Trading art for city's future
Why have we been stubborn about the issue of using Detroit's assets stored at the DIA to improve Detroit Public Schools (DPS)?
Its about the future of the city and it's citizens. Our first thoughts concerning the art was it should not be sold and under Chapter 9 bankruptcy law the city was not obligated to sell the collection to pay debts so the art collection could be left in tact.
Per The article, "Mullins said Ford House officials didn't release news of the sale when it occurred for fear of causing further problems for the DIA, which by then was at the center of the bankruptcy debate. DIA director Graham Beal, who was unaware of the Cézanne sale until recently, agreed that the publicity and price would have emboldened creditors — or the emergency manager's office — in their arguments against the museum's absolutist stance against selling art.". $100M for Cézanne painting? Ford House couldn't refuse, December 19, 2014Once again the focus was on saving the DIA and not the city.
In order to accomplish a level of prosperity, including a solid tax base, it is necessary to have a solid middle class and that will not happen without a good school system. Middle class families will not move to Detroit if its schools are under performing.
DPS is in need of improvement and it will take time, disciplined oversight, a solid plan and plenty of money. Realistically it will take a good part of a decade to turn DPS around. Expecting a total turn around in less time is not realistic. Progress will be seen quickly but a complete turn around will take longer.
The good news with such a plan is there is no need for a fire sale of all the art. It can be sold as needed over a period of years. More