Skip to Main Content
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Orsós, an Internationally Recognized Curator of Cultural Events, Is Outgoing Director of the PEN World Voices Festival

New position will emphasize innovative programming and cultural education for Brooklyn’s diverse population

Brooklyn, NY— Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) will welcome László Jakab Orsós as its first vice president of arts and culture later this month, the Library announced today.

As a member of the Library’s executive leadership team, Orsós’ role will be two-fold: to further define the strategic vision for the institution’s arts and culture programing and to support the creative community that turns to the Library both for inspiration and for access to its many free resources.

“Jakab Orsós is a tremendous talent whom we are thrilled to welcome as our first vice president of arts and culture,” said Linda E. Johnson, president & CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “With his guidance, we will continue to establish Brooklyn Public Library as a premier New York City cultural institution, bringing exciting new programming to communities throughout the borough.”

Mr. Orsós will lead the effort to build on and expand the audience for BPL programming, which in the past year has featured such accomplished guests as author Salman Rushdie, economist Robert Reich, novelist Michael Cunningham and pop music sensation Pharrell. He will also set the strategic direction for arts and cultural programming at Central Library and all BPL branches, including the Culture Commons at South Site, a new library space planned for the BAM Cultural District.

Orsós currently serves as director of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the only international literary festival in the world with a human rights focus. It attracts the world’s best-known writers and has garnered broad global acclaim as one of the world’s foremost literary events.

"I am excited to join the Brooklyn Public Library team to help the institution elevate its already remarkable cultural programs to another stage," said László Jakab Orsós, Brooklyn Public Library's new vice president of arts and culture. "BPL is at the forefront of a new era for libraries—one which puts art in a larger socio-cultural context in order to speak to wide and  diverse communities. I can`t imagine a better place than Brooklyn to conceive and produce relevant and innovative projects that reach out and take inspiration from a multi-layered community and I am honored to accept this opportunity."

Before his arrival in New York, Orsós had a career in Hungary and Europe as a writer, scriptwriter and creative writing instructor. He founded Hungary’s leading contemporary literary journal, and in 2004, co-wrote the animated Hungarian feature film The District! which won the main prize at the 2005 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Orsós relocated to the United States in 2005, working as a diplomat and curator and overseeing Hungary’s cultural presence in New York and Washington, D.C. Beyond his curatorial work, Orsós is an advisory board member at Human Rights Watch and has served previously as a board member at the Open Society Foundation, overseeing arts and culture.

#          #          #

About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:

close navigation