About the Brecht Forum


From October 1975 through May 2014, the BRECHT FORUM served as a cultural and educational center for people who work for social justice, equality and a new culture that puts human needs first. Through its programs and events, the Brecht Forum brought people together across social and cultural boundaries and artistic and academic disciplines to promote critical analysis, creative thinking, collaborative projects and networking in an independent community-level environment.

The cornerstone of its educational conception situated movement-building within a transformative cultural process within society at large. From the beginning, its conception was based on the idea that a fundamental task of the left is to create, within existing society, a counter-hegemonic culture of working people and their allies, who are capable of challenging the capitalist agenda, prefiguring new ways of thinking and of self-organization, as well as creating new ways of relating to each other and nature.

Throughout the year, it offered a wide-ranging program of classes, public lectures and seminars, art exhibitions, performances, popular education workshops, and language classes. These activities were developed in collaboration with the many social movements and the diverse communities of this most cosmopolitan of cities, and its programs brought together leading intellectuals, activists and artists from New York, across the U.S., and internationally.

The Brecht Forum was founded in 1975 as The New York Marxist School. In 1984, the founding collective incorporated as The Brecht Forum with The New York Marxist School as the Forum's core project. Additional projects include  The Institute for Popular Education, founded in 1990 iin collaboration with the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory, & Arts at the Brecht which included ongoing arts programming in collaboration with such projects as Neues Kabarett, an experimental jazz series initiated in 1998, Strike Anywhere Theater Ensemble, and The Ground Floor Collective.

Registration & Fees

Most of its activities had a sliding scale suggested donation and no one was turned away for inability to pay. As these funds only covered a portion of their costs, it relied on the progressive community for its financial survival.

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