Detroit Art City

Taking viewers behind the scenes of the institution at the center of Detroit’s bankruptcy case, Detroit Art City: The Detroit Institute of Arts Story uncovers the story beyond the headlines. The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is recognized as one of the top six comprehensive art museums in the U.S. Yet unlike most major cultural institutions elsewhere, an appropriate operating endowment was never established for the DIA (a consequence of the city’s former industrial wealth).

In recent times, as other museums struggle with attendance issues, the DIA has broken with tradition by rethinking both what art they display, and how they display it. Detroit Art City shows this remarkable transformation and explains how, despite the success of the museum’s groundbreaking reinstallation (completed in 2007), the DIA was faced with an unthinkable crisis in 2012—after a loss of all municipal funding, the museum’s fate rested on the success of the surrounding tri-county’s approval of a millage tax.

In a dramatic twist, the unique story of Detroit Art City goes inside the DIA’s millage campaign and August 2012 primary election that placed the fate of the museum into the hands of voters in Detroit’s tri-county area. Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Detroit radio host Angelo B. Henderson, this very real snapshot of the status and future of the arts in Detroit provides a rare window into the nation’s most talked-about art museum.

The Production Team

Angelo B. HendersonNarrator
Pulitzer Prize writer Angelo B. Henderson, a print and broadcast journalist for 24 years, was the host of the popular talk show “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson” on Newstalk AM 1200 WCHB and 99.9FM – a Radio One Detroit station.

Angelo remains the only African-American reporter to win the Pulitzer Prize at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote exclusively for Page One after working his way from staff writer to senior staff writer to Detroit Deputy Bureau Chief. The Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award given for journalistic excellence, is presented annually by Columbia University in New York City. He was the 22nd individual African American to win this award since its inception in 1917, joining the ranks of literary giants Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and the late Gwendolyn Brooks.

Genevieve SavageProducer
Genevieve G. Savage is an independent producer and documentary filmmaker who has partnered with Detroit’s PBS affiliate, Detroit Public TV and the Detroit Institute of Arts to bring audiences the upcoming 1-hour documentary Detroit Art City.

Graduate of the prestigious PBS Producer’s Workshop (2011), Genevieve’s recent work with DPTV includes national content partner productions for PBS series including Need to Know and PBS Newshour, as well as producing multiple short-form pieces for local and regional broadcast. Prior to that, Genevieve served as co-producer on the DuPont-Columbia Award winning 2-hour documentary Beyond the Light Switch.

Born and raised in the Detroit area, Genevieve is a decided lover of visual mediums, both of which contributed to he ability to unravel the fascinating tale of Detroit Art City at a very important time in Detroit’s history. Education leading to Genevieve’s current position includes a MSc in Film; earned with Honors at the University of Edinburgh, U.K. and a BA in Art History.