DIA

Arts & Culture
4:25 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

When it comes to DIA rumors, here's what's really true

Let's tackle three rumors about what could happen to the DIA.
Flickr

Hear the full story above. It has more sound effects than the web-only version!

Editor's Note: Corrected Abigail Esman's name from "Eisman" to the proper spelling, Esman. The proper pronunciation rhymes with "says man", not "ice man."

Right now, appraisers from New York Auction House Christie’s are sifting through some 3,500 pieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

As part of the city’s bankruptcy case, the Emergency Manager is paying them to put a price on part of the collection.

Of course, that’s fueling even more fast-flying rumors about losing great works to private collectors, or getting massive loans for the city using Monets as collateral.

So here’s a quick field guide to what’s true, and what’s just talk.

Read more
Stateside
4:28 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

The state of Michigan's museums in the digital age

DIA

For every time Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr declares there are no plans to sell off DIA treasures to satisfy creditors, he also says, "all options are on the table."

Detroit Institute of Arts officials are leaving no stone unturned as they work to protect its collection from the storm of Detroit's bankruptcy.

We wondered, with the art world's attention focused on the DIA, how are other art museums in Michigan faring? And just how are they drawing in visitors in this digital age when most of us can look at priceless art images with just a few clicks of a mouse?

Joining us for this discussion is Bridge Magazine contributing writer Nancy Derringer, whose recent piece in Bridge has the hopeful headline: "Far from Bankrupt: Michigan art museums thrive despite economic woes."

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
7:29 am
Fri September 6, 2013

In this morning's headlines: Medical marijuana, MSU prof rant, auction house back at DIA

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

PTSD and insomnia patients urge medial marijuana panel to allow use

"A state advisory board heard overwhelming testimony in favor of approving medical marijuana for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia. The board is considering ailments not already included under Michigan’s voter-approved medical marijuana law," Jake Neher reports.

MSU pulls professor from classroom for anti-Republican rant

"A Michigan State University professor has been pulled from the classroom, after a conservative group posted a video online that showed him delivering an anti-Republican rant during a class," Steve Carmody reports.

Auction house comes to the DIA again

Detroit newspapers are reporting that Christie's Auction House visited the Detroit Institute of Art for the second time yesterday to appraise the museum's collection. Detroit's financial situation has raised concerns about whether the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection might be at risk of sale. However Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has said he has "no plans to use art to relieve  the liquidity crisis that the city is in now."

Stateside
5:09 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

What's worse than the idea of selling the DIA collection?

DIA

As we’ve seen, even the merest hint that portions of the DIA collection will be appraised by experts from Christie's has led to impassioned pleas from all around Michigan to keep the artwork out of the bankruptcy proceedings.

 Among the many voices raised in this state-wide conversation is that of long-time Detroit journalist Bill McGraw. His recent piece in Deadline Detroit says it all? "Six Things About Detroit That Are Worse Than The Idea of Selling Its Artwork." Bill McGraw joined us today.

Stateside
5:07 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Parsing Kevyn Orr's words about the DIA

user aMichiganMom Flickr

This week, the City of Detroit released the transcript of a deposition given by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr late last month as part of Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings.

 While being questioned about the value of the city's art collection and whether the artwork would be used to help solve Detroit's liquidity problem, Orr said, "no, there are no plans to use the art or any other asset in particular to liquidate it to relieve liquidity issues in the city. What I have said and continue to say, all options are on the table." Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been parsing what Kevyn Orr said during his deposition and has come up with another possible role that the DIA artwork might play in the bankruptcy drama. Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:04 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The DIA is facing trouble from Oakland County

user aMichiganMom Flickr

An interview with Daniel Howes.

It's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

And today he's got his eye fixed on the storm clouds that are gathering over the Detroit Institute of Arts. This particular growing cloud comes from the Oakland County.

Daniel Howes joined us today to talk about the troubles the DIA now faces.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
12:04 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Auction house seeks meeting with officials from Detroit Institute of Arts

DIA

DETROIT (AP) - Officials with the international auction house Christie's want to meet with the Detroit Institute of Arts officials. Christie's has been hired to appraise pieces in the museum's collection as the city seeks bankruptcy protection.

   DIA Executive Vice President Annmarie Erickson tells The Associated Press Wednesday that the art institute is "in the process of scheduling a meeting with Christie's to determine how they want to handle this."

   The city purchased many of the pieces in the DIA collection years ago during more prosperous times, and art could be considered assets in a bankruptcy.

   State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr made the bankruptcy filing last month.

   DIA Director Graham Beal told The Detroit News that the museum would sue to block any potential sale of works from its collection, noting that such litigation could take years.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the meeting had been requested by the DIA. Michigan Radio regrets the error.

Politics & Government
9:02 am
Wed August 14, 2013

This week in Michigan politics: Common Core hearings, suburbs weigh in on DIA, Flint's master plan

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo Flickr

Jack Lesenberry and Emily Fox discuss the week's big news stories in Michigan.

This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the upcoming hearings on Common Core, the suburban reaction to the possible sale of DIA art, and Flint's new Master Plan.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:46 am
Wed August 14, 2013

In this morning's news: pet coke removal, Jackson layoffs, and the DIA collection

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Deadline set for the removal of pet coke

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has ordered the removal of all petroleum coke from the city's riverfront.  Detroit Bulk Storage must remove the material by Aug. 27.  The Associated Press reports that the storage company failed to move the pet coke by a previous deadline set by Detroit's Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department.

Jackson city employees face layoffs

Some Jackson employees may be laid off after a blow to the city's budget.  The Michigan Court of Appeals struck down Jackson's storm water fee as an illegal tax.  Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports that "since 2011, the city collected more than two million dollars from the fee to pay for street cleaning and leaf pick up. But without the storm water fee revenues, Mayor Martin Griffin says the city will have to cancel those city services and lay off the city employees who performed them."

Oakland County leverages DIA millage

Oakland County is trying to protect its contributions to the Detroit Institute of Arts.  There is concern that the $23 million in annual millage money from several counties may fall into Detroit's creditor's hands rather than the DIA.  Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports that "Oakland County officials have threatened to revoke its portion of the millage if the DIA’s assets are diminished, or if any of that millage money ends up going to pay off the city’s debts."

Politics & Government
10:01 am
Thu August 8, 2013

State attorney general ready to defend DIA collection in bankruptcy court

The Detroit Institute of Arts.
user aMichiganMom Flickr

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he’s prepared to defend the Detroit Institute of Arts collection in federal bankruptcy court. Schuette recently released an opinion that the artwork cannot be sold to satisfy the city’s creditors because it is held in a public trust.


Schuette spokesperson Joy Yearout says he’ll take that position in front of Judge Steven Rhodes if the city puts the collection on the table.

“If and when the issue of how the DIA’s charitable trusts are treated in bankruptcy comes up in court before Judge Rhodes, the attorney general will be prepared to defend the position that they should be protected,” Yearout said.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:20 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Detroit to put a price on DIA, Windsor Tunnel and other assets

Peter Martorano Flickr

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr announced today that the city will start figuring out how much its assets are worth.

This comes as the bankrupt city is wrangling with creditors about how much of Detroit’s $11.5 billion unsecured debt will actually be repaid.

Orr also says he’s hiring Christie’s auction house to appraise the city-owned portion of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection.

It’s tough news to those still holding out hope that the museum will emerge unscathed from the bankruptcy process.

Read more
Newsmaker Interview
9:33 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Director of the DIA says 'too soon to panic'

Graham Beal is Director, President and CEO of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Interview aired on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013.

Detroit’s bankruptcy filing has triggered waves of speculation about what the future holds for the city. In recent months questions have circled around the Detroit Institute of Arts. The debate is whether the institution's art collection could be used to help Detroit balance its budget. But a recent opinion piece in the New York Times written by Director of the DIA, Graham Beal, cautioned against speculation about the museum’s future. 

Here's a quote from the article:

I call upon  journalists to resist the temptation to jump to disaster scenarios or to make the D.I.A.’s singular and highly complicated situation part of a broader story about the structural challenges faced by museums in general.

Listen to the full interview above.

Economy
4:35 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Detroit's assets are under review amid crushing debt

Art in the DIA is the topic of many discussions about Detroit's future.
Photo courtesy of the DIA

Kevyn Orr is Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager. And he has some pretty extraordinary powers to chart the course of Detroit’s potential bankruptcy—and its future.

Last Friday, Orr took questions from reporters. The very first question he faced was pretty much, ”What’s for sale?”

“Right now there’s nothing for sale, including Howdy Doody.”

Orr was actually referring to the Detroit Institute of Arts, whose collection includes the original puppet from the 1950s children’s TV show. Though no one knows for sure, the DIA’s total assets — which include masterpieces by Van Gogh and Picasso — could be worth about $2.5 billion.

Read more
Arts & Culture
7:17 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

New laws will protect DIA and Detroit Zoo millage funding

The Detroit Institute of Arts
DIA

The Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Institute of Arts will now get millions of dollars in tax revenues as promised from the metro region.

Several metro cities were capturing some of the revenue generated by multi-county millages voters approved to support the zoo and the museum.

The cities claimed they were allowed to by state law. A Wayne County Circuit Court decision supported that claim.

Annmarie Erickson is the Chief Operating Officer of the art museum. She credits the public’s outcry for the new legislation signed into law today. 

Read more
Law
4:06 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Michigan AG says state law protects DIA assets from bankruptcy sale

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Maia C/Flickr

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has released a legal opinion that says the collection held by the Detroit Institute of Arts cannot be sold if the city goes into bankruptcy.

The opinion was issued in response to a request by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.

The opinion says the assets owned by the Detroit Institute of Art are held in a public trust for the people of Michigan, and cannot be used to pay off the city's debts. Schuette says in the opinion, "In Michigan, we not only appreciate our cultural treasures, we guard them zealously."

Detroit has $15.6 billion dollars in long-term liabilities, and emergency manager Kevyn Orr will need to take some drastic measures to pay those debts.

Kevyn Orr -- who is a bankruptcy attorney and turnaround expert -- is in the middle of negotiating a debt reduction plan with the city's creditors. He has said there are no guarantees the DIA's assets would be off the table in the event of a bankruptcy.

Arts & Culture
3:09 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Detroit's Van Gogh better off in LA? Freep writer says that's crazy

Nancy Kaffer says Detroiters should "keep an eye out for a blonde lady with a chisel near the Diego Rivera murals."
DIA

In a recent piece in Bloomberg, Virginia Postrel (a political and cultural writer) argues that the "cause of art would be better served" if the DIA's major works were in other, 'more deserving' cities.

Her argument:

Read more
Politics & Government
11:36 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Other cultural institutions on notice after DIA assets counted

The Detroit Institute of Arts.
DIA

The Detroit News' Christine Ferretti writes this morning that other Detroit cultural institutions are on high alert after the news came that assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts are being counted as potential assets of the city that can be sold to pay off debts.

Read more
Politics & Government
8:42 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Commentary: Sell Detroit’s art treasures?

Lessenberry commentary for 5/28/2013

Before I went on vacation two weeks ago, I thought I could no longer be shocked by anything that might happen in Detroit.

Earlier this spring, the state took over the control of the city, after decades of decline, neglect, crime and financial mismanagement. Nevertheless, I was stunned to come home to the news that Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr might consider selling off the priceless collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts to pay down the city’s massive long-term unfunded liabilities.

Many people didn’t realize the city owned the museum and its collection, which has been run and financed by the private Founders’ Society for years. But technically the city does.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Could the DIA be forced to sell art to pay creditors?

DIA

Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, wants to account for assets held in the Detroit Institute of Arts, which has sparked fears that part of the collection could be sold in the future.

We've posted information here, and Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek will have an update for us later today.

Update 11:34 a.m.

The DIA just put out this statement on their Facebook page:

"The DIA strongly believes that the museum and the City hold the museum’s art collection in trust for the public. The DIA manages and cares for that collection according to exacting standards required by the public trust, our profession and the Operating Agreement with the City. According to those standards, the City cannot sell art to generate funds for any purpose other than to enhance the collection. We remain confident that the City and the emergency financial manager will continue to support the museum in its compliance with those standards, and together we will continue to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of Detroit."

9:19 a.m.

Detroit is in a big financial hole, and the man in charge of righting the ship wants to know what can be sold.

Mark Stryker and John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press report that Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is considering whether the DIA's art collection should be counted as assets that can be sold to pay debts:

Liquidating DIA art to pay down debt likely would be a monstrously complicated, controversial and contentious process never before tested on such as large scale and with no certain outcome. The DIA is unusual among major civic museums in that the city retains ownership of the building and collection while daily operations, including fund-raising, are overseen by a nonprofit institution.

Stryker and Gallagher report on the many hurdles facing such a sale, including ...

  • restrictions on selling off city assets in municipal bankruptcy law,
  • museum ethics and operating rules that forbid selling art,
  • opposition from patrons who donated art,
  • and major a public outcry against such a sale:

“There would be hue and cry the likes of which you’ve never heard,” said Ford Bell, president of the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, D.C. “The museum should be a rallying point for the rebirth of Detroit and not a source of funds.”

Orr spokesman Bill Nowling said there's no plan yet to sell any asset of the city, but he said all the city's assets must be accounted for.

Read more
Politics & Government
10:57 am
Fri May 24, 2013

In this morning’s news: Orr eyes DIA art as city asset, Hamtramck finances, prom shooting in Saginaw

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Detroit looking to sell art from the DIA?

Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is considering whether the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts should be counted as a city asset. If so, it could be sold to help cover the city's $15 billion debt.

The DIA Executive Vice President Annmarie Erickson has hired a bankruptcy attorney to help advise how to protect the collection. However, as The Detroit Free Press reports, liquidating the art to help pay the debt would be incredibly complicated and controversial.

Hamtramck faces financial turmoil

According to a state-appointed review team, the City of Hamtramck faces a financial emergency.

The results of the investigation were released on Thursday. Six years ago, Hamtramck emerged from state oversight. Now its more than $3 million in debt. Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith reports, if Governor Rick Snyder agrees with what the review team found, city leaders could opt for an emergency manager.

Pre-prom shooting in Saginaw

A 17-year old female died as a result of a shooting at a Saginaw High School pre-prom party.

Three other women were also injured during the shooting and are receiving treatment. According to an MLive report by Jessica Fleischman, the incident occurred in the parking lot of the Florence Event Hall. Officials have not revealed whether the 17-year old was a Saginaw student or if suspects have been identified.

Pages