On the first Saturday of every month for the last 24 years, the iconic museum in Prospect Heights opened its doors for an evening of completely free programming based on a particular theme or exhibition.
Like everything else, the Brooklyn Museum closed its doors just about two years ago, and, even when itreopenedfor in-person visits, First Saturdays stayed suspended. The popular program can draw a crowd of up to 10,000 people throughout the course of the day, said Lauren Zelaya, the museum's Director of Public Programs.
"We had planned for First Saturdays to come back in February of 2022, and then we all know what happened, the Omicron variant," Zelaya said. "We were just about to announce it and then we had to pause it. It's been a long journey to get back here."
The event is also important for providing a comfortable, free space for people and families, to engage with arts and culture - often an expensive endeavor.
Some of her colleagues who grew up in the neighborhood recalled the Brooklyn Museum as one of the only public spaces they could go to feel independent without the fear of being kicked out.
"It's definitely the heart and soul of the museum, as an institution, but also the cultural landscape of central Brooklyn and, I would say, New York City even more broadly," Zelaya said. "And it's a beloved event. "I hope that the museum can be a space for people to feel at ease and feel welcome and feel joyous. That's really the goal."
"First Saturdays" returns with live music performances, lectures, tours, AND hands-on art projects.
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