A local philanthropist said Thursday he’ll donate $5 million toward protecting the Detroit Institute of Arts’ renowned collection and city retirees’ pensions — and he hopes to inspire others to give.
Millionaire A. Paul Schaap said he plans to meet today with U.S. Chief District Judge Gerald Rosen, who is serving as mediator in Detroit’s bankruptcy case. Rosen has been trying to persuade at least 10 charitable foundations to put up $500 million to spin off the DIA from the city, which could then use the money to reduce pension cuts and improve services.
“I have to believe there are more of us out there who want to do something and didn’t quite know how to approach it,” Schaap said.
Schaap said he hoped his gift would stimulate major foundations to agree to participate in the Rosen-mediated fund. So far, leaders of 10 local and national foundations who have met with Rosen have yet to commit. One of Rosen’s goals is to turn the DIA into an independent nonprofit free of city ownership and protected from creditors seeking billions and pushing for the sale of city assets..