To provide a nurturing, year-round, performance, rehearsal and educational venue in Brooklyn that encourages artistic risk-taking and stimulates dialogue among diverse constituencies.
BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange welcomes students, families, faculty, and artists to BAX, an organization with a core commitment to social justice. In keeping with BAX’s mission to “encourage artistic risk taking and stimulate dialogue among diverse constituencies” we intentionally and purposefully support the voices of under-represented individuals and groups of all origins, ages, abilities, races, sexual orientations, and genders – including trans identified individuals, or those with varied immigration statuses. All our constituents join an organization whose staff and Board is actively engaged in challenging the manifestations of whiteness, able-bodiedness and privilege as part of our ongoing anti-racist efforts and our other anti-oppression, pro-inclusion work.
BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange is a participating cultural organization in the First Amendment Sanctuary Spaces project. We pledge to protect, defend and support the First Amendment as a foundational element of a free and open society.
BAX was founded in 1991, as a small, pioneer arts organization on an industrial block in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. In 1998, BAX moved to lower Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn to accommodate a growing demand for services. By 2006, BAX had achieved most of its programmatic and infrastructure expansion goals and seized the opportunity to expand to a second floor and create THE BAX BUILDING. BAX currently has five full-time and four part-time employees, a roster of 24 teaching artists, four interns and volunteers.
BAX has purposefully constructed an environment where children study and professional artists create under the same roof. Students are mentored by professional artists and the citywide performing arts community engages diverse Brooklyn audiences at year-round performances in the Theater at BAX. Together they mutually inform each other’s developmental process which deepens everyone’s level of engagement. At BAX, the performing arts and arts education are an important way to connect and transform individuals and communities.
BAX is a place that connects people. It is a rigorous forum for ideas and creativity. A place for families, artists, students, and audiences — a community asset. BAX provides advocacy and opportunities for emerging and mid-level professional dance and theater artists to develop, grow, explore and present new work. BAX is also well known for its comprehensive youth programs that support young people, toddlers through teens, in their pursuit of creative skills and experiences in dance and theater.
What does that mean?
We train and develop young dancers and actors. We develop and present the work of hundreds of artists work in dance and theater each year. We provide essential art services to our borough and city’s artists. We believe this all belongs together. We believe that it is a completely different experience for students to study in a center where professional artists develop work and perform. We believe that artists who through physical proximity have to acknowledge students and families at BAX become part of a social fabric that might not otherwise exist.
There is no comparable institution in all of NYC that simultaneously and effectively provides for the artistic development of both professionals and students, and places presentations and performances within the context of that development. BAX is a place where children discover theater and dance, become teenage playwrights and choreographers, and return as young adults to teach, completing the cycle of exchange.