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The awards rack up: BRIC, opening Celebrate Brooklyn season, honors Forest City's Berliner

Roots musician John Pinamonti once sang, "It makes me sad/yeah it's such a pity/they're trying to rename Brooklyn/Forest City."

Well, in one extension of that, executives at the developer have been racking up awards.

Not just the controversial Jacqueline Onassis Medal last year to Chairman Bruce Ratner and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin.

Not just honorary degrees (Long Island University, Medgar Evers College) to Ratner. Nor the Brooklyn Museum award to Ratner.

Honoring Forest City's Berliner

Now comes the Celebrate Brooklyn Opening Night Gala & Concert, coming this Wednesday, 6/3/15, featuring a performance by Chaka Khan and honoring Forest City Ratner Chief Operating Officer David Berliner.

(The Gala is sold out; the concert itself is free--donation expected--and open to the public.)

Berliner is in certain ways a worthy honoree--he has brought art to public places, including the Barclays Center. But surely the honor is associated with the recognition--as with other awards to Forest City executives--that his colleagues will help raise money for the nonprofit organization.

And all that buffs Forest City's image and deflects attention from the Culture of Cheating, such as the deceptive use of the EB-5 program to raise cheap capital for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

It's all another version of "posing for holy cards," distracting people from the pursuit of the green.

Focusing on art

From the announcement:
Honoring David Berliner
David Berliner
David Berliner is the Chief Operating Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies and a passionate supporter of the arts and art in public places. Mr. Berliner’s (and Forest City’s) long-standing friendship with BRIC began in 1992 with Forest City’s first development in Brooklyn, One Pierrepont Plaza, which housed BRIC’s Rotunda Gallery as its cultural component.
At Forest City Ratner, Mr. Berliner is responsible for overall corporate leadership and optimizing the diverse operating portfolio of the firm, which owns and operates 34 commercial, retail and residential properties in the New York metropolitan area. A successful negotiator and problem-solver and a respected leader, Mr. Berliner has been integral to the growth and success of Forest City Ratner since joining the firm in 1989. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Berliner led complex negotiations to acquire the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team, and played an essential role in developing the team’s showpiece 18,000-seat Barclays Center arena and performance venue.

Given his love for and dedication to the arts, Mr. Berliner directed the curatorial arts program at Barclays Center, which features permanent commissioned works highlighting Brooklyn artists as well as inspiring exhibits. He is on the board of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where he serves as Treasurer. Mr. Berliner is also Chairman of the Board of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. As a founding member of MSPC’s Curatorial Committee, he has been a key member of the advisory group that sources and evaluates proposals to commission work of contemporary artists to be exhibited in the popular park.