Detroit Institute of Arts plans to raise $100 million to help bankrupt city

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor
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DETROIT - The Detroit Institute of Arts is committing to raise $100 million for the city.

In a statement Wednesday, the museum said its Board of Directors had approved the pledge to collect the money from both corporate and individual donors.

The museum said the money is needed to bring an "end to the city's bankruptcy, expand support for Detroit's pensioners and protect the museum's collection for the public in perpetuity."

The art museum's money will be added to pledges from the state and the community that total $720 million.

None of the funds raised by the DIA will directly benefit the DIA. The funds will be directed to a third party, which will disburse the funds for pension payments. As part of the agreement, the City of Detroit will transfer to the DIA free and clear legal title to the museum building, the art collection and all related assets. The DIA will continue to operate the museum with funds raised from its current donor base and from the tri-county millage.  

"It's important to note that the DIA is not in bankruptcy, in fact it is functioning extraordinarily well. And, while this new challenge will stretch our fundraising abilities to their capacity, the DIA will continue to provide the residents of Detroit and Michigan with amazing art and exciting programs," said Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr., chairman of the DIA Board of Directors. "The DIA has consistently met its financial challenges and goals and will meet this challenge with enthusiasm and confidence."

The DIA will focus its initial fundraising efforts on Detroit's corporate community. DIA leadership has compiled a list of initial prospects, finalized support materials, and held several preliminary conversations with interested donors. Details of the overall agreement are still in negotiation, but the DIA is moving forward with fundraising as those talks continue.

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