Posted on September 12, 2012 • Posted in Detroit, What We're Thinking About

The Detroit Institute of the Arts has heads turning again.

Back in 2008, the art world, for the most part, gave the DIA a collective nod of approval for the renovations and the resulting improvements to the visitor experience.  Those in the know have suggested that other museums rethink their approach to displaying art.

One thing the DIA wasn’t known for was its fiscal acumen, and that wasn’t necessarily the fault of leadership there.  Complete cuts in city and state funding and the economic crisis meant that the DIA was desperately trying to keep its head above water.  No one looked to the DIA for leadership on sustainable funding.

Other arts institutions across the nation – including some of the largest and most admired in the country – face financial crises and possibly shutting their doors for good.  They have slashed their budgets dramatically, as the DIA has.

Now, the arts community is sitting up and taking notice of the DIA.  With the three-county millage passed in August, they are looking to the DIA as a model for creative solutions to revenue shortfalls that threaten to shut them down entirely.

As an added bonus, the DIA’s visitor numbers tripled in the days following the vote.