Advocacy – Require the WCAIA to account for the ~$10M/year they transfer to the DIA

Objective: require the Wayne County Art Institute Authority (WCAIA) to implement checks and balances to ensure that Wayne County’s citizens receive full value from the ~$10M/year they transfer to the DIA.

Actions and Outcome to Date:

Making the WCAIA accountable for the money they transfer to the DIA is a long-term project that we have broken into smaller steps.

1. Make the WCAIA hold open meetings and publish meeting minutes. This is complete, see here.
2. Make the WCAIA/WCC follow a transparent process for appointing board members to the WCAIA. This is in process, see here.
3. Complete a benchmark of the DIA in relation to similar museums in comparable U.S. metropolitan areas.
4. Make the WCAIA engage in a participatory budgeting process in order to get meaningful public input
5. Make the WCAIA include appropriate benchmarks and services when establishing the service contract with the DIA

Background: over the next decade the DIA will likely collect around $105M in millage funding from the residents of Wayne County, via the WCAIA.

Currently, minimal checks and balances are in place to ensure that the citizens of Wayne County receive appropriate value from this funding.

The current service agreement (which was written by the DIA’s lawyers) only accounts for approximately 5% of the funding, leaving the remainder spent entirely at the DIA’s discretion.

Furthermore, the WCAIA’s own Articles of Incorporation require them to “contract for art institute services with a world-class art institute services provider,” but over the first decade of its existence, the WCAIA has failed to conduct a single benchmark against a comparable institution to see if the DIA is operating at a “world-class” level.