The Forum @ St. Ann’s


Launched in 2012, The Forum  @  St. Ann’s is a parish initiative that seeks to engage the wider community in conversations about art, ideas, and civic life.

Our mission is to welcome diverse audiences from New York City and beyond with thoughtful and timely programming. Organized by volunteers, the Forum has mounted a series of successful art exhibitions, film screenings, poetry and book readings, panel discussions, and recitals that have attracted significant interest and attendance.

A wide variety of artists, authors, musicians, performers and speakers, many of them Brooklynites, have welcomed the opportunity to share their work with new audiences at St. Ann’s. The program’s use of the historic church interior for a range of events, including large scale exhibitions of daring and compelling visual artwork in the sanctuary, has been embraced by our community.

Image: Artist Talk, “In the Beginning,” an exhibition by artist Athena LaTocha


The Scribe of Siena
Discussion of New Book
The Scribe of Siena

Author Melodie Winawer and
Scholar Neslihan Şenocak in Conversation

Tuesday, September 12, 7:00 pm
A Brooklyn Book Festival “Bookend Event”

The Forum @ St. Ann’s presents author Melodie Winawer talking about her new book The Scribe of Siena with medieval scholar Neslihan Şenocak.

Winawer transports readers to medieval Italy, where the past and present collide and a twenty-first century women discovers love—and a plot to destroy Siena. Winawer and Şenocak will discuss life in the medieval city of Siena, the real life plague that ravaged the city, and the mystery as to why Siena fared so poorly while other Italian cities did not.

Melodie Winawer is a physician-scientist and an Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. She has published 47 non-fiction articles and chapters. This is her first novel.

Neslihan Şenocak is a historian and professor at Columbia University. Her work examines medieval religious orders and the daily life of 13th century Italy. Her most recent project is on the relationship of violent crimes and urbanization in 13th century Perugia.


Broken Criminal Justice System

From the Inside Out:
America’s Broken Criminal Justice System

Saturday, September 16, 3:00 pm
A Brooklyn Book Festival “Bookend Event”

The Forum @ St. Ann’s and Dear America present speakers Yusef Salaam, activist and 1/5 of the Central Park 5; Marlon Peterson, founder of The Precedential Group and host of the Decarcerated Podcast; Heather Ann Thompson, 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971; and James Forman Jr., former public defender and author of Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. The increase in the jail and prison population has risen from fewer than 200,000 in 1972 to a staggering 2.2 million today. The panel of activists and authors will address how we’ve gotten here and how we might reform our broken criminal justice system.

Don’t miss this challenging discussion.

Recent Events

Perfect Wave, an evening of music featuring singer songwriter Josephine Foster, percussionist Michael Zerang, musician Ka Baird and vocalist Nick Hallett.

Keeping It 100 — Challenging School Segregation,keepingit100sml a presentation of Epic NEXT’s Laundry City, written and performed by NYC public high school students, hosted in partnership with New York Appleseed and The Century Foundation.


“Queer Conflicts,” hosted in collaboration with the Bureau of General Services, Queer Division booksellers, and “When the Bell Tolls,” hosted in collaboration with Green-Wood Cemetery, panels bringing together activists, writers, and historians in two Bookend events presented as part of the 2016 Brooklyn Book Festival.

600 Highwaymen
600 Highwaymen,Summer Artists-in-Residence, including four open rehearsal showings of “The Fever,” a work in progress

Hymn to Life: Timothy Donnelly’s Epic Poem Hymn to Life Read and Sung, a work-in-progress concert version of stanzas 1-23, David Skeist, Composer, James Rutherford, Director, Laura Butler Rivera, Choreographer with Mixed Chorus. In collaboration with M-34 Productions

Facing America
Facing America: Portraits of Refugees Resettling in the U.S., an exhibition of photographs by Hidemi Takagi, commissioned by the Forum.

Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11, book launch and lecture by author Harriet F. Senie, art historian.

Past Events

Bee Space, Exhibition of Glass Works by Emma Stein, Exhibition by artist Emma Stein

Music of the Masters: Wagner, Strauss, Berlioz, Menotti, Recital by dramatic soprano Korin Kormick

Back to Life: Resurrection Reimagined, Exhibition with NYFA featuring artists Desirée Alvarez, Felix R. Cid, Jamie Diamond, Sinéad Cullen, David Sandlin, Michael Greathouse, Ellen Grossman, Katya Grokhovsky, Jen P. Harris and Hidemi Takagi

I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches, Exhibition by artist Nancy Azara

Facing America
Old Love, New Love: Songs of Romance through the Ages, a concert by vocalist Michael Winther.

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