Public Programs

Brooklyn Historical Society offers a wide array of public programming that celebrates the diversity of Brooklyn's past and present and takes a close look at where the borough is headed. With panel discussions with Brooklyn luminaries, screenings of classic and groundbreaking films, thought-provoking talks on Brooklyn's history from new perspectives, family art and dance activities, and more, BHS has something for everyone.

Recently at BHS


Historic Gastronomist Sarah Lohman moderates a discussion among four of New York City's top distillers, including NY Distilling Co., Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn Gin, and Van Brunt Stillhouse. This was a partner program between Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Brainery.

For more BHS public programs you can watch from home, browse our Vimeo page.

Calendar of Programs

 JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER | NOVEMBER | DECEMBER
 FAMILY PROGRAMS | PARTNER SERIES

July

Writing WarWriting War

Thu, Jul 30, 6:30 pm
$5/Free for BHS & G-W Members
Reserve Tickets>>
After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, an impressive cadre of writers has emerged from the ranks of America’s military to put stories of war and homecoming on paper. BHS welcomes National Book Award winner Philip Klay (Redeployment), former U.S. Army Captain Matt Gallagher (Kaboom), author Sara Novic, and poet and playwright Maurice Decaul for a discussion moderated by Brandon Willitts, Executive Director of Words After War.

Images Clockwise: Philip Klay, Matt Gallagher, Maurice Decaul, Sara Novic (Photo Credit: Alan Caras)

August

The Spirit of the BeehiveMovie Mondays: Making Waves in Film, Then and Now with The Spirit of the Beehive

Mon, Aug 3, 6:30 pm
Free
Reserve Tickets>>
This screening and discussion connects Brooklyn filmmakers today with innovators of the past. The line between reality and fantasy is blurred in both Marina Fernandez Ferri’s short Temblor, which explores the complex feelings of an outsider in a foreign land (in this case, a Spaniard in New York), and The Spirit of the Beehive, the 1973 masterpiece by Spanish director Victor Erice that draws us into the mischievous and sometimes dangerous world of a child’s imagination.

The Spirit of the Beehive courtesy of Janus Films.


Stone CarvingHidden Brooklyn: Stone Carving

Tue, Aug 4, 6:30 pm
$15/$10 for BHS & G-W Members
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Trained as a stone carver at St. John the Divine, Chris Pellettieri now carves private commissions and his own art in his Greenpoint studio. Take a tour, see a masonry demonstration, and hear about the next generation of this special art.

*Please note that this is an off-site tour. Exact meeting location for the tour is included in the confirmation email upon purchasing tickets to this event. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets will not be sold at the door.*






Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice CreamWhat’s the Scoop? The Story of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Thu, Aug 6, 6:30 pm
$5/Free for BHS & G-W Members
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Cool off with us and hear the whimsical story behind one of Brooklyn’s most delicious local businesses. Laura O'Neill, Benjamin Van Leeuwen and Peter Van Leeuwen share some of the secrets behind their unique recipes and read from their new book Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Samples will be provided!



Joyce Kozloff, Les États-Unis d’Amérique, 2013Mapping Brooklyn: An Artists Panel

Tue, Aug 11, 6:30 pm
Free
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Join us for a panel discussion to celebrate our Mapping Brooklyn exhibition before it closes on September 6th. Mapping Brooklyn, which juxtaposes the work of contemporary artists working with historic maps, with examples of maps themselves, was co-presented at BRIC Arts | Media House (February 26, 2015 - May 3, 2015) and the Brooklyn Historical Society (February 26, 2015 - September 6, 2015).

A number of the artists will be on hand to discuss their work and their experience with this fascinating project, including Aaron Beebe, Daniel Bejar, Fran Benitez, Joyce Kozloff, Katarina Jerinic, Simonetta Moro, and Nick Vaughan. Elizabeth Ferrer, Vice President, Contemporary Art at BRIC, and the curator for the BRIC portion of the exhibition will also join the panel.



Coming Home: Screening and Discussion of 
Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Mon, Aug 17, 6:30 pm
Free
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We conclude our series of screenings and discussion on U.S. veterans returning home from foreign wars with Werner Herzog’s documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. David LaRocca, film scholar and editor of The Philosophy of War Films, is joined by Edward Walsh, Captain, US Marine Corps, 2002-2006, for the talk-back.

(c)Werner Herzog Film GmbH


September

SlumflowerScreening and Discussion: SLUMFLOWER

Thu, Sep 10, 7 pm
Free
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To kick off Fashion Week, Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, founders of the esteemed sartorial blog, Street Etiquette, present their short film, SLUMFLOWER, which was accepted into the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The short is an exploration of black male identity through the eyes of a 10-year old boy finding beauty and growth in the midst of concrete. See stills and behind-the-scenes images here.

Why New York? Our Segregated Schools Epidemic

Wed, Sep 16, 6:30 pm
$5/Free for BHS & G-W Members
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In 2014 it was widely reported that New York State has the most segregated schools in the nation. In this first program of our newest series, Why New York?, WNYC Education Reporter Beth Fertig talks to experts Norm Fruchter, writer, scholar and Principal Associate of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform; Nikole Hannah-Jones, investigative reporter and accomplished journalist with The New York Times Magazine; and Clara Hemphill, founder of insideschools.org, and others, about the current and future fight against inequities in education in the Empire State.

Robin NagleHow Brooklyn Works: Trash Pick-Up

Thu, Sep 17, 6:30 pm
$10/$5 for BHS & G-W Members
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Famed TED Talk presenter, author of Picking Up, and the New York City Department of Sanitation’s anthropologist-in-residence, Robin Nagle, presents the history and inner workings of the DSNY and leads a conversation with the resident experts: a panel of DSNY sanitation workers.

Presented in partnership with Atlas Obscura.




Nerd NiteNerd Nite Speed Dating

Thu, Sep 24, 
Dating: 7:30 pm; Presentations: 9 pm
$25 to speed date; $10 for presentations only
We are pleased to offer BHS Members early access registration for this program!
Registration will open to the general public on August 15th.
BHS Members: to purchase tickets, please call 718-222-4111.
Brooklyn history and speed dating, together forever! Join BHS and Nerd Nite for a special evening when 20 nerdy fellas and 20 nerdy lasses get a shot at finding love and learn local history at the same time. Speed date tickets are limited, but join us for the presentation. With drinks, of course.

Vale of CashmereHidden Brooklyn: Vale of Cashmere

Tue, Sep 29, 6 pm
$15/$10 for BHS & G-W Members
Reserve Tickets>>
Join the Prospect Park Alliance’s chief landscape architect, Christian Zimmerman, for a tour of the little-known, seldom explored northeast corner of Prospect Park. Designed by Park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as the Children’s Playground, with a small pond for model boats, a rose garden and a bucolic rustic arbor, it was redesigned by McKim, Mead and White at the turn of the century. After decades of decline, the Alliance is working to revive this once-lush garden oasis. The first step in more ambitious restoration plans was the creation of the Zucker Natural Exploration Area. Following the tour, enjoy refreshments at Lefferts Historic House.

 Photo by Elizabeth Keegin Colley

*Please note that this is an off-site tour. Exact meeting location for the tour is included in the confirmation email upon purchasing tickets to this event. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets will not be sold at the door.*

Lost, Found, and Stewarded: Collecting Stories of African American Civil War Soldiers

Wed, Sep 30, 6:30 pm
$5/Free for BHS & G-W Members
Reserve Tickets>>
How do we know what we know about black soldiers who fought in the Civil War? And what does it tell us about the complex business of collecting African American materials from eras when such objects were undervalued and overlooked? Eve Kahn, Antiques columnist for The New York Times, moderates a discussion with expert panelists Christopher Moore of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Ron Coddington, author of African American Faces of War: An Album; and Wyatt H. Day, head of African Americana Department at Swann Auction Galleries.


October

Ron Chernow & Oskar EustisAlexander Hamilton the Man and the Play: A Conversation with Ron Chernow and Oskar Eustis

Mon, Oct 26, 6:30 pm
$10/$5 for BHS and G-W members
We are pleased to offer BHS Members early access registration for this program!
Registration will open to the general public on August 15th.
Reserve Tickets>>
Historian Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton, inspired The Public Theater’s hit musical, Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Oskar Eustis, The Public’s Artistic Director, joins Chernow to discuss the complexities of staging history. Moderated by Rebecca Mead of The New Yorker.

November

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1Screening and Discussion: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Wed, Nov 11, 6:30 pm
Free
We are pleased to offer BHS Members early access registration for this program!
Registration will open to the general public on August 15th.
Reserve Tickets>>
This Veterans Day, join us for a screening of the 2015 Academy Award-winning Best Documentary, a powerful film that follows those on the frontline of the only veterans’ suicide hotline in the country. Introduced by director Ellen Goosenberg Kent, a talkback with Bryan Doerries of “Theater of War,” Iraq war veteran Phoebe Gavin, and others, follows.

Told It First Hand: Screening and Discussion of
Stretch and Bobbito: Radio that Changed Lives

Tue, Nov 17, 7 pm
$10/$5 for BHS and G-W members
We are pleased to offer BHS Members early access registration for this program!
Registration will open to the general public on August 15th.
Reserve Tickets>>
Hosts of “The Best Hip Hop Radio Show of All-Time” on WKCR, Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia left an indelible mark on the Hip Hop world, introducing the public to now larger-than-life names like Nas, Biggie, Jay-Z, Eminem, and the Fugees. Brooklyn Bodega’s Wes Jackson is joined by Stretch and Bobbito for a discussion after the screening.

December

Cocoa in the City: NYC Chocolate Makers

Thu, Dec 10, 7 pm
$12/$8 for BHS and G-W members
We are pleased to offer BHS Members early access registration for this program!
Registration will open to the general public on August 15th.
Reserve Tickets>>
Historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman returns to BHS, this time to explore the history and intricate production process behind everyone’s favorite treat: chocolate. With a panel of chocolate makers, from bean to bar producers to confectioners of fine chocolates, discover the origin story behind some of your favorite chocolate bars and mouth-watering truffles. Tastings included!

Presented in partnership with Brooklyn Brainery.

Partner Series

BLAST! from the PastBLAST! from the Past: A Dinner Party Series

Remaining Dates: Aug 20 & Oct 15
LOCATION:

Humboldt & Jackson
434 Humboldt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
$70 for each program (including tax, gratuity and all beverages)
Join Brooklyn Brewery and BHS in New York City’s first culinary time machine at Humboldt & Jackson as we journey back through great eras in New York’s culinary history. We’ll be visiting four unique periods, bringing you beer-centric meals inspired by each evening’s place in history. This is BLAST! from the Past: A Brooklyn Brewery Dinner Party Series.

Dinner Party No. 3: Flappers, Fringes and Fast Cars
Aug 20, 6:30 pm
We touch down in the 1920s, with the pesky Volstead Act and Prohibition getting in the way of everyone’s fun. Luckily, true New Yorkers have figured out inventive measures for getting around the law. In the right circles, decadence is the name of the game and what should be scarce is more than abundant.

Dinner Party No. 4: Windows on the World
Oct 15, 6:30 pm
We’re going back to Back to the Future to visit New York City in the 1980s. This wild decade included not only the founding of the Brooklyn Brewery, but co-founder Steve Hindy hosting his first-ever beer dinner at Windows on the World. That menu will be brought back to light just in time for our trip.


PUBLIC PROGRAM REFUND POLICY

Brooklyn Historical Society requires 24 hours notice before the date of the event to refund a ticket. No refunds are provided after that point. This means no refunds are provided on the day of the event and all subsequent days.

Bank of AmericaPublic Programs are made possible, in part, by a generous grant from Bank of America. 



Additonal funding provided by The Agnes Varis Trust.


Family Programs


BHS Family Programs are taking a break for the summer! Check back soon for next year's schedule.



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