By on November 13, 2014

Detroit-Bankruptcy-Art-5

As part of the overall strategy of lifting Detroit out of bankruptcy, the Detroit Three have signed on to provide the Detroit Institute of Arts with a $26 million contribution to be distributed over the next 20 years.

Detroit Free Press reports Ford and General Motors each contributed $10 million, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles threw in $6 million to the pot. Toyota added $1 million, and a group of suppliers gave the museum $2.2 million.

The total contributions made up part of the $100 million DIA had sought for its part of a grand bargain fundraising effort at the center of Detroit’s restructuring plan, an effort totalling $816 million that would go to reduce employee pension cuts and save the museum’s collection from the auction block.

The Detroit Three’s contribution took some time to work out, as their respective charitable foundations normally commit to one-time and short-term donations. Thus, the trio came together to meet with other foundations to understand how best to go about throwing down for the cause, as well as with Judge Gerald Rosen, the judge who helped put the grand bargain together. By April, Ford committed its $10 million, with GM and its foundation splitting their contribution, and FCA directly adding its $6 million.

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31 Comments on “Detroit Three Contribute $26M To Detroit Grand Bargain Fundraiser...”


  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Why? The DIA may as well be in the path of the Kilauea lava flow.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The area around the DIA is actually very livable. I used to work across the street from the DIA and lived within a short walk. It is still and island in the middle of a sea of despair though.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      The DIA is really special. Go see it and your opinion about Detroit may actually sway. I took my girlfriend (who has lived most of her life in SC) to the D for a weekend getaway. She loved the city.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I agree, the DIA is a special place. The Diego Rivera murals alone are worth the price of admission.

        Thank you for spending your hard earned dollars on visiting Detroit, we appreciate it.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      It must be said that I’m speaking out my ass since I’ve never visited it.

      Having spent my first 25 or so years watching a beloved and important city get all hamstered up, I’m knee-jerk cynical and despairing of great civic institutions in America.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    What I want to hear is Mayoral and Council Members taking pay cuts ~

    _NOT_ the Rank and File Employees money being STOLEN ~ do not forget : they ALREADY PAID for their pensions .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Omnifan

      I’d also like to hear that the DIA director ($510,000 per year)and executive director ($369,000 per year) take a pay cut so we can eliminate the three county tax stipend for the DIA. All Graham Beal needs is a red nose to go with the clown bow tie.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “$510,000 per year”

        For administering an art museum. In Detroit. Whose main exhibits have been there for 80 years. I stand in awe of this Pork Meister.

        • 0 avatar
          Duaney

          I’ll administer the museum for a measly $100,000 per year. Where do I sign up?

        • 0 avatar
          faygo

          the DIA is considered among the top museums in the US. the director’s compensation is apparently competitive or below what might be expected for a similar sized museum, with a collection of it’s caliber. I am not making any value judgement on whether an museum director should make that sort of money, but if compensation is competitive (or below the market) I don’t see it as any sort of point of contention.

          AFAIK, there has not been any indication that the museum is poorly managed, nor involved in any sort of financial issues. it just happens to be owned by the city and is therefore part of the asset base on which the bankruptcy was settled.

        • 0 avatar
          Roberto Esponja

          + 1

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          For administering one of the premier collections of art in the world, valued in the billions of dollars (the highest estimate during the bankruptcy was $8.5B). Where it’s located doesn’t make that job any easier.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        They gave their bonuses back, I think that’s as good as we are going to get. Supposedly Graham is underpaid.

        I’m more concerned about the $11+ million the Jones Day Law Firm, the Emergency Manager’s former employer, was paid during the backruptcy process.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I work for a relatively small cap company (about 200M in revenue) and I know for a fact our President is not paid $510,000 per year even if you factor in his company car payment (MY10 or 11 Deville). Not only should Graham be immediately fired, he should be fined $510,000 and banned from the city.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        The entire Toyota donation will be gone in just over a year for just the director and executive director.
        Maybe Mitsubishi and Kia will kick in to cover their wages for 2016. Or maybe not.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          This wasn’t meant to cover the operating costs for the DIA. This is money transferring through the DIA to the city of Detroit for reducing pension cuts and turning the DIA in to a charitable trust to protect the art from creditors.

          This shouldn’t even be a big deal since the $26 million from the Big 3, over the next twenty years, is in line with what they have given the last twenty years. It’s just down on paper now. Once the DIA milage ends in 2022, the museam should have a large enough endowment to fund all operations. The millage currently provides the about the same amount of cash in a year as the Big 3 will contribute over the next 20.

          • 0 avatar
            Rick T.

            It won’t help:

            “Documents filed with his court show that Detroit plans to continue its past practice of making undersize pension contributions in the near term while promising to ramp them up in the future. This approach is by no means unusual; many other cities and states do it, on the advice of their actuaries. Detroit’s pension fund for general city workers, now said to be 74 percent funded, is scheduled to go into a controlled decline to just 65 percent by 2043; the police and firefighters’ fund will slide to 78 percent from 87 percent. After that, the city’s contributions are scheduled to come roaring back, bringing the plan up to 100 percent funding by 2053.”

            Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

            http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/detroit-emerges-from-bankruptcy-pension-risk-still-intact/?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        What really angered me was when pushing that tax through, they promised free admission for people living in the three counties. They neglected to inform the citizens that this would exclude any exhibitions that you would like to go to.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          @mbella I understand why you feel that way, and they probably should have been clearer about what it covered — but most of those extra cost exhibitions are traveling shows that are paid for by ticket revenue. Often the ticket money is going to the museum that organized the exhibition, not the one that’s hosting it. If they couldn’t charge a separate ticket price, they probably couldn’t get the show at all.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            The problem was that Mr. 500k sold that ballot measure as free admission. It wasn’t really free, just made every household in the the three Detroit metro counties pay up front, whether they visit or not. This art gallery should be run by admissions, and charitable donations such as those in the article. If they can’t run the place on that, then the market has spoken. I would rather pay for some firefighters than give $500k to this dirtbag.

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Since all of Detroit’s financial problems stem from gross mismanagement, is this money going down the same rabbit hole?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The DIA is not run by the City of Detroit. Per the DIA website:

      “Under a 20-year agreement with the City of Detroit (Feb. 1998-Feb. 2018), museum operations are the responsibility of a non-profit corporation known as The Detroit Institute of Arts. The non-profit corporation is run by a volunteer board of directors, which appoints and supervises the museum’s director and CEO.”

      The building, property, and art is technically owned by the city of Detroit but some of that gets complicated. Some pieces of art can’t be sold because they were specifically donated for display at the DIA. The Ford family, among plenty of other art donors, isn’t going to just let the city sell art they’ve donated over the last 75 years or so.

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