Brecht Forum

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The Brecht Forum was an independent Marxist[1] educational and cultural center in Brooklyn, New York, named after German writer Bertolt Brecht. Throughout the years, the Forum offered a wide-ranging program of classes, public lectures and seminars, art exhibitions, performances, popular education workshops, and language classes.[2][3][4]

The Brecht Forum closed in 2014. Many of the teachers and activists from the Forum have continued offering classes and discussions through the Marxist Education Project, which was founded following the Forum's closure and operates out of the Brooklyn Commons in the Boerum Hill neighborhood.[5][6]


The Brecht Forum was founded in 1975, as the New York Marxist School by a collective of civil rights, community, labor, and student activists.[7] It was named after Bertolt Brecht, who once argued that those who fight for Communism must be able to both fight and renounce fighting.[8] Brecht Forum has been described as one of the governing directorate of the subculture that emerged out of New York's complex Marxist underworld.[8] It is also associated with the city's "left ecosystem" and the #Occupy movement.[9]

In 2004, it moved to Westbeth, 451 West St., New York, NY,[10] formerly Serge’s Gym where its program also included the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory,[11][12] the Institute for Popular Education,[13] and Neues Kabarett series..[14] In 2012, it moved to the Commons in Brooklyn at 338 Atlantic Avenue, where its successor organization, the Marxist Education Project, now hosts many events each year.[15] [16][17] The Brecht Forum's website is being maintained as an archive at The site contains videos and audio recordings of programs over its close to 40-year history. Additional archival material is gradually being digitized and added to the site.

At the Brecht Forum, people communicate, meet, and display their art.[18]

Financial crisis discussion[edit]

On October 6, 2008, a discussion panel “An Offer We Can’t Refuse?” was held, on the financial crisis included Naomi Klein, Arun Gupta, Frances Fox Piven, William Greider, and Doug Henwood.[19][20] In the discussion moderated by Christopher Hayes, the panel of progressive intellectuals and activists proposed radical solutions in response to the crisis.[21]


  1. ^ Joseph, Channing (4 November 2010). "At the Brecht Forum, Communists Pontificate and Play". The New York Times.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Archived 2010-02-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "The Marxist Education Project — The Brooklyn Commons". The Brooklyn Commons. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Our Legacy — Marxist Education Project". Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  7. ^ Archived 2010-02-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b Kaplan, Jeffrey; Lööw, Heléne (2002). The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization. Walnut Creek, CA: Rowman Altamira. p. 335. ISBN 0-7591-0203-1.
  9. ^ "The Lamentable Demise of the Brecht Forum". 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  10. ^[permanent dead link]
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2009-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "NYC Fitness Clubs". Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-11-22. Retrieved 2009-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "The Brecht Forum". Music, Time Out New York.
  18. ^ Antoinette Mullins (16 December 2008). "New Ways of Thinking: The Brecht Forum". Harlem live.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Casey Samulski (November 26 – December 2, 2008). "Fathoming the financial crisis at the Brecht Forum". The Villager. 78 (26). Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Heuvel, Katrina vanden (2009). Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover. Perseus Books Group. ISBN 978-0-7867-4363-6.

External links[edit]