The DIA At A Turning Point: Passage Of A Small Millage Would Ensure Its Survival
The Detroit Institute of Arts has a lot riding on the Aug. 7 primary.
The DIA is hoping for the passage of a tri-county property tax millage to secure its survival as one of nation's great art museums.
The museum came of age in the first half of the 20th Century, when Detroit was booming, but, as Mark Stryker writes, has struggled for decades to adapt to a shrinking city. And it's the story of a museum that lacks either a large operating endowment or a reliable stream of public funding -- a systemic double whammy -- that sustain its peers in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston and elsewhere.
Despite a collection of masterpieces envied around the world and a landmark renovation and reinstallation in 2007 that broke down elitist stereotypes, no major American museum has endured the kind of turmoil the DIA has faced in the past 20 years.