Founded in 1861, it is the oldest performing arts center.
Current programming at BAM consists of the Next Wave Festival each fall, showcasing since 1983 the world’s most innovative artists, and a Spring Season of international opera, theater, dance, and music. It also includes a comprehensive Education & Humanities curriculum, a slate of community programs, eclectic live music, and a restaurant, BAMcafé, which opened in 1997 in the Lepercq Space. BAM Rose Cinemas, a four-screen theater, opened in 1998. One screen is devoted to BAMcinématek, which offers daily screenings of repertory classics, frequent guest speakers, and festivals and series, including BAMcinemaFEST. Art exhibitions regularly hang in spaces around BAM, including interactive installations as part of Takeover, an all-night celebration throughout BAM, with films, music, a DJ dance party, beer, and amusements.