Brooklyn Academy of Music to Lay Off 13 Percent of its Staff

By Francisco Salazar

The Brooklyn Academy of Music, a multi-venue performing arts center, is laying off 13 percent of its staff.

According to a New York Times article, the school is also planning on paring down its upcoming 2023-2024 season. BAM operates four venues in Brooklyn (the biggest is the 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House) and programs a mix of theatre, dance, music, opera, film screenings, and multidisciplinary work.

This news comes on the heels of other arts institutions around the country announcing layoffs and scaled-back programming, due to financial troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

BAM will eliminate 26 staff positions, offer seven shows for its Next Wave Festival, and program fewer shows in the 2023-24 season.

According to the Times, BAM has cut its operating budget from a little over $50 million to $30 million since the pandemic. The latest layoffs are not the first round of layoffs the institution has had since coming back from the pandemic. Prior, BAM had 256 full-time staff positions. It now has a little under 200.