The Culture of Brooklyn with Katy Clark

By Amanda Chambers

On this week's episode of Brooklyn Savvy, Katy Clark joins Toni and the Savvy panelistas to discuss her job as President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). She details her responsibilities as president and how she must make sure that organizations have the needed resources to do their work. She also talks about the culture of Brooklyn and where BAM fits in with all of the other cultural organizations.

“One of the things I love the most about BAM is how curious and engaged and chatty the audiences are.”
— Katy Clark

Katy Clark discusses the history of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and its impact on the community. BAM is the oldest performing arts center in the country, founded in 1861 during the Civil War. It is the original leader of the cultural district of Brooklyn. This cultural district currently consists of approximately 60 organizations and is visited by five million people every year.

Katy's own experience as an artist informs the way she approaches her job as president of BAM and makes her more sympathetic to the artists' challenges, she says. She speaks to her concern for emerging artists and the search for innovative and edgy work. Katy also considers how the new influx of people to Brooklyn will affect the cultural district and its programming.

“Now I feel like Brooklyn behaves like a city again.”
— Katy Clark

Katy Clark earned her BA in history from Jesus College, Cambridge University, her master's degree in violin performance from the University of Illinois, and a certificate in arts management from Birbeck College, University of London. From 1994 to 1999, Katy was a violinist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. After that, she led the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composer Forum. Katy was appointed the president of BAM in 2015.

Be sure to tune in to hear the full discussion with Katy Clark, Toni, and the Savvy panelistas. Missed the episode yesterday? Don't worry! You can catch it again tonight at 7:30 pm and Thursday at 3:00 pm, or visit us online at