Donovan Fisher. In honor of author Smith, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company members will pay tribute with an original, short performance film.
“Moving to an online, virtual format gives BAM an exciting opportunity to open its gala experience to a wider audience, pay tribute to our amazing honorees in new ways, and gather the arts community in a challenging time," says BAM President Katy Clark. "We are excited to share this unique experience as part of our current digital Love from BAM programming. Our greatest concern right now is for everyone’s health and safety. When we can safely come together once again, we’ll look forward to seeing you at BAM.”
The artistic director for BAM’s virtual gala is theater and film director Maureen Towey. The event will also feature an online art auction, powered by Artsy, that will launch May 13 and run online through May 27.