Tri-county voters approve millage to keep Detroit Art Institute afloat (Detroit Free Press)

December 30, 2012 – An extraordinary thing happened on Aug. 7. A majority of voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties voted to tax themselves to keep the financially beleaguered Detroit Institute of Arts from falling into a death spiral. That’s right: People voted for higher taxes to pay for art — they decided it was worth the money. It was a watershed moment for the museum, perhaps for all of culture in Detroit. The yearly property tax — $20 on a home worth $200,000 — promises to funnel about $23 million annually into DIA operations for the next 10 years, and it represents the DIA’s first stable source of public funding in a generation. The museum’s successful tax initiative put an exclamation point on a post-recession turnaround that left Detroit’s cultural sector far stronger at the end of 2012 than at the beginning.

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