Michigan billionaires Jennifer and Dan Gilbert donate $ 30 million to Cranbrook Academy of the Arts


Cranbrook Art Academy
Photo: PD Rearick

The Cranbrook Academy of the Arts outside of Detroit announced today that it has received a $ 30 million donation from Michigan-based billionaire couple Jennifer and Dan Gilbert. The giveaway is one of the largest ever made to a top level art program in the United States.

The funding will support the creation of full scholarships for ten students per entering class from under-represented racial and ethnic groups. An endowment will be established to cover Gilbert scholarship holders in perpetuity. The donation will also increase financial assistance for other eligible students, as well as visiting faculty artists over the next five years, with a focus on artists of color. It will also support the School Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Consultants and help fund the Cranbrook Art Museum’s public engagement projects, which take place both on campus and in the Detroit area. Finally, the donation aims to allow the university to launch other initiatives that will help reduce its dependence on tuition fees.

“Cranbrook Academy of Art has always been an internationally renowned art school that attracts talented students from all over the world, but by inviting under-represented voices into critical conversations inside Academy studios, I think. that this will add to the quality and complexity of the students. “Said Dominic DiMarco, President of the Cranbrook Educational Community.” This generous donation from Jennifer and Dan Gilbert will remove economic barriers to arts education. In short, it makes the Academy more accessible to all students who wish to pursue higher education. fine arts degree.

The Cranbrook Academy of the Arts was first founded in 1904, and its notable alumni include designers Charles and Ray Eames, as well as artists Nick Cave, Sonya Clark, McArthur Binion, Duane Hanson, and Hani Rashid, among others. . Dan Gilbert is the co-founder of Quicken Loans and the founder of Rock Ventures, as well as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team.

Jennifer Gilbert with students from the Cranbrook Academy of Art
Photo: Sarah Blanchette

“Our ultimate goal is to foster sustainable financial stability while creating a more diverse and equitable community,” Jennifer Gilbert said in a statement. “We know this is not a quick fix, but a step in the right direction. Dan and I hope the donation will give the Academy a space to develop long-term solutions and encourage others to join us in giving.

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