BAM gala back to Manhattan

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Academy of Music scrambled to relocate this week’s gala from Brooklyn to Manhattan after failing to get the requisite city permits in time.

This Wednesday, rather than having the 25th Next Wave Festival gala at an old telecom building on Vanderbilt Avenue in Fort Greene, BAM will hold it at Seven World Trade Center, the same venue that hosted BAM’s 2007 Spring Gala.

The institution holds two fund-raising galas each year.

This week, BAM officials blamed venue operators — and the gala’s own popularity — for the move to Manhattan.

“The owners of the [Vanderbilt Avenue] building weren’t able to secure the event space permits,” said John Wyszniewski, a BAM spokesman.

His boss, Sandy Sawotka, added that, “In short, we have too many guests for the initial space.”

About 850 tickets have been sold, ranging in price from $200 “Associate” tickets to $1,000 “Partner” tickets. The event includes a performance by Finland’s Tero Saarinen Company.

Wyszniewski insisted the change of venue was no big deal (even though the institution had to reach out to hundreds of confirmed attendees to notify them of the change).

“Most of our gala attendees know they’re getting on a bus,” he said, referring to the buses charted to transport gala goers from Manhattan and the Fort Greene Opera House to the gala venue. “Rather than getting on a bus going to one location, they’ll get on a bus and go to another location.

“Because we worked at Seven World Trade before, everything’s in a great place,” he added.

So far, said Wyszniewski, the following celebrities have confirmed: Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Isaac Mizrahi, Philip Glass, Lou Reed and Merce Cunningham.

For tickets to the BAM gala, visit or call (718) 636-4182.

Updated 4:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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