Voters to decide on DIA millage - New York News

Voters to decide on DIA millage

Posted: Updated:
Detroit Institute of Arts  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Detroit Institute of Arts (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of Detroit's most popular attractions, but the museum claims if it doesn't get help from taxpayers, it will have to close its doors. Supporters gathered last week for a "Save the DIA" rally.

"It's not very much, and I think ... to keep a jewel like the DIA in the City of Detroit is very important," said Adrienne Brown.

The frequent visitor of the Detroit Institute of Arts can't imagine her city without it.

It's why so many supporters attended a rally at New Center Park encouraging voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to approve a millage that would cost the average taxpayer $15 a year and generate enough money to keep the doors of the cultural gem open.

"We think it's a really great place to visit.  We're hoping that it stays," said Sheri Kam.  "So for $15 once a year, we've got unparalleled visits to the DIA."

Museum leaders claim the DIA has never recovered from the loss of funding from the city and state.  The DIA has sliced its budget, cut staff and special programs, but it's not enough.  Without the $23 million generated from the millage, the COO Annmarie Erickson claims we will see a gradual shutdown of operations.

"Will it shut our doors on August eighth?  No.  But that will happen."

However, state Representative Tom McMillin has been taking a closer look at the numbers.

"I'm a CPA.  I look at numbers as a very simple financial statement."

He claims the DIA has enough money to keep it running for years to come.  In fact, he claims over the last two years, the museum generated an additional $50 million and still has nearly $100 million in unrestricted funds.

"It's been increasing.  They haven't been dipping.  They haven't been reducing it by a dime.  They've been increasing it, so there's no need to pass this.  They're doing just fine.  They just need to keep doing what they've been doing."

We're told that $100 million McMillin is referring to is actually part of the museum's endowment, the DIA's investment fund preserving its financial future.  Erickson said using that money is like burning your furniture for heat.

"And you've burned one piece and two piece[s] and three pieces and finally you've burned all the furniture and you've froze to death.  We cannot use the endowment for that.  Responsible non-profit organizations do not use their endowment in that way.  That's the fastest road to closure."

"With times as hard as they are, I think that we should support it because it's something that we cannot afford to lose in the City of Detroit," Brown said.

If this millage passes, it would expire after ten years and the idea would be to focus on the fundraising and the endowment.  That way they can get to a point once it expires to just operating off that interest.

The voters will be able to decide when they head to the polls on August 7.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:59:51 GMT
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
  • Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:19:20 GMT
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
  • Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:57:17 GMT
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices