The Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has announced a $30 million gift from board chair Jennifer Gilbert and her husband, Dan, in support of efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and secure the school's long-term fiscal sustainability.
The largest gift in the school's 117-year history — and one of the largest cash gifts ever to a graduate-level art program in the United States — will establish and endow the Gilbert Fellows program and provide full-tuition fellowships to twenty students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; provide additional support for the school's existing scholarship fund; and fund visiting faculty artists over the next five years, with a focus on artists of color. The gift also will finance inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) consultants who will work with the school to develop and implement DEI recommendations.
In addition, the Cranbrook Art Museum will receive funding in support of public engagement projects by diverse artists, including women, LGBTQIA+, and people of color, both in the Detroit area and on the Cranbrook campus.
"This gift is a response to the learnings of the past several years. We listened to a broad community of stakeholders and understand that there's a lot of work to be done," said Jennifer Gilbert. "Our ultimate goal is to drive lasting financial stability while creating a more diverse and equitable community....We need a purposeful commitment to welcome underrepresented voices into these studios and conversations."