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The oldest performing arts venue in America is the Brooklyn Academy of Music or BAM. This music venue opened in 1861 for the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn. It is now home to experimental and avant-garde musicians.
Today, BAM has a reputation as a leader in presenting "cutting edge" performance and has grown into an urban arts center which focuses on both international arts presentation and local community needs. Its purpose is to provide an environment in which its audiences – annually, more than 775,000 people – can experience a broad array of aesthetic and cultural programs.