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As the first anniversary of the Detroit Institute of Arts' millage vote approaches, I look back on a year of extraordinary activity as citizens of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties--many for the first time--came "pouring" into the DIA. Between July 2012 and June 2013, close to 600,000 visitors experienced not only our world-class art, but also films, lectures, dining, music, and other programs. The year closed with the opening of a completely refurbished Kresge Court, intended to be this region's most elegant, casual hang-out.

More than 60,000 school children participated in multiple educational programs, as well as guided or self-guided tours this past school year. With the millage, we now have the ability to offer free transportation in addition to our tours, thus providing the opportunity for many more schools to participate in our programs. Many students from the three counties were visiting us for the first time. Broader access to the DIA resources has also resulted in many more teachers becoming aware of and benefitting from our diverse programs. Our teacher professional-development workshops, Discover the DIA educator open houses, and Visual Thinking Strategies workshops significantly increased teacher involvement with the museum.

Our community partnerships have facilitated collaboration with area municipalities and local groups through the very popular Inside|Out program, art-making workshops in the museum studio and at local festivals. Partnerships with local art centers have created programs such as Gallery to Gallery tours, and we've expanded programs to seniors throughout the region. We also initiated the program Minds of Art with the Michigan Alzheimer's Association for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and their caregivers.

The passage of the millage was a real game changer, bringing financial stability to the DIA and enhancing our ability to serve our many audiences. To all who supported our efforts last year and in the time since, thank you for your help in making the DIA an institution of undoubted relevance in the region's social, civic, and cultural life.