Brooklyn Cultural District

  • Building rendering courtesy of Ten Arquitectos
  • Theatre for a New Audience, Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage
  • Theatre for a New Audience rendering
  • BAM, a world-famous anchor in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District
  • BAM Fisher Building rendering
  • Renovated Strand Theater rendering
Last Updated September 12, 2016

Located in the heart of Brooklyn's thriving artistic community, the Brooklyn Cultural District is a groundbreaking development plan that will provide the Fort Greene area with the space to thrive as a cultural hub for years to come. Anchored by the world-famous Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), plans include new performance and rehearsal spaces, office space for a diverse group of local arts organizations, a public plaza for the community, a library, a cinema, and much-needed affordable housing.


Brooklyn is home to one of the most dynamic cultural scenes in the country, with renowned institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, and a host of music venues, art spaces, and theaters. 

To support the existing concentration of established and emerging arts organizations, the City seeks to build a district that will encourage both economic and cultural development with new arts space, streetscape enhancements, and affordable housing. 

The Brooklyn Cultural District—a Mayoral priority and a joint project by NYCEDC, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Department of City Planning, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership—will provide the surrounding Fort Greene area with the space to thrive as a cultural epicenter for years to come. 

BAM Fisher Building

NYCEDC and the Department of Cultural Affairs funded the construction of the BAM Fisher Building on the previous "Salvation Army" site adjacent to the BAM Opera House, which was completed and opened in September 2012. The 40,000 square foot building is LEED Gold certified and includes a 250-299 seat, flexible performance space; rehearsal, classroom, and workshop space; a rooftop garden; and support offices for BAM's Education & Humanities Program.

South Site Mixed-Use Building

NYCEDC is working to transform a parking lot into a new state-of-the-art, 32-story mixed use facility designed by Enrique Norton of Ten Arquitecos, including approximately 50,000 square feet of creative and cultural space that will be shared by BAM, 651 ARTS, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and the Brooklyn Public Library. In addition, the building will include approximately 23,000 square feet of ground level retail, as well as approximately 300 to 400 apartments, 20 percent of which will be affordable. Plans also include a 10,000 sq. ft. public plaza to provide desired open space for community residents, local artists and visitors.

The plaza is designed to allow for a variety of outdoor programming, including dance and theater performances, film presentations, open air markets, craft fairs, and other community uses.

Theatre for a New Audience

NYCEDC is building a permanent home for the Theatre for a New Audience, an internationally-renowned arts group, with a 299-seat theater, a rehearsal studio, and a public plaza. Former Mayor Bloomberg, Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and TFANA broke ground on the 27,500-square-foot theater in June 2011. It is the first classical theater built in New York City in more than four decades, and is the theater company's first permanent residence. 

In 2014, the Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center started performances. 

Bric Arts | Media | Bklyn and UrbanGlass

NYCEDC renovated the City-owned Strand Theater building at 647 Fulton Street, a vaudeville venue that was built in 1918, to create a multi-disciplinary arts and media complex with flexible performance spaces, art galleries, TV studios, offices, and a state-of-the-art glass workshop. The $33 million City-funded renovation project doubles BRIC’s operating space to 40,000 square feet and expands UrbanGlass by 3,300 square feet and modernizes its 17,000-square-foot glassworking facility.

On October 3, 2013,Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball, BRIC President Leslie G. Schultzand others opened BRIC Arts | Media House (BRIC House).

News & Updates

Project Highlights

Borough: Brooklyn
More than $100 million investment in the arts and public spaces
Development of state-of-the-art performance, rehearsal, office and workshop space at BAM Fisher Building, Theatre for a New Audience and Strand Theater
300 to 400 units of mixed-income housing, 23,00 square feet of retail and 50,000 square feet of cultural space in mixed use facility on South Site

Related Incentives / Programs