Currently housing BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn and UrbanGlass, the new $40 million expansion to Brooklyn's historic Strand Theater will provide new performance spaces, a television recording studio, art galleries, glass blowing facilities, and classrooms for these two organizations. The theater was constructed in 1918 for vaudeville acts in what is now known as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Cultural District. It later became a movie palace and bowling alley. LEESER Architecture won a bid by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) for the renovation of this BAM landmark.
Construction began in 2011 and is to be completed in 2013. The design will include new facilities for BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, a non-profit organization founded in 1979 to present arts, media and educational programs reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities. The result is a much more visible presence for BRIC, with enhanced street-level presence for BCAT, Brooklyn's public-access TV. Additions will include a new 6,000 square foot performance space, a 2,500 square foot black-box studio, a 3,500 square foot contemporary art gallery, a 1,000 square foot television studio, as well as classrooms and other support spaces. UrbanGlass, the first and largest artist-access glass center in the United States, will receive 1,700 square feet of gallery and retail space and an 800 square foot walk-in glass workshop.