The Detroit Institute of Arts announced today that the city’s automakers will contribute $26 million to the museum’s $100 million share of a “grand bargain” fund destined to support municipal pensions. The funds were raised pursuant to a deal struck in early May meant to save the museum’s art collection from possible sale or collateralization; last Thursday, the Detroit City Council unanimously approved Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to transfer ownership of city-funded artworks in the DIA collection to an “irrevocable trust” in exchange for the promised $100 million in contributions to pensions over two decades, the Detroit News has reported.
The museum had initially approached the car companies in May with a request for a combined grant of $50 million. Speaking at a news conference today, DIA board chairman Gene Gargaro and Michigan governor Rick Snyder stated that Ford and General Motors have each pledged $10 million and Chrysler $6 million to the DIA’s share of the fund. In addition to the museum’s portion, the overall grand bargain constitutes $195 million in state tax dollars and $366 million contributed by various local and national foundations.
Other major donors — in Michigan and elsewhere — are expected to follow suit. According to the Detroit News, DTE Energy Co. may be considering a contribution of $5 million, and the DIA has reached out to several companies and individuals for donations, including Quicken Loans and the Penske Corporation. The Detroit Free Press reports that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Los Angeles-based Getty Foundation are said to be considering financial support as well.
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