Mission

Beam Center powers youth development and learning with creation, collaboration and educator professional development. We embed our teaching in workshops and projects inspired by our faculty's creative and technical practices. Students learn to collaborate and create while learning skills in welding, physical computing, carpentry, ceramics, textiles, video, programming and design. Our programs help young people build their character, develop skills and prepare for a life of continual learning and meaningful work. 

Beam Center, based in Brooklyn and serving all of New York City, is the 501(c)(3) outgrowth of a collaborative building program at New Hampshire’s Beam Camp founded in 2005. In running Beam Camp, founders Brian Cohen and Danny Kahn recognize that knowing how to use tools, how something works, how to finish something, and how to work together contribute to the formation of a healthy and reflective social and individual identity. 

Beam Center's core programs are: BeamWorks serving low-income, minority and immigrant teens in public schools as well as in out-of-school-time apprenticeship programs; Connected Teaching, our educator professional development program for NYC public school teachers; Inventgenuity, open to the community as a free annual Festival, free weekend workshops for middle school students and as year-round after-school and summer programs; and Beam Camp, a summer program in New Hampshire where campers and staff build a spectacular large-scale collaborative project chosen through an annual worldwide design competition.

Most programs take place at our large street-level space at 60 Sackett Street in Brooklyn, at the corner of Van Brunt Street. We're a ten minute walk from the F and G at Bergen Street, and one block from the B61 bus at Columbia and Union.

Beam Center is available for rental events. Contact rental@beamcenter.org for information.

Beam Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves young people of all abilities and economic backgrounds.


History

For three summers in the depth of the beautiful and complex 1970s, Beam Center co-founder Brian Cohen attended Lighthouse Arts and Music Camp in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. He went to study jazz saxophone. He left inspired by how the adult staff of musicians and artists worked with the campers not as teachers, but as collaborators and masters with a passion to share their craft with young people. In 2004, after eighteen years as a music business executive, Brian and co-founder Danny Kahn formed Beam Camp in Strafford, New Hampshire to bring the spirit of this extraordinary institution to a new generation. The Beam name is a tribute to Lighthouse. 

Since August 2005, Beam Camp has served 892 campers, aged seven to seventeen. Beam Campers cultivate hands-on skills while exploring innovative thinking, design and the creative process. Campers and staff build spectacular  large-scale collaborative projects chosen through an annual worldwide design competition.  For example, in summer 2013, campers constructed a collection of distinctive wooden swings and metal chimes installed throughout the forest. As the swings oscillated at various speeds and amplitudes, the hanging chimes responded proportionally in sound and motion, creating a symphony of floating forest chimes.

In late 2011, Danny and Brian founded the non-profit Beam Center as the New York home for Beam's philosophy and practice.

Beam Center piloted BeamWorks, a building program for teens, in January 2012, and began our after-school Inventgenuity Workshops with 16 kids a week in April 2012. We now serve 100 kids weekly in our storefront on Bergen Street in Brooklyn. 

The popularity of our after-school programs led us to create school break and summer day camp programs beginning in 2012. We continue to hold our large and exuberant Inventgenuity Festival each winter, and we frequently partner with other organizations to offer free activities and events to the community on weekends. 

In May 2013, Beam Center was selected to join the Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network alongside the likes of Carnegie Hall, the New York Hall of Science, and the Brooklyn Museum. 

In fall 2013, in addition to continuing Inventgenuity Workshops, Beam Center formally launched BeamWorks as a student internship and in-school program. The program is currently running at eight public schools throughout NYC.

In February 2015, Beam Center moved to a spacious new home at 60 Sackett Street in Brooklyn.


BEAM CENTER  60 Sackett Street Brooklyn, NY 11231   718-855-7600      MAILING LIST