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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Change Agent Consortium host a 'Save the Art' rally on 5/29 opposing EFM Kevin Orr proposed sale of Detroit Institute of Arts public works

English: Detroit Institute of the Arts

English: Detroit Institute of the Arts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(DETROIT) – In an unprecedented move, Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is considering possibly having the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) sell parts of its art collection to help pay down the city’s debt.

 The DIA, noted as one of the best museums in the country, has been put on notice by Orr that its art collection is a city asset and could be sold to help with Detroit’s estimated $15 billion to $17 billion debt. CAC will hold a Save Our Art rally on Tuesday, May 29th at the front of the DIA at 11 a.m. in support of the DIA not selling its collection. The DIA is located at 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
Photo Credit - Change Agent Consortium
"The cancer of emergency management continues to spread with now almost 1 million citizens in the state of Michigan living under an emergency manager. With about 9.1 percent of Michigan's total population living under dictatorship, these state takeovers are more than an attack on democracy. In Detroit, emergency management now threatens our cultural integrity. Art is an expression of freedom.  
It makes sense then that an emergency manager would see art and democracy as expendables in the trench warfare of austerity politics. The proposed selling of significant works of art in the DIA collection is not the best solution for dealing with long term debt obligations and financial instability. Not only does this kind of thinking create more divisiveness between a supposed poor Detroit and wealthy suburban interests, but it fails to articulate an innovative and empowering plan for a holistic Detroit recovery," said David Alexander Bullock, Change Agent Consortium national spokesperson.

New York saw a fiscal crisis in the late 1970s, but at no time was the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art considered to be put up for sale. Museum officials have said that the art collection is in a public trust and the agreement between it and the city precludes the selling of any art; outside of selling art to purchase other art or to enhance what is already in the collection. However, Public Act 436 gives Kevyn Orr the power to cancel contracts. 

In 2012 voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties passed a tax millage in order to support the DIA. The millage provides $20 million per year and has allowed the DIA to enhance the exhibition and educational programs. 

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