DETROIT (WWJ) - The Detroit Institute of Arts has announced that it intends to raise $100 million in an effort to protect the pensions of city retirees — and protect the museum's art from being sold in bankruptcy.
According to a statement from Detroit bankruptcy mediators, the museum plans to raise the money from corporate and individual donors, and combine that money with more than $700,000 pledged by private foundations and the state of Michigan.
Museum officials say the plan is a win-win-win for retires, the DIA, and the entire city.
"The DIA's management and volunteer leadership forthrightly agreed to accept this challenge, despite its difficulty and the many other fundraising commitments the museum manages annually," said Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr., chairman of the DIA Board of Directors. "We are hopeful this agreement will allow Detroit's bankruptcy to move forward smoothly as we all work toward a brighter and better future for Detroit."
"It's important to note that the DIA is not in bankruptcy, in fact it is functioning extraordinarily well. And, while this new challenge will stretch our fundraising abilities to their capacity, the DIA will continue to provide the residents of Detroit and Michigan with amazing art and exciting programs," Gargaro said. "The DIA has consistently met its financial challenges and goals and will meet this challenge with enthusiasm and confidence."
In a statement, federal bankruptcy Judge Gerald Rosen said the he and the mediators appreciate the depth of the DIA's commitment to the city and its retirees. "As the mediation team continues to work toward a complete, fair and balanced agreed-upon Plan of Adjustment, the DIA's significant undertaking will play an important role in our efforts," he said.
Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has until March 1 to propose a plan to take the city out of bankruptcy.
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