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John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announces $19.25 million in support for Arts in Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts to receive $2.25 million as part of award

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

(Detroit)— The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) was awarded a $2.25 million endowment grant yesterday as part of a $19.25 million investment in Detroit’s arts community by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The DIA is one of seven institutions selected to receive funding for their commitment to artistic excellence and willingness to experiment in ways of engaging audiences.

“This generous grant will help the DIA fund innovative new programs that respond to community interests through a dynamic dialogue,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “It will also help us expand upon current engagement programs that highlight the role art can play in personal lives and communities.”

The funding is part of the Knight Arts Challenge, an initiative that aims to engage and enrich Detroit through the arts by supporting projects of organizations, individuals and grassroots groups . Of the $19.25 million in funding, $10.25 million is committed to seven established Detroit arts institutions, and the remaining $9 million will be granted over three years to the best art ideas submitted to a Knight Arts Challenge community-wide contest, launching in March 2013.

“We believe Detroit’s future will be driven by entrepreneurs, artists and designers, building on an impressive existing infrastructure,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation.


The grant continues a pattern of community-based programming at the DIA funded by the Miami-based Knight Foundation. Recent projects include the Rivera Court Detroit Industry multimedia iPad tour, Reveal Your Detroit—a public photography project inspired by the DIA’s Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010 exhibition—and Inside|Out, which brings high-quality reproductions of masterpieces from the museum’s collection to the streets and parks of communities throughout the region.

“This new grant extends our capacity to embed community engagement into the way we do business, and by creating an endowment for this work, Knight ensures it will continue into the future,” said Annmarie Erickson, DIA chief operating officer.

The Knight Foundation has previously offered the Knight Arts Challenge in Philadelphia and Miami, investing $22.5 million in 180 projects.

For more information about the Knight Arts Challenge, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. For more, visit



The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.


Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Contact:   Larisa Zade          313-833-7962