July 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

DIA secures 80% of its part of grand bargain

Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen speaks to attendees after commitments, totaling $26.8 million from nine corporations, were announced at a press conference Wednesday in the DIA's Rivera Court. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

Detroit — The Detroit Institute of Arts announced Wednesday that it’s secured commitments for 80 percent of the $100 million the museum is responsible for raising as part of its share of the grand bargain in Detroit’s bankruptcy.

DIA chairman Eugene Gargaro revealed the new commitments, totaling $26.8 million from nine corporations, at a press conference in the museum’s Rivera Court. Leaders of the companies involved were present for the announcement.

Making up the $26.8 million is $10 million from the Penske Corp., $5 million from DTE Energy, $5 million from Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures, $2.5 million from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1 million each from Meijer, Comerica Bank and JPMorgan Chase; $800,000 from Consumers Energy and $500,000 from Delta Airlines.

“A year and a half ago, if you’d told me this would happen, we wouldn’t have believed it,” said Dave Meador, DTE Energy vice-chairman and chief administrative officer.

Under the terms of the grand bargain, the museum is responsible for $100 million of the $816 million package worked out by 13 foundations and the state of Michigan to cushion cuts to Detroit’s pensioners and protect the museum’s art from being sold to pay the city’s creditors in the bankruptcy.

The first contributions to the DIA’s share came from Detroit’s Big Three automakers, who pledged $26 million in June, followed a few weeks later by two out-of-state foundations promising a total of $13 million — $10 million from New York’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and $3 million from the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. In addition, a local philanthropist, A. Paul Schaap, chipped in $5 million.

Together with the $26.8 million announced Wednesday, all these pledges amount to $70.8 million — about $10 million short of the 80 percent Gargaro had claimed. But after the press conference, he explained the museum has another $10 million in hand, which would bring the figure to about $81 million.

“The remaining balance comes from donors who don’t want their names made public,” Gargaro said, “and others who are still finalizing their pledges.”

“To see so many people come together to support the city and DIA, particularly when the challenge was so great, is just remarkable,” said DIA chairman emeritus Richard A. Manoogian.

Matt Cullen, president and CEO of Rock Ventures, said that Detroiters seem to have decided to put away the cudgels and work with one another in a fashion not seen for decades.

“People get it that the old style of confrontation and antagonism is no longer effective,” he said. “Dire circumstances have forced us to pull together.”