In 2010, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) decided to go to voters in southeast Michigan with a millage proposal to provide financial stability and allow the museum to turn its considerable fundraising skills from operations to endowment. The DIA also recognized it needed to reengage the sizable southeast Michigan public before asking voters to approve a tax increase.
The DIA engaged Berg Muirhead and Associates (now Van Dyke Horn) to institute a comprehensive outreach strategy to develop and strengthen relationships between the museum and the region, communicate the museum’s value and remind voters that the museum was a treasure in their midst. This foundation of knowledge and appreciation for the museum needed to happen before the millage effort’s launch, so when the campaign began, it would open with a strong foundation of public knowledge.
We worked with the DIA’s community relations, marketing, public relations, and learning and interpretation departments to understand and assess the museum’s programming—the vehicles for public engagement and value to the region. We then developed a strategy to break the region into segmented audiences, so we could effectively target Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
THE DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS