Brooklyn, New York,
15:38 PM

Brooklyn Public Library Announces In-Person and Virtual Fall 2021 Arts and Culture Programming

Featuring opportunities for virtual and in-person engagement with an array of prize-winning authors, composers, artists, and scholars from around the world

Highlights Include: 

  • LitFilm: A BPL Film Festival About Writers, returning for its fourth edition with a lineup of films on the private lives, artistic processes, and political struggles of writers like Amy Tan, August Wilson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Truman Capote and more
  • Award-winning journalist and author Kati Marton discusses her new book The Chancellor, the definitive biography of one of the most powerful women in the world, Angela Merkel
  • Award-winning historian and New York Times best-selling author Keisha N. Blain in discussion with Alexis Coe on Blain’s new book, Until I Am Free, about the seminal political thinker and activist Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Legendary photographer Jamel Shabazz presenting a curated tour of the Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park focusing on his project, Prospect Park: My Oasis in Brooklyn
  • Outdoor performances and film screenings on the Central Library Plaza including the continuation of Cinema Ephemera and excerpts from A Marvelous Order, an upcoming opera about Robert Moses, Jane Jacobs, and their 20th Century battle of ideas
  • Brooklyn Public Library in partnership with the Brooklyn Book Festival returning in October with in-person and virtual offerings including readings and storytime for the whole family
  • Musical offerings from Brooklyn Art Song Society with Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, a concert series exploring the moments that make up our lives in song; and the Young Composers Festival in collaboration with ETHEL’s Foundation for the Arts

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), today unveiled its 2021 fall season of arts and cultural programming. Through its offerings, featuring author talks, live performances, poetry readings, and cinematic programs including the LitFilm festival, BPL’s season of in-person and virtual events explores critical issues of our time in Brooklyn and the world beyond and continues to redefine libraries as centers for ideas and exploration.

"We believe everyone in Brooklyn should have access to the extraordinary art and culture that defines our city," said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. "From photography exhibitions to live opera, Brooklyn Public Library remains one of the most daring and inclusive cultural institutions in the borough."

“From the return of LitFilm to musical performances on the Library Plaza, and an array of author talks, BPL continues to expand upon the idea of what a library can be to a community by providing longstanding services alongside exciting new programming,” said László Jakab Orsós, Vice President of Arts and Culture of Brooklyn Public Library. “BPL Presents embodies the Library’s mission to offer all Brooklynites the opportunity to pursue new ideas and explore creativity, and we look forward to engaging our community online and outdoors this fall.”

LitFilm, BPL’s popular film festival about writers, has returned for its fourth edition. With a full roster of more than a dozen films, highlights include an in-depth look at some of the most influential writers of the last century and those working today, including Hannah Arendt, Flannery O’Connor, August Wilson, J.D. Salinger, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and many others.

BPL’s lineup of engaged cultural programming extends to the visual arts with the curated walking tour of Prospect Park with legendary photographer Jamel Shabazz. In partnership with Prospect Park Alliance and BPL. As part of the Photoville 2021 Festival, Shabazz shares his memories and stories behind the images in his exhibition My Oasis in Brooklyn, a collection of snapshots of Prospect Park spanning over 40 years. Exhibited along the construction fence surrounding the historic house, the community of Brooklyn will be able to discover new stories and recognize old friends.

On Monday, October 4, BPL presents A Marvelous Order, featuring a live concert of excerpts from the highly anticipated forthcoming opera about New York titans Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs on the Central Library Plaza. The opera is composed by Judd Greenstein, with a libretto by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, co-conceived with visual artist Joshua Frankel. Animation created by Frankel for the opera will be projected onto the Library’s façade, synchronized to the live musical performances accompanied by the NOW Ensemble. The evening will also include two of Frankel’s short films, both set to music by Greenstein: Mannahatta, a setting of Walt Whitman’s iconic poem about the island of Manhattan, featuring vocalist DM Stith, and Plan of the City, Frankel’s widely heralded collaboration with the NOW Ensemble.

BPL continues its ongoing exploration of social and political issues through a series of author talks, beginning on September 30 with Kia Corthron, winner of the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Corthron discusses her new novel, Moon and the Mars, which examines NYC and America in the burgeoning moments before the start of the Civil War through the eyes of a young biracial girl. On October 7, Keisha N. Blain discusses her book Until I Am Free, about Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, with presidential historian Alexis Coe.

As part of our ongoing series with international writers, on November 3 Tiphanie Yanique, author of Monster in the Middle, and Jai Chakrabarti, author of A Play for the End of the World, discuss their new novels with Anderson Tepper, co-chair of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Award-winning author Kati Marton will discuss The Chancellor on November 4, her definitive biography of one of the most powerful women in the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

CBH Talks continue in September with Taking a Knee, Changing the World: A Conversation between Dave Zirin and Kahlil Greene, exploring the political movement sparked by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s quiet protest; and on October 5 CBH presents From Land Acknowledgement to Land Back: The Path to Justice for Indigenous People, a historic look of indigenous histories and stories that shines a spotlight on today’s struggles to reclaim lost land and establish indigenous sovereignty, with oral historian Sara Sinclair; Duwamish Tribal Council Member James Rasmussen; Corinne Rice-Grey Cloud, a social media influencer and consultant of Lakota/Mohawk descent; and Delaware Nation member Brent Stonefish.

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, CBH Talks presents A Latinx Vision for an Inclusive America, with a panel of five Latinx leaders representing government, the media, academics, philanthropy, and the arts to explore how Latinx-inclusive America might look like and how we can make that vision real. Markos Moulitsas Zúniga founder of Daily Kos, moderates the conversation with Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie GorbeaDiana Campoamor the founder of Nuestra America Fund, Puerto Rican writer and journalist Anjanette Delgado, and Laura E. Gómez, professor of law, sociology, and Chicana/Chicano studies at UCLA. 

This fall season will feature multiple musical offerings through Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, a collaboration with Brooklyn Art Song Society which explores the moments that make up our lives in song through works that bookend careers, meditate on morality, and follow the course of a lifetime. Upcoming concerts will include works by Hugo Wolf, Gerald Finzi, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Tom Cipullo, among others.

Furthering its support of young artists, BPL, in collaboration with the ETHEL Foundation, will present the Young Composers Festival in person on December 11 and 12. Featuring works from young composers from the fourth round of ETHEL’s HomeBaked Competition, the ETHEL Quartet will perform the works over two evenings.

Expanding its poetry offerings, on September 28, editor Gabor Gyukics presents readings from They’ll Be Good for Seed: Anthology of Contemporary Hungarian Poetry, a collection of diverse works from 16 poets with a wide range of subject matter and styles full of musicality, rhythm, and colorful images. As part of the 2021 Brooklyn Book Festival, on September 29 BPL presents Brooklyn Poets Reading with Carlie Hoffman, Michael Chang, and Adrian Matejka, reading an array of their most prized works.

Dedicated to responding to the continually evolving needs of the 2.7 million individuals who make Brooklyn home, BPL quickly transitioned over the past year to provide vital resources to residents, offering Wi-Fi, employment support, classes and more. For more information on BPL events and services, please visit:

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Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st-century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 60,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.