Prof. Abt comments on the history and funding of the DIA...

Detroit Free Press

"Detroit Institute of Arts' past puts its future in jeopardy"

by Mark Stryker

With the Aug. 7 primary a little more than two weeks away, both sides in the debate over a tri-county property tax millage to support the financially strapped Detroit Institute of Arts have been sharpening their messages. The DIA is seeking a property tax of 0.2 mill for 10 years. If passed in all three counties, the millage would funnel an estimated $23 million a year to the DIA. Some critics believe that once the tax is in place, it's only a matter of time before the DIA would begin lobbying for an extension. "The DIA's situation now is not the result of gross malfeasance," said Wayne State University Professor Jeffrey Abt, author of A Museum on the Verge, a 2001 socioeconomic history of the DIA. "The problems the museum is confronting are baked into its history."