powerHouse Books is pleased to announce the January 2022 publication of

BAM...and Then It Hit Me

A Memoir by Karen Brooks Hopkins


"Working at BAM has been a highlight of my theater career, performing for an audience that is representative of our diverse city...
Karen is one of those people who generously gives of their energy, humanity, enthusiasm, and intelligence–always encouraging you to think big." 

–John Turturro

Karen Brooks Hopkins’ memoir BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me is an exhilarating romp through the evolution of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the renowned performing arts center, and an inside look at how it grew to exert considerable influence on theater, opera, dance, and film worldwide.

BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me is filled with riveting stories and historical photos from the institution's remarkable array of performances over the years, as well as backstage drama, wildly ambitious fundraising schemes, and blazing moments of artistic glory. Readers will revel in the front-row seat experience of the ups, downs, successes, and global reputation-building of the world-famous cultural center that will dazzle any lover of the performing arts, pairing witty anecdotes and breathtaking close calls with artists and icons such as: Laurie Anderson, Pina Bausch, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Brook, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Davis, Jeremy Irons, Dr. John, Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Spike Lee, Annie Leibovitz, Roy Lichtenstein, LL Cool J, Sam Mendes, Mark Morris, José Parla, Robert Redford, Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, John Turturro, Rufus Wainwright, Robert Wilson, and more.

BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me also includes valuable guidance and insight into the institution's phenomenal not-for-profit fundraising strategies and initiatives, serving as an expert primer for sustainable arts and non-profit leadership and management. The remarkable experience of Karen’s outreach strategy and engagement in the BAM neighborhood in Brooklyn resulted in a powerful revitalization of a long-ignored area in what was once considered a cultural backwater in a borough perpetually overshadowed by its more famous “next door” borough to the west.

BAM. . . and Then It Hit Me features more than three hundred seventy color and black-and-white photographs, documenting the greatest moments in BAM’s history, and the glittery, culture- making highlights of the legendary performances during Karen Brooks Hopkins’ phenomenal tenure there, paired with stories that are shared with the public for the first time. Buckle up! BAM...will hit you too, and you will be inspired.




"Karen created a feeling of a family, of belonging to a community of  artists...she  opened a new chapter in my life." 

–Isabella Rossellini

Karen Brooks Hopkins is the president emerita of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she worked for thirty-six years, serving sixteen as its president. As president, Hopkins oversaw the institution’s 230 full-time employees and its multiple theaters and cinemas, ranging from the 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House to the flexible 250-seat Fishman Space. 

Hopkins has served as the chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, has been a member of the mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, the New York State Board of Regents, and on the Boards of NYC & Company, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and currently serves on the Trust for Governors Island.

Hopkins was appointed Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star for her work done with the Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden, named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, and awarded the Medal of St. Olav by Norway. She was designated a “Woman of Achievement” by the professional association Women in Development in 2013 and named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” by Crain’s New York Business.

Among the many honors BAM has received during her tenure is the 2013 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts organizations by the U.S. government. President Obama presented the medal to Hopkins at a White House ceremony in 2014. In 2015, Hopkins was one of ten esteemed business leaders appointed to the inaugural Crain’s Hall of Fame. Her widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations, is currently in its second edition.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, she received her MFA from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has received honorary degrees from St. Frances College, Pratt Institute, Long Island University, and a prestigious honorary Doctor of Laws from Columbia University. 

Following her retirement from BAM in June 2015, Hopkins has focused on developing projects and ideas about how all communities can benefit through substantial and inclusive creative business plans incorporating arts and culture as core components, amplifying identity and future success. She has served as the Inaugural Senior Fellow in Residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, adviser to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, board member of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, senior adviser to and board member of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, and as the Nasher Haemisegger Fellow at SMU DataArts.



A partial preview is available here: BAM...and Then It Hit Me

To view Karen Brooks Hopkins' Event Package, click here.

Memoir / Performing Arts / History
Hardcover, 7 x 9.5 inches, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-57687-838-5, $35.00 US / $47.00 CAN

High-res scans to your specification are available upon request;
scanning from the book or lifting images from the mechanical file are strictly prohibited.
Mandatory credit line: From BAM...and Then It Hit Me by Karen Brooks Hopkins, published by powerHouse Books.

For more information, please contact:
Blake Zidell
Blake Zidell & Associates

Or visit:


For contact at powerHouse Books:
Publicity Department
212-604-9074 ext. 104
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

© Copyright 2021 powerHouse Books

View web version
Unsubscribe here