(CBS Detroit) A key component of what’s known as the Grand Bargain is a deal to help protect pensioners as Detroit goes through bankruptcy. That deal depends on the Detroit Institute of Art reaching its $100,000,000 fundraising goal.
And in the process, they’ve just been reviewed by a watchdog for its fiscal responsibility.
A $32,000,000 budget is what it takes to operate and maintain the Detroit Institute of Arts considering it’s home to some of the world’s greatest artist’s works including van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir and
Not to mention a well-known mural of Detroit’s industry. “No one else has the Diego Rivera murals.” said Annmarie Erickson, Executive Vice President of the DIA.
It takes funding to raise the cash to secure and protect these works. That fundraising effort was recently praised by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, a score of 65 out of a possible 70. Putting it above the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Cleveland Institute of Art according to Erickson.
While some of the budget is supported by philanthropy — the bulk comes from taxpayers, from Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties, in the form of a recently passed millage.
“The millage this year will earn us about 23 million dollars. So that’s a huge part of our operating budget,” said Erickson.
It’s 75 percent of the DIA budget. That’s why some have spoken out about the public expense of running the museum while other tax-funded services struggle in this bankrupt city.
While the DIA director, Graham Beale, makes an estimated annual salary of more than 426-thousand dollars — there are under-funded police departments, county sheriff’s departments are over budget and pensioners are destined to take a large hit in their retirement plans.
U.S. art is expensive.
“While his salary may seem high to some. If you look at his peers, he is on the low end,” said Erickson. She put it into a national perspective adding, “you have to pay what the market bears to fill the position.”
Indeed, it does fit in line with other comparable U.S. museums. New York, Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis – director salaries range from $200,000 to more than $1,000,000. Even though the director of the famed Louvre in Paris pulls in a comparatively paltry $109,000.
The 4-star rating from a respected charity watchdog – seems to show the DIA is doing things as expected.
This feature is part of CBS 62’s Eye On Detroit series as seen weekdays during “CBS This Morning”.