FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251, KhanSho@ddc.nyc.gov
City Delivers New, Modern Auditorium at the
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Opening ceremony followed by Launch of “Movies @ BCM”
Photo credit: Winston Williams / Brooklyn Children's Museum.
Additional high res images from the 9/24 ribbon cutting ceremony are available here.
Crown Heights, NY – NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Deputy Commissioner Salvatore Cali, Jr. and Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) President and CEO Stephanie Wilchfort joined elected officials and members of the community on Saturday, September 24 to celebrate the completion of a $7.8 million project to renovate the Museum’s Auditorium. The renovation project creates a new theater space in the heart of Brooklyn, which BCM will inaugurate with a children’s film series, Movies @ BCM, starting with a “Minions Movie Marathon.” The auditorium project was managed by DDC for DCLA and BCM.
“As the mother of a young son and a longtime lover of Brooklyn Children’s Museum, I could not be happier to help cut the ribbon on this gorgeous new theater space in the heart of Crown Heights,” said NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “We’re committed to providing extraordinary cultural spaces in communities across all five boroughs, and expanding opportunities for young people and their families to connect with our city’s remarkable arts and cultural offerings. Thank you to our partners at the museum, at DDC, and across the City for joining us to get this project done.”
“The Brooklyn Children’s Museum has always brought families together in a safe, enjoyable educational environment,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “The new, state-of-the art auditorium is a modern event space for the borough now, with the best lighting, audio and other technologies that Brooklyn deserves.”
“Brooklyn Children’s Museum is thrilled to be opening this beautiful new auditorium and move theater to serve children and caregivers. It’s especially wonderful to open this space just as the weather turns colder and Central Brooklyn families seek indoor activities,” said Brooklyn Children’s Museum President and CEO Stephanie Hill Wilchfort. “BCM thanks the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Department of Design and Construction, and the New York City Council for their partnership in realizing the theater, which is expected to serve over 10,000 people annually.”
“Brooklynites of all ages just gained yet another reason to frequent and love the Brooklyn Children’s Museum,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “This beautiful new auditorium will bring family, friends, and neighbors together through art and quickly emerge as a center for joy and community. I’m so excited for the programs this new auditorium will host, like the Movies @ BCM kick-off series, and can’t wait to bring my own sons here soon.”
“As someone who went to elementary and middle school in Crown Heights, my childhood was filled with joyous memories of trips to the Brooklyn Children's Museum,” said State Senator Zellnor Myrie. “Today's unveiling is yet another opportunity to brighten and extend those memories for kids and families throughout the borough and from all over the city. This renovated auditorium provides what we all know our kids deserve -- world-class facilities for fun, growth, and community. I commend BCM for their vision, and am grateful to all of my colleagues in government that made today a reality.”
“The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is among the most important institutions in the borough, providing a safe family space for recreation and education, exploration and discovery. The auditorium expands and enhances this neighborhood gem, diversifying its contributions to our community,” said Council Member Chi Ossé. “I commend the DDC and DCLA for their work and investment. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was a defining centerpiece to my own childhood; I could not be more thrilled to know it will be even better for generations of children to come.”
“The Brooklyn Children’s Museum has been a staple for our community,” said Assembly Member Brian Cunningham. “This upgrade will allow various programming and opportunities for the public at large. Crown Heights is transitioning into a mecca for visual arts, music and performance, and culture.”
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum located in Crown Heights was founded in 1899 and features exhibits and programs grounded in visual arts, music, performance, natural science, world cultures and civic engagement. The newly renovated multi-purpose Auditorium will be used for many purposes including the Museum’s after school program, movies, music and theatre performances, lectures and educational programming along with opportunities for the public to rent the space.
The two-story 3,220-square-foot Auditorium has glass fiber reinforced gypsum panels along the ceiling and walls, which were custom made and selected for sound absorption. The panels give the space a bright, sleek and clean look by covering the wiring for all of the automatic controlled systems. The interior systems were upgraded including the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, lighting system, electrical system, sound system and audio-visual system. Fire protection was also enhanced.
The Auditorium has a new stage along with 162 seats and six accessible seats on the main floor and 12 seats on the mezzanine. Visitors can easily navigate to their seats using the lighting along both ends of each row.
The project, which began in September 2020, was designed by Studio Joseph under DDC’s Project Excellence Program and constructed by XBR Inc. Funding for the project was provided by the Mayor, Brooklyn Borough President and City Council. The renovation project, which is fully funded by the city, effectively creates new space for BCM programming and community use.
As part of Saturday's ribbon cutting ceremony, the Brooklyn Children's Museum launched Movies @ BCM starting with a Minions Movie Marathon, kicking off five consecutive weeks of fun. Movies @ BCM is made possible through support from DCLA in partnership with City Council. Movies @ BCM will offer popular family films every weekend and on school holidays. For more information, click here.
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About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.
About NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/culture.
About Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Founded in 1899 as the world's first children's museum, BCM is New York City’s largest cultural institution designed especially for families, serving 300,000 children and caregivers annually. Located in Crown Heights since its inception, Brooklyn Children's Museum provides exhibits and programs grounded in visual arts, music and performance; natural science; world cultures; and civic engagement. Learn more about BCM at www.brooklynkids.org or visit us on Instagram at @bcmkids.