Arts organizations around the nation are sitting up and taking notice of how the DIA confronted their financial situation and how they got public buy-in.
"What to do? Mr. Beal went to the voters, asking the residents of Michigan's Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to pass a modest 10-year-long dedicated property-tax increase known as a "millage." It would supply up to $23 million in public funding each year for the next decade—91% of the DIA's annual operating budget—thus buying time for Mr. Beal and his colleagues to build up the museum's operating endowment to the point where it can bring in sufficient income to pay the bills.
Sounds great, huh? But how do you get suburban taxpayers to pony up in support of a museum located in the heart of a city on which most of them long ago turned their backs? That's the beauty part: Mr. Beal announced that the residents of every county that passed the millage would be admitted free to the DIA. Otherwise, he said, the museum would be forced to close on weekdays and lock the doors to half of its galleries."
Read the rest here