BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Michigan — Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert and his wife, Jennifer, have donated $30 million to a private art school in suburban Detroit to help it accelerate its diversity efforts , equity and inclusion.
The funding will also help with long-term fiscal sustainability, the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills announced Tuesday.
Twenty full scholarships for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups will be funded through the new Gilbert Fellows program. A permanent endowment to fund scholarships will also be created.
Tuition relief and general support for existing academy scholarships and visiting faculty artists over the next five years, with a focus on artists of color, will receive funding.
The Cranbrook Museum of Art will also receive funding to continue public engagement projects by various artists both in the Detroit area and on the Cranbrook campus, the school said.
“We have listened to a broad community of stakeholders and understand that there is a lot of work to be done,” said Jennifer Gilbert, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. “Our ultimate goal is to foster lasting financial stability while creating a more diverse and equitable community. We need a deliberate engagement to welcome underrepresented voices into these studios and conversations.
The Cranbrook Academy of Art focuses on higher education in fine arts, architecture, crafts and design.
“We believe that by investing in underrepresented changemakers, we will position creatives at the forefront to help solve the problems of our increasingly complex world,” said Dominic DiMarco, President of Cranbrook Educational Community.
Detroit native Dan Gilbert started Quicken Loans, now known as Rocket Mortgage. He also founded the Rock family of companies and owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Last month, he and his wife announced a $500 million fund to improve Detroit neighborhoods.