In what may be this season’s version of elephant dung on the Virgin Mary, opponents of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn think the Brooklyn Museum has acted in very poor taste.
This evening, the Develop Don’t Destroy Group plans to lead a protest against the museum’s decision to honor Forest City Ratner CEO and Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner at its annual, $1000 per plate Brooklyn Ball. During a celebration at the museum, which also marks the opening of the new Takashi Murakami exhibition, the board of trustees will award the Atlantic Yards developer with the Augustus Graham medal. Named for the museum’s founding benefactor, the honor recognizes patronage of the arts and commitment to public service and generosity.
The gala event includes a special, post-dinner performance from rapper Kanye West. Now, even if the museum ain’t exactly sayin’ Ratner’s a gold digger, opponents do find it curious that some of his Forest City Ratner associates and Nets power brokers occupy the museum’s board and benefit committee.
As DDDB sees it, “We don’t question the Museum’s right to raise funds to support itself. We don’t even question the Museum’s accepting donations from Bruce Ratner. What we do take issue with is honoring and celebrating Bruce Ratner in light of what he has done and proposes to do to Brooklyn’s communities.”
Organziers are asking protestors to arrive at the Brooklyn Museum Plaza on Eastern Parkway at 6:30, when the cocktail hour begins inside the museum. Formal attire is encouraged.