Detroit art museum makes pitch for voter support

Associated Press
Auguste Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" is shown outside The Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. The Detroit Institute of Arts is working to persuade voters to authorize a tax to support the cultural institution, promising free admission and expanded programing if it passes while raising the possibility that the museum would be a shadow of its current self if it's rejected.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
.

View gallery

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Institute of Arts is working to persuade voters to authorize a tax to support the cultural institution, promising free admission and expanded programing if it passes while raising the possibility that the museum would be a shadow of its current self if it's rejected.

The Aug. 7 vote follows last year's shuttering of the nearby Detroit Science Center after the educational attraction's appeal for a cash infusion fell flat and comes as museums around the country learn to survive without support from state or local government budgets.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is asking voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to approve a 10-year tax that works out to $20 per year on a home worth $200,000. It would raise an estimated $23 million a year, nearly as much as the museum's current annual operating budget.

"The DIA will have the kind of financial stability it hasn't had for 40 years," said Graham W. J. Beal, the museum's director.

The museum would get a decade to focus fundraising efforts on building its endowment, Beal said, with the long-term goal of becoming financially independent. If the proposal fails, however, he said the museum would be forced to cut its hours, opening only two or three days a week. Some galleries would close to the public, and the museum would no longer have special exhibitions that routinely draw big crowds.

The museum has appealed to voters using TV ads and yard signs, as well as a busy spring and summer of events.

The request has drawn some resistance, including from state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, who said the museum isn't in as bad of financial shape at it claims. McMillian, who also opposed a successful effort by the Detroit Zoo in 2008 to get area voters to pass a similar tax, said the art museum should spend money from its endowment and raise more money from donors instead of seeking taxpayer backing.

"It's typical when somebody wants a tax increases to cry that sky is falling," McMillin, a certified public account, said this week.

Others, however, have come out in support of the 0.2-mill tax. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who oversees the state's most prosperous county, likens the amount of the museum's request to the price of "a bad day at Starbucks." He said the museum is among the region's premier cultural amenities.

The museum was funded by the city of Detroit until the 1970s, when state support replaced local funding. That backing has since disappeared. In 2009, the museum cut its budget from $34 million to about $25 million and shed nearly 20 percent of its employees, but it says the high cost of maintaining its facilities and protecting its collection make further cuts unworkable.

The lack of city or state financial support for the museum is similar the financial situation of many U.S. cultural institutions, said Ford W. Bell, president of the American Association of Museums. Attendance generally is high, he said, but admission is a small portion of a museum's budget.

Ron Kagan, the Detroit Zoo's director, said falling property values in the area reduced the financial boost of its voter-approved tax, from an estimated $15 million a year to about $11 million this year. Still, he said, the money has brought crucial financial stability.

The art museum modeled its proposal after the zoo's, which made a pitch featuring animals and children warning that the zoo needed help.

"We basically felt that this regional resource and asset was something that was of great value to the community," Kagan said, reflecting on the 2008 request to voters. "We really, very explicitly put the question in front of residents: 'Is the zoo worth keeping?'"

___

Online:

http://www.dia.org

___

Follow David Runk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/runkdavi

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Trump slapped with federal lawsuit in New York

      A group of American lawyers on Monday filed a federal lawsuit in New York against Donald Trump, accusing the US president of violating a constitutional ban on accepting payments from foreign governments. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is pursuing Trump over his vast business holdings, from which the billionaire has refused to divest fully, saying that as president he can have no conflict of interest. CREW says Trump's business properties abroad operate based partly on goodwill from foreign governments and regulators, but that under the US Constitution no federal official can receive a gift or "emolument" from a foreign government.

      AFP
    • Man convicted of 3 murders as teen kills himself in prison

      CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — A man who broke into a classmate's home in 2007 and stabbed the teenager and his parents to death has killed himself in prison, authorities said Monday.

      Associated Press
    • Minnesota Gov. Dayton, 69, collapses during speech

      ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed while delivering his State of the State speech on Monday, striking his head on a lectern. The 69-year-old Democrat appeared to be conscious as he was helped into a back room several minutes later, and a top staffer said he walked out of the Capitol under his own power.

      Associated Press
    • What's in the Box? Social Media Goes Wild Over Tiffany's Gift Melania Trump Gave Michelle Obama

      It led to an awkward exchange after Michelle Obama was unsure what to do with the gift.

      Inside Edition
    • Royals' Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Yordano Ventura quit school as a teenager so he could begin working a construction job to help his family make ends meet, laboring day after day in the hot sun of the Dominican Republic.

      Associated Press
    • The Sig P320 is the U.S. Army's New Sidearm

      The new pistol replaces the 80s vintage M9 handgun.

      Popular Mechanics
    • 12 bodies found in Mexican tourist town: officials

      A dozen bodies -- including seven that were headless and mutilated -- were discovered over the weekend in western Mexico's seaside resort of Manzanillo, apparent victims of the country's epidemic of drug violence, local officials said. It was a shocking turn of events for an area popular with American and other foreign tourists, which until now had largely been spared from the bloody drug wars wracking other parts of Mexico. Seven bodies were found early Saturday in an abandoned taxi on the road from Manzanillo to the town of Cihuatlan.

      AFP
    • Tesla Model S 100D Launches With World's Best Driving Range, 335 Miles

      It doesn't have the outrageous acceleration of the Performance models, but it's got the best range of any production electric car.

      Road & Track
    • A Plea to Trump Fans: This Man is Dangerous

      The president is not just lying to you and me—now he’s lying to himself.

      GQ
    • Chelsea Clinton shuts down trolls who targeted Barron Trump

      Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton has spoken out in defence of Barron Trump, the US president's youngest son, after trolls targeted him with cruel memes online during the inauguration.  In a Facebook post Chelsea, who spent much of her teenage years in the spotlight while her dad Bill Clinton was president, said the 10-year-old "deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid".  But she also turned political: "Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids". Criticism of Barron's facial expressions and posture during the inauguration was widespread on social media, with people mocking him and calling him out for looking bored.  A Saturday Night Live writer even tweeted: "Barron will be this country's first homeschool shooter". The tweet was later deleted.  People on Facebook praised Chelsea for defending Barron while also expressing her political ideas:  BONUS: Donald Trump's inauguration address included a Bane quote ›

      Mashable
    • Protesters take control of Mexican border crossing with US

      TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Protesters took control of vehicle lanes at one of the busiest crossings on the U.S. border Sunday to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes, waving through motorists into Mexico after Mexican authorities abandoned their posts.

      Associated Press
    • Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi, says China has ‘taken a huge toll on my life’

      Smartphone startup Xiaomi began life as a peculiar beast. From within the safety of China, the company did all it could to copy every last detail of Apple's devices and marketing strategy, knowing there was precious little Apple could do to stop it. When Apple's portfolio was exhausted, Xiaomi moved on to Samsung, copying a large portion of its device lineup as well. But then, the company realized that it could only go so far selling phones in China and a handful of other markets. As growth was on track to slow substantially, Xiaomi knew that it had to work its way into other top-tier markets around the world. And so Xiaomi Global was born. The Xiaomi subsidiary has hit a few rough patches over the course of the past three-plus years, but today may be its roughest to date. On Monday, Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra announced that he is leaving the company. In a post on Facebook, Barra confirmed that he is leaving the company and moving back to Silicon Valley. "When Lei Jun and Bin Lin came to me nearly four years ago with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player, I embarked on what has been the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life," Barra wrote . "I moved to Beijing, 6,500 miles out of my comfort zone in Silicon Valley, to build from scratch a startup team within a bigger startup. This journey has been nothing short of spectacular in every way, and I can proudly say that Xiaomi Global is the first baby I helped bring into the world." Then, his post took a curious turn. "But what I've realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health," Barra said. "My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I've left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return." It's unclear exactly what Barra means when he says that working at Xiaomi in Beijing has "taken a huge toll" on his life and affected his health, but he goes on to run down some of the things Xiaomi Global has accomplished since he joined the company. Most notably, the company has expanded sales into Russia, Mexico, Malaysia and more than 20 additional markets. Of note, Barra will still play a role at Xiaomi moving forward. Mi president and cofounder Bin Lin confirmed in a post on Facebook that Barra will be an advisor to the company following his departure. "When Hugo joined us 3.5 years ago, we started an amazing adventure to turn Xiaomi into a global player," Lin wrote . "We have come a long way since, and I couldn’t thank him enough for contributing so much to Xiaomi’s journey. As much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I’m also looking forward to working closely with him in his new role as advisor to Xiaomi."

      BGR News
    • Samsung blames Galaxy Note 7 fires on faulty batteries

      The world's biggest smartphone maker Samsung blamed faulty batteries on Monday for the fires that hit its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device last year, as it sought to draw a line under the humiliating recall. Samsung Electronics was forced to discontinue the smartphone, originally intended to compete with Apple's iPhone, after a chaotic recall that saw replacement devices also catching fire. Internal and independent investigations "concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents", Samsung said in a statement.

      AFP
    • Fans outraged with lack of support from Taylor Swift

      The internet doesn't seem too happy with the fact that Taylor Swift chose not to participate in last weekend´s Women´s March on Washington movement.

      Zoomin TV
    • Thousands of bird deaths draw focus on brimming toxic pit

      BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — It was an unusual and unfortunate confluence of events: A larger-than-normal number of geese was making a later-than-normal migration over Montana when a snowstorm blew in at the wrong time and sent them soaring to the wrong place.

      Associated Press
    • 1 dead, multiple injured San Antonio shopping mall shooting

      SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said.

      Associated Press
    • 2018 BMW M4: Light Updates

      This year's evolution of the M4.

      Car and Driver
    • Rachel Carson doc tells the environmentalist's inspiring life story

      Before Rachel Carson became the mother of the modern environmental movement, she was stuck in a job that paid the bills but left her restless. A new documentary revisits Carson's days as an information specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1930s and '40s, where at first she filed mundane reports about the agency's conservation work.  It was in that role that Carson learned about DDT — a potent pesticide that farmers sprayed indiscriminately over their crops. Carson exposed the chemical's widespread environmental damage in her groundbreaking 1962 book, Silent Spring.  SEE ALSO: Hawaii's bees are now protected under U.S. Endangered Species Act Her work inspired President John F. Kennedy to launch the first U.S. investigation into the public health risks of pesticides, which later prompted policymakers to create new safeguards for protecting the environment.  The PBS documentary Rachel Carson draws on the biologist's own writings, letters and recent scholarship to tell her inspiring life story. The film features the voice of actress Mary-Louise Parker as Carson, who died in 1964 after a long battle with breast cancer. Rachel Carson premieres as part of PBS' American Experience program on Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. ET. Dude builds the epic Lego train set of your dreams, puts a camera on it Watch 19 buildings collapse into a giant dust cloud These secrets from 'The Hurt Locker' will blow you away 'Eff everything and everyone': Tennis comeback star gives best speech ever

      Mashable
    • Trump makes early move on restricting abortions around the world

      By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday reinstated a global gag rule that bans U.S.-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion, a move that was widely expected but nonetheless dismayed women's rights advocates. The rule, which affects American non-governmental organizations working abroad, is one that incoming presidents have used to signal their positions on abortion rights. It was created under U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

      Reuters
    • Fatal plane crash at Tucson airport

      Private plane down in Arizona

      FOX News Videos