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WSJ: Prokhorov, "successful businessman in his home country," gives $1 million to BAM

The Wall Street Journal reports, in Playing Ball in Brooklyn Arts, that billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's $1 million gift (to an arts institution that backs the Barclays Center and once was chaired by his partner Bruce Ratner) can pay dividends:
The owner of the Brooklyn Nets and his sister, Irina Prokhorova, have made a $1 million grant to the Brooklyn Academy of Music through the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund. The grant will be announced Thursday at a cocktail reception before the BAM 30 Next Wave Gala, as will the new artistic partnership the grant will support, the TransCultural Express: American and Russian Arts Today.

The three-year program will help bring a series of modern Russian films to BAMcinématek, allow Russian scholars to participate in BAM events and support bringing U.S.-based Illstyle & Peace Productions, a multicultural dance company, to Siberia in the spring. It is the fund's first grant to a U.S.-based cultural institution...
"Good neighbors"

While that certainly may be appreciated by BAM-goers and Russian-Americans, Prokhorov wants more, according to the article:
The goal of the partnership is to promote more of an understanding between the two cultures, as well as for Mr. Prokhorov, a successful businessman in his home country, to be a good neighbor to the community surrounding the Barclays Center.

"BAM is our next door neighbor in Brooklyn. Barclays Center arena is a five-minute walk," he wrote in an email. "They are strategic advisors on the cultural programming for the arena. What do good neighbors do? They hold a block party, they borrow sugar from one another and they collaborate on projects for the neighborhood, which is what we are doing."
Well, there are various definitions of "good neighbors," and the construction of the Barclays Center has not been so neighborly. As for "successful businessman," in post-Soviet Russia, that covers a lot of ground, including common corrupt if not illegal dealings.

Charitable contributions, especially when accompanied by pleasant press coverage, help people forget that.

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