|KAREN BROOKS HOPKINS AT BAM|
Before we could envy our kids for spending their summer wisely, by attending such classes as the Fernando Sena Art Workshops, we were able to save three-month break by way of educating ourselves through the Cultural Center of Philippines’ (CCP) Sining Alamin last March, the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop and CCP’s Sining sa Eskuwela last April, and the Department of Culture Consultation Meeting and 3rd Cordillera Creative Writing Workshop last May.
But, nothing seemed to be more practical and practicable than the two-day Management Intensives for Art Managers and Board Members at the CCP Little Theater.
At first, we thought it would simply center on why the government and private sector should support the arts or on how arts boards maintain strong and healthy organizations.
However, it was opened last 25 May with the salvo of Ronald Feiner who talked about Intellectual Property Right for Theater and Media and Atty. Nicolas Pichay who tackled Will Not Work for Cat Food: Intellectual Property Rights in the Performing Arts.
Last 26 May seemed to be the Karen Brooks Hopkins (KBH) Day since she taught us how to build healthy and helpful art board in the morning as well as how to raise funds for the arts in the afternoon which she shared with Alan Hoist, the United States Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Officer, who showed the delicate balance between the government-sponsored art versus the private sector-sponsored art.
KBH preached what she practised since 1979 as president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) that was inaugurated on 15 January 1861 with a program spearheaded by Mozart and Verdi.
Over 150 years after, you may wonder how BAM was able to survive.
And, for sure, if BAM could speak, it would also spell: KBH.
When she was here at the CCP -- upon the invitation of its Chairperson Emily Abrera, Vice President/Artistic Director Chris Millado, and Arts Education head Eva Mari Salvador – we looked like
her disciples intently listening to her gospel according to her very own hands-on experience of 33 years. As an arts and culture administrator, she oversees 300 full- and part-time employees and facilities, like the 2100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House and 874-seat BAM Harvey Theater, the four-theater BAM Rose Cinemas and the BAMcafé.
And even if she is one of the "100 Most Influential Women in New York City Business" by Crain's, and has won awards in and out of the U.S., you can easily sum up what it takes to be like her into KBH – or Knowledge, Beauty, and Humility.
Vim Nadera: Are you a born leader? Or made?
Karen Brooks Hopkins: I would not consider myself a born leader – I consider myself a born worker and problem solver, and this combination of qualities has helped me find my way into a position of leadership.