Strut Your Own Met Gala Fashion at Brooklyn Public Library's People's Ball

After a four-year hiatus, BPL is hosting the People's Ball again on May 1.

Photo by Gregg Richards, courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library
Photo by Gregg Richards, courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library

If the Met Gala's $35,000 ticket is a little over your budget, Brooklyn Public Library might have a solution for you.

After a four-year hiatus, Brooklyn Public Library is relaunching its own gala—dubbed the People's Ball—on Sunday May 1, the night before the Met Gala. It takes place at BPL's Central Library at Grand Army Plaza; everyone is welcome to participate, and the event is completely free.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own personal style to the floor and to fully express themselves and their culture through garments and accessories. Guests will be free to walk the runway and strike a pose while also dancing the night away in a celebratory environment, which is aimed at showcasing true self-expression.

The ball will honor BPL's 125th birthday and it will be hosted by authors Isaac Fitzgerald and Scaachi Koul. Throughout the night, guests can expect performances from Rimarkable, Inyang Bassey, Opera Gaga, and Paris the Hip-Hop Juggler, among others.

Photo by Gregg Richards, courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library

While sipping on a drink special, guests will be able to mingle and enjoy the presence of special guests like fashion curator Souleo, Grandassa models from the historic African American fashion show "Naturally '62," Lenape Center Co-Founder Joe Baker, models from the legendary Harlem Institute of Fashion's Harlem Week runway shows, and multi-disciplinary artist and fashion designer Damian Jöel, the latter of who is also a distinguished alumnus of the BPL's Bklyn Fashion Academy.

The ball, which comes right after BPL's latest initiative to combat book bans, is part of the library's mission to foster inclusion and welcome diversity, celebrating all New Yorkers and inviting guests to "share in the festivities and showcase the colors, textures, and styles that make up the city's urban runway."

"Open and welcoming to all, the People's Ball is a chance to showcase Brooklynites in all of our creative, idiosyncratic, resilient glory," said Brooklyn Public Library's President and CEO Linda E. Johnson in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome people from across the borough to celebrate one another in one of the most democratic and creative spaces in the borough."

Doors will open at 7 pm, and while it is free to attend, RSVP is recommended—as is bringing and wearing a face mask. Follow @bplpresents for updates on participating guests and performers, and RSVP for the ball here.