August 5, 2019 (ROYAL OAK) – Detroit Institute of Arts’ Board Chairman Gene Gargaro and Oakland Community College Chancellor Peter Provenzano today officially signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) solidifying a new partnership between the two institutions.

“This exciting new partnership provides us with additional opportunities to raise the awareness and importance of the arts in southern Oakland County with greater access to museum programs, enhance the DIA’s image as a family-friendly space, and supports OCC’s vision to reinvigorate its campus in downtown Royal Oak as a center for arts in the region,” said DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons.

This partnership between the world-renowned art institution and Michigan’s largest multi-campus community college features education opportunities and art-focused events for community and students, professional development for faculty and staff, and initiatives to build awareness of the DIA and OCC; and extends high-quality art offerings to the community.

“Partnerships are key to OCC’s growth and innovation,” said OCC Chancellor Provenzano. “Working with the DIA brings new resources to our campuses for arts-focused initiatives and activities, including a unique training program to improve students’ critical thinking skills.”

As part of the celebration, Gargaro and Provenzano unveiled a reproduction of “Portrait of Postman Roulin” by Vincent van Gogh from the museum’s Inside|Out program. Kresge Artist Fellows and OCC faculty members Tylonn Sawyer and Michelle May, Oakland County Commission Board Vice Chairwoman Marcia Gershenson, and Royal Oak City Commission Mayor Pro Tem Sharlan Douglas revealed two further artworks. Currently in its tenth year, the DIA’s Inside|Out program brings high-quality reproductions from the museum’s collection to outdoor venues throughout the community. As part of the new partnership, OCC will be the first to feature five campus locations and five local communities throughout Oakland County with 15 pieces of art.

“I am very pleased and excited about this new collaboration. This new partnership between the DIA and Oakland Community College will certainly benefit everyone across the county,” said Board Chairman David Woodward, Oakland County Board of Commissioners. “Today's announcement of the DIA’s Inside|Out program that places art throughout the five OCC campuses expands the reach of the DIA and enhances the experience for everyone. These were the type of innovative partnerships envisioned when Oakland County and the DIA started our partnership 10 years ago.”

Following the unveiling event, a special demonstration of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), hosted by the DIA, was offered to those in attendance. VTS is a teaching method that improves critical thinking and language skills through discussions of visual images. As part of the partnership between the DIA and OCC, the museum will provide VTS training to OCC faculty and adjunct faculty.

ABOUT OCC: With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at

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 residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.