Detroit Institute of Arts in the Post-Bankruptcy Era

DIA exec on what’s changed, what hasn’t in the last year.

MACKINAC ISLAND — The post-bankruptcy era is bringing changes to the Detroit Institute of Arts, some related to the case, some not. 

Museum Chief Operating Officer Annmarie Erickson discusses the last year with WDET’s Sandra Svoboda during the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Among the changes: New challenges for museum fundraising. 

“Raising $100 million for Detroit’s pensioners in the grand bargain means we took a whole lot of people off the table in terms of our own fundraising efforts. So we’ve had to re-strategize around that,” Erickson says. 

As part of the “grand bargain,” the DIA committed to contributing $100 million to the pension funds in exchange for sparing city-owned artwork from sale to pay financial creditors.

What’s stayed the same: Attendance is steady, especially with this Spring’s “Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo in Detroit.

And constantly improving: The museum’s relationships with the city of Detroit and suburban communities.

“We’re located in the city of Detroit. We do a ton of programming in Detroit. Detroit will always be first and foremost in our hearts, but we also serve the tri-county area now, and that’s very important to us. We are making great inroads in terms of doing programs out in the counties and bringing more residents of the counties into the museum,” Erickson says.

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation. 


  • Recovering Bankruptcy Reporter/Blogger looking forward to chronicling regional revitalization on-air, digitally and through community engagement.