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DIA board to elect member from city of Detroit

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

The board of directors for the Detroit Institute of Arts is meeting Wednesday at the museum and is expected to elect a city of Detroit board member for the first time in its history.

DIA board Chairman Gene Gargaro said under terms of the city’s bankruptcy plan, in which the DIA was transferred from the city to the nonprofit DIA, the board must have a member representing the city of Detroit. Gargaro would not disclose the person’s name until the election.

Another first at the meeting: In attendance will be Knight Foundation leader Dennis Scholl, appointed by the “grand bargain” funders who helped save the collection in Detroit’s bankruptcy to represent their $366 million investment to shore up city pensions and protect DIA art.

Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight, where he oversees the foundation's national arts program, including the Knight Arts Challenge, was appointed by the Foundation for Detroit's Future, a new nonprofit created to collect and disperse grand bargain dollars to the city.

Scholl will attend meetings of the DIA board as an observer and report back to the FDF and its foundation partners.

Gargaro said, “It’s great to have a foundation designee so there is a lot of transparency and people understand what is going on at the museum better.”