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Detroit Institute of Arts might receive help from Detroit’s 3

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As we learnt during our visit to FED, Detroit is in bankrupt… well, we already knew that, but we also learnt that the city is reaching out to philanthropic organizations and Detroit-based car manufacturers to help pay the city’s debt. During our visit the help from Detroit’s 3 had not already been announced, but the people at FED were being optimist about it since the city had always been there for them during their hard times.


Selling art pieces from the museum we visited was considered to be a short term solution to pay for pensions. This decision was controversial since museums are not allowed to sell their art pieces unless the money is used to buy more art. After today’s announcements, this might not have to happen since the Detroit 3 compromised to help out the city not only with their debt, but also through more investment on the Detroit Institute of Arts to “revitalize” the city, a similar idea as what Tyree Guyton is trying to do with the Heidelberg Project. By helping out the museum and other areas of the city the car manufacturers are betting on a long term solution to Detroit’s bankruptcy, they are betting on a rebound for the city since, as we have been told at FED, it can get any worse. Detroit’s 3 keep a huge pride in who they are and where they come from, they are from the motor city, they revolutionized the industry multiple times, and they would not let the city to fully die now that they are out of their own problems. One has this feeling when watching Chrysler’s add with Eminem ( for those who have not seen it:, to show who they are, but also to remind people that even if the city is in bad conditions they can still compete agains other luxury brands.  Detroit might never go back to its glory days, but with all this help, the city hopes to avoid big cuts in the pensions, keep its industry, and go back to being an attractive place for tourists.


  1. Peter Wittwer
    Peter Wittwer

    I think the main aspect in making Detroit a tourist destination again is to get people to move back into the city. In order to get people to come back to Detroit, crime must be controlled and schools must be reformed. Once people see that Detroit is safe and the school system isn’t awful it will become a destination for families. Their are great jobs available in Detroit, the big 3 are constantly hiring new engineers, plus as the downtown improves a variety of banks and other firms will continue to move into Detroit. That seems to be the formula for making Detroit a more attractive place to live in, the only question is how can the local and state government fix the main problems that are keeping people from moving back to Detroit.

    May 14, 2014
  2. Jier Qiu
    Jier Qiu

    Art is an important role in education, which Detroit clearly lacks of. However the Detroit 3 also have their own problems to solve, and this is not the first time that D.I.A and the city of Detroit are in bankruptcy. I personally think all of the help fund should go into a charatible trust, then use the trust to buy all artworks in the DIA. Then the trust gives the artworks back in long-term loan to the DIA. In this way the institute would never be the subject of any bankruptcy.

    May 14, 2014
  3. Kade Kenlon
    Kade Kenlon

    It is a difficult task to revitalize Detroit because of the terrible conditions that the city faces. With homes in the city that have so much debt to pay off, it is not very attractive to families to move there. The Detroit 3 will have to accept working in a dead city of may have to consider moving. I don’t see a lot of potential for the city to make a comeback.

    May 14, 2014
  4. “The Detroit 3 may have to consider moving” — uh, they moved long ago, GM only has HQ in Detroit but not engineering, Ford has nothing, Chrysler has one (large) assembly complex.

    I’m looking at the (online) Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press once every week or two, some sense that the city’s decline may be slowing, and certainly there are a few “trendy” neighborhoods that may even have modest population rises on a very local basis. However, the latest stats are that the city is down to 680,000 from the previous level of 700,000. I’m not sure what metrics I’d want, I guess I’d take it as a really good sign if the city catched up on demolishing abandonded buildings (which the Heidelberg Project now is structured to accept, when the alternative is arson…).

    May 23, 2014

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