Karen Brooks Hopkins
Karen Brooks Hopkins is a senior fellow at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ms. Hopkins is the former president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she worked since 1979. As president, she oversaw the Academy's 233 full-time employees and its facilities, including the 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House and 834-seat BAM Harvey Theater, the four-theater BAM Rose Cinemas, the BAMcafé, and the BAM Fisher building, which houses the 250-seat flexible Fishman Space.
Named to Mayor de Blasio's transition committee in November 2013, Ms. Hopkins has a history of public and cultural sector service. In May 2004, she concluded a two-year term as the chair of The Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), which consists of 33 prominent New York City cultural institutions. In this capacity, she also served as a member of the Mayor's Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, the board of NYC & Company, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and the Global Cultural Districts Network, and currently participates as a member of the Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Advisory Board and The Onassis Foundation. Ms. Hopkins was an active member of the Performing Arts Center Consortium, a national association of performing arts centers, and served as its chair from 1994 to 1996. She was also a participant on the advisory committee of the Salzburg Seminar Project of Critical Issues for the Classical Performing Arts from 2000–2002 and a fellow of The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation from 2001–2002. In 2005, Ms. Hopkins received the Encore Award in Arts Management Excellence from the Arts & Business Council of New York, and chaired the Hospitality and Tourism cluster of the Initiative for a Competitive Brooklyn. In 2006, she was elected by the New York State Legislature to the Board of Regents for a term that expired in 2011.
Most recent honors include being designated a "Woman of Achievement" by the professional association Women in Development in 2013 and named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in New York" by Crain's. In 2014, she received the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Award and was one of 10 esteemed business leaders appointed to the inaugural Crain's Hall of Fame. Ms. Hopkins was awarded honorary doctorate degrees in 2015 from Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and Long Island University. Among the many honors she received during her BAM tenure are her appointment as Chevalier de L'Ordre des arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France for her work supporting the French arts in the United States, as well as Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star in recognition of her role in solidifying ties between the performing arts communities of Sweden and the United States. Also in 2013 during her term as president, BAM received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts organizations by the US government; the medal was presented to her by President Obama at a White House ceremony.
Hopkins was an adjunct professor for the Brooklyn College Program for Arts Administration for four years. Her widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations, is available in a revised second edition through Greenwood Publishing. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she received her MFA from George Washington University.