Why Does Tonight's It Came From Brooklyn at the Guggenheim Cost $40?
Free Williamsburg has a thorough interview up today with the organizers of the Guggenheim's It Came From Brooklyn series, which begins tonight with a stellar bill: High Places, the Walkmen, and Colson Whitehead, with assists from the comedian Leo Allen and the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band. Co-producers Bronwyn Keenan and Sam Brumbaugh explain the borough-based concept--"it just seemed to us, more and more, half the time you hear something you like, or begin to read something you like, you look further and there's some mention of Brooklyn"--and tie the whole thing to a legacy of performance at the Guggenheim that also includes Marina Abramovic and Meredith Monk. (They compare It Came From Brooklyn to Abramovic's Seven Easy Pieces, the 2005 week-long event in which she reenacted seven of the most brutally taxing performance pieces of all time--which, OK.)
Not covered in the interview is why the event costs $40-$45 dollars. You can see High Places or the Walkmen on a pretty regular basis in this city for ten or twenty dollars; Whitehead, when he reads in public, usually does so for free. If this is a benefit for the Guggenheim, they're keeping that fact very much on the DL. Beyond a throwaway comment from Keenan about how events at the Museum "are crucial for the purposes of community-building and fundraising, all the more so during an economic downturn," there's no indication of why the ticket price is so high. Ditto for the Guggenheim's own site. We're less outraged than confused. Why is this event so incongruously expensive? Anybody know?
Friday Night @ The Guggenheim: We'll Come From Brooklyn [Free Williamsburg]