Two years ahead of when it was set to expire, multiple outlets are reporting that the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will seek another tri-county millage for the 2020 ballot.
Voters in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties passed a 10-year millage in 2012, which added around $23 million a year in funding to the museum. At the time, the DIA said it would not seek a renewal, but instead set up an endowment that could fund 60 percent of its $38 million annual operating budget.
Critics warned that the DIA would in fact seek a millage renewal, which in 2012 passed easily in Oakland and Wayne counties, but narrowly in Macomb.
The DIA says the new millage will allow the museum to continue to offer many of its services, educational opportunities, and admissions free of charge. David Flynn, DIA senior vice president of community and public affairs, told the Detroit Free Press that should the ballot measure fail...
[I]t will be difficult to provide free general admission, free field trips with free transportation, free senior programs and community partnerships such as our Inside Out and Public Art programs. The museum will also have to reduce its operations.
Flynn also said that while the endowment has reached $230 million, in 2014 it had to raise $100 million to prevent DIA artworks being sold during Detroit’s bankruptcy.
The decision to seek a millage was approved by the DIA’s board on November 4. According to the Detroit News, it now must be passed by each county’s arts authority before December 17 to be on the ballot.