A teen’s perspective of the DIA millage

Taylor Ferguson

By Taylor Ferguson
As a 17-year-old high school student and just being only one year away from being able to vote, I’m pretty sure you can only imagine how nerve-wracking it is to hear voting issues, having an opinion on it, but not being able to do anything about it.

This is the story of my life.

Recently, the Detroit Institute of Arts proposed a 0.2 mill on residents of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties that put a tax on the residents that annually would raise about $23 million per year which would complement the depleting philanthropic funds that the DIA currently is receiving.

Because the millage passed, the DIA promises free admission for residents of the tri-county area and an increase in exhibits. It also promises to help out struggling schools by providing free transportation for 150,000 students to the DIA annually. Also, hours of operation will increase as they were cut back because of low funds.

I clearly can remember my first time visiting the DIA. I not only was mesmerized by the incredible art that was surrounding me, but I also was taken by surprise because of my previous thoughts that a museum would be boring. However, it was not and the DIA broadened my horizons. With the possibility of the DIA closing, I was worried about children of today not being able to experience the same thing. Who knows? The next child who steps foot in the museum could be the next Picasso or Frida Kahlo with just the inspiration of the DIA and its various forms of art.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is a paramount part of Detroit. Let’s face it. Within the last half century, Detroit has taken a downward path. The city almost has gone bankrupt, has one of the highest crime rates in the country, and experienced the closing of another important attraction in Detroit, the Detroit Science Center. The fact that the city has been able to retain its world-class status even through the hard times is reason enough to keep the DIA.

So, I would just like to thank the voters who voted for the millage. Not only have you kept a phenomenal museum open, but you also have made it possible for youth to keep getting inspired by the works of Rembrandt, Diego Rivera and Van Gogh. You also have kept the possibility to be able to show tourists that there is definitely a brighter side to Detroit other than what is constantly reported.

But the most important thing to me is that you have spoken for those who do not have the option to vote on important issues like this.

(Taylor Ferguson is a senior at Advanced Technology Academy in Dearborn and an advertising intern with the Times-Herald/Sunday Times Newspapers.)