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Detroit Institute of Arts to debut a more sociable Kresge Court June 14 - Museum’s signature space becomes the place to go for food, drinks and casual social gatherings

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

(Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will debut a revitalized Kresge Court on June 14, featuring new seating, lighting and easy technology access for visitors. A sophisticated menu of light fare, coffee and cocktails will be available during museum hours and a “cultural concierge” will be on hand to provide information on the DIA and Midtown happenings. A number of discrete areas have been designed for different but overlapping activities, such as reading, studying, dining, meetings and conversation.

The purpose of the redesign is to turn one of the museum’s most architecturally stunning spaces into a comfortable space where visitors can relax, socialize and meet informally. “Kresge Court is undoubtedly one of the glories of the DIA,” said Graham W.J. Beal, DIA director. “Although its precise function has varied over the years—from open-air garden to cafeteria, to an event venue, we are bringing it back to its original function as an elegant place of relaxation and social engagement.”

The project is funded by a $268,500 grant from ArtPlace, a collaboration of foundations, banks, and federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. Local designer Patrick Thompson was hired to help the museum rethink its indoor and outdoor spaces in collaboration with the DIA’s ArtPlace partners, including NBS Commercial Interiors, Steelcase, Midtown Detroit Inc., the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and CultureSource. Bradford Frost, a Detroit Revitalization Fellow at the DIA, led the project from concept stage through its execution.

The South Lawn will also be developed as a community gathering space as part of the ArtPlace grant. The museum will use the outdoor area to strengthen its connection to street life along the Woodward corridor as Midtown continues its evolution into a highly walkable community. The DIA will install improved seating and lighting, activating the lawn as a venue for innovative seasonal events, including concerts, new community-based programs, local food trucks and other outdoor activities, from lawn games to drum circles.

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties and DIA members receive free general admission. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17.

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: Pamela Marcil (313) 833-7899