Notice

For visitors to Van Gogh in America, operation hours are extended until 5 p.m. Tues-Thurs and 6 p.m. Sat-Sun.

Detroit Institute of Arts celebrates new $5 million gift from Wayne and Joan Webber | Gift supports their investment in DIA educational programs, nearing $10 million since 2008

Updated Oct 18, 2021

DETROIT (October 18, 2021) – The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) today announced a $5 million gift from the Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation, the largest donation to the museum from the Webber Foundation since it first gave in 2008. With this latest gift, the Webber Foundation has given nearly $10 million overall to the DIA in support of the museum’s educational programs.

The Webber Foundation announced the new $5 million gift in August, shortly before the untimely passing of Mr. Webber, and was the final gift he bestowed. The donation will serve to support the work done in the DIA Art Studio.

“We are grateful for the Webber Foundation’s continued support and their recognition of the crucial role the DIA plays serving our diverse communities,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA Director. “This generous and meaningful gift is a testament to DIA's leadership in the field of art education and underscores the importance of the quality work our staff is doing to make art more accessible to all students and educators."

“For more than a decade, the Webber Foundation has supported the DIA’s Education Programs to make art and creativity accessible to all children in Southeast Michigan,” said Cynthia Helisek, President. “We are grateful for all the DIA has done to bring art to children and families across our community.”

The Webbers, quiet local philanthropists who co-founded a small concrete company in Macomb County in the early 60s, were not widely known yet as major philanthropists when they made their first donation to the DIA in 2008.  But their love of education and their belief in the work of the DIA inspired them to make an initial $2.6 million gift to the museum to help build the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing at the DIA. Another $1 million given in 2015 established the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Endowment to provide funding for future educational programs and activities at the DIA

The DIA’s Studio Programs were created in 1995 as an experimental lab for learner-centered art teaching. DIA teaching artists now provide rich, meaningful, and accessible artmaking experiences for diverse audiences of all ages and abilities throughout the year. Since the pandemic, the Studio team has adapted these special programs to the new environment through the incorporation virtual engagements and the creation of online resources to reach current and new audiences.

“Most of our studio teachers are working artists,” said Charles Garling, Director, Studio Programs.  “The Webber’s initial gift helped create our current space, and this new gift reinforces the importance of our work with the community.”

Eugene Gargaro, DIA Board Chair, cherishes his friendship with the Webber's and observed that: “Wayne and Joan Webber are two of the most genuine and generous people I have had the pleasure of knowing and they both share our museum's steadfast commitment to providing art education to children from throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. We are very grateful for their exemplary support and we are honored to celebrate their legacy in the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing at the DIA.”

The Webber Foundation seeks to provide access to quality healthcare, improve K-12 inner-city education, and nourishment, clothing and shelter for the less fortunate.

DETROIT (October 18, 2021) – The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) today announced a $5 million gift from the Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation, the largest donation to the museum from the Webber Foundation since it first gave in 2008. With this latest gift, the Webber Foundation has given nearly $10 million overall to the DIA in support of the museum’s educational programs.

The Webber Foundation announced the new $5 million gift in August, shortly before the untimely passing of Mr. Webber, and was the final gift he bestowed. The donation will serve to support the work done in the DIA Art Studio.

“We are grateful for the Webber Foundation’s continued support and their recognition of the crucial role the DIA plays serving our diverse communities,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA Director. “This generous and meaningful gift is a testament to DIA's leadership in the field of art education and underscores the importance of the quality work our staff is doing to make art more accessible to all students and educators."

“For more than a decade, the Webber Foundation has supported the DIA’s Education Programs to make art and creativity accessible to all children in Southeast Michigan,” said Cynthia Helisek, President. “We are grateful for all the DIA has done to bring art to children and families across our community.”

The Webbers, quiet local philanthropists who co-founded a small concrete company in Macomb County in the early 60s, were not widely known yet as major philanthropists when they made their first donation to the DIA in 2008.  But their love of education and their belief in the work of the DIA inspired them to make an initial $2.6 million gift to the museum to help build the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing at the DIA. Another $1 million given in 2015 established the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Endowment to provide funding for future educational programs and activities at the DIA

The DIA’s Studio Programs were created in 1995 as an experimental lab for learner-centered art teaching. DIA teaching artists now provide rich, meaningful, and accessible artmaking experiences for diverse audiences of all ages and abilities throughout the year. Since the pandemic, the Studio team has adapted these special programs to the new environment through the incorporation virtual engagements and the creation of online resources to reach current and new audiences.

“Most of our studio teachers are working artists,” said Charles Garling, Director, Studio Programs.  “The Webber’s initial gift helped create our current space, and this new gift reinforces the importance of our work with the community.”

Eugene Gargaro, DIA Board Chair, cherishes his friendship with the Webber's and observed that: “Wayne and Joan Webber are two of the most genuine and generous people I have had the pleasure of knowing and they both share our museum's steadfast commitment to providing art education to children from throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. We are very grateful for their exemplary support and we are honored to celebrate their legacy in the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing at the DIA.”

The Webber Foundation seeks to provide access to quality healthcare, improve K-12 inner-city education, and nourishment, clothing and shelter for the less fortunate.