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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

Censorship at Brooklyn Public Library

A net of political fear seems to be widening across Brooklyn.

There is a an exhibition opening at the Brooklyn Public Library on February 13. It is a re-exhibiting of an art show called Footprints: Portrait of a Brooklyn Neighborhood which was on display in Prospect Heights' Grand Space in November, 2006. According to the original show's website statement:
The proposed "Atlantic Yards" arena and building complex in Brooklyn is poised to be one of the largest redevelopment projects ever undertaken in New York City. Its targeted 22-acre site is known as the "Footprint."

In the midst of the debate over "Atlantic Yards" and Brooklyn's future, local artists have banded together in an effort to move beyond the sound bites and take a closer look at this place, its community, and at issues surrounding redevelopment.

Their work may be viewed on this site, and will be exhibited at the Brooklyn Public Library's Main Branch, on Grand Army Plaza, from Feruary 13 thru April 21, 2007.
It is now being reported on the Real Estate Observer blog that particular works in the show's re-display at the Public Library have been excluded. That's one word for it. We call it censorship. From the Observer:
He [original Footprints show co-organizer Dan Sagarin] said library officials saw the exhibit when it was up at Grand Space last fall, and decided then not to take the more overtly critical pieces, including one very large portrait his sister, Sarah Sagarin, painted of arch-opponent Daniel Goldstein, as well as other, more abstract work....
Two of the several works the library censored (or "refused") for being "too critical," include: an exquisite depiction of the proposed arena as a toilet bowl, by artist and manager of Freddy's Bar and Backroom Donald O'finn; painter Sarah Sagarin's portrait of DDDB spokesperson and eminent domain plaintiff Daniel Goldstein. Other "rejected" work includes this photo and this photo by photographer Amy Greer.

The Observer follows up its initial story with this statement from the Public Library which seems to attempt to explain themselves by stating it is publicly funded.

But the statement does not answer the question: how are these works "too critical," and if they are "too critical" why would that prohibit them from inclusion as per the original vision of the exhibit's coordinators- a vision which must have caught the Public Library's eye?Everyone knows the "Atlantic Yards" project is controversial and has drawn a lot of public interest. We'll assume that is precisely why the Public Library chose to exhibit the show. But why, then, have they chosen to cherry pick it and run from what they purport to be "controversial" works?

As reported in the Observer story, Freddy's will exhibit the "refused" art works, in a show opening on February 22nd with a reception on the 23rd. According to the Observer:
...Fortunately, one of the rejected artists, Donald O'Finn, knows some French, and he is mounting a "Salon des Refusés de la Bibliothèque de Brooklyn" at the condemned bar he manages, Freddy's, with an opening Feb. 22...
In a bit of "irony" The Brooklyn Papers reported in August (emphasis added):
Library courts Ratner for big cash infusion
The Brooklyn Papers. By Ariella Cohen

Big shots at the Brooklyn Public Library are eying developer Bruce Ratner as the key “partner” they need to jump start their long-delayed Visual and Performing Arts Library just two blocks from his proposed Atlantic Yards project.

No deals have been brokered between the institution and the developer, but officials from Forest City Ratner are talking to library trustees about funding the $120-million arts library, The Brooklyn Papers has learned...
Interestingly, just three weeks ago another great Brooklyn civic institution, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, did not find it "too political" to host a press conference extravaganza for the Ratner/Barclays arena naming-rights agreement. Of course there was no elephant dung involved in that event.

Posted: 2.08.07
DDDB.net en español.
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
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November 24, 2009
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