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Guess who's co-chairing the annual BRIC Gala?

Who doesn't love BRIC, which supports Celebrate Brooklyn and many other free arts events?

The page for the annual BRIC Gala, held 10/25/16, tells us the co-chairs are Ashley C. Cotton and Jessie McClintock Kelly. Cotton is Forest City Ratner's Chief of Staff and Kelly is a Columbia University fundraiser and former president of the Brooklyn Historical Society.

There's nothing wrong with Forest City Ratner executives helping raise money for worthy non-profits, and surely they'd be criticized if they avoided charity work.

But it also means that Forest City gets close to major Brooklyn institutions--the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library, among others, have all received major support. Sometimes Forest City executives have been honored. It's a cousin to lobbying.

That doesn't necessarily rule decisions made by these institutions, but, then again, I wouldn't bet there was zero influence, either. For example, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAM Rose Cinemas never screened the Atlantic Yards documentary Battle for Brooklyn, though presumably the potential audience was nearby. (The Brooklyn Public Library did do so, albeit nearly four years later.)