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April 5, 2013 - DIA Inside|Outside Pontiac Launch

On April 5th Detroit Metro Mashup went to downtown Pontiac to cover and enjoy Pontiac's first DIA Inside | Out event. This free program, sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has been held in the streets and parks of Detroit for the last four years. It brings reproductions of art masterpieces into public spaces that are within walking and biking distance of one another so that area residents can enjoy the art in a "grand, open-air gallery."

The Pontiac Downtown Business Association partnered with the DIA and the Pontiac art community to bring this great event idea to the streets of downtown Pontiac. Participating organizations included the Pontiac Garden Club, the Pontiac Creative Art Center, the Art Experience and the Pontiac School District via its Fine Arts Program. Other sponsors and participants included:

30 North Saginaw for hosting tonights event
Henk Studios
Serius Energy
Future Help Designs
K&R Studios
Avon Donuts
LaFonda Mexican Kitchen
Luca's Coney Island
Downtown 51 Grille
Buckner's: A Dessert Cafe
Indian Hill Bakery
Lafayette Market
Lafayette Grande
Platinum Dish
Sam's Club

The event began "inside" at the 30 North Saginaw building, where the participating businesses and organizations lined both sides of the beautiful venue's great entryway. There was free food of all sorts for registered guests, from gourmet canapés, dips, and fruits through cupcakes and energy drinks. In attendance was a who’s who of Pontiac businesses and citizens, including Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski, Former State Representative Hubert Price, Jr., and retired teacher Fran Anderson, a mainstay of Pontiac (and possibly its most enthusiastic supporter for the past several decades), along with DIA Inside | Out project manager Joan Walton. The introductions and speeches were tastefully short and included a ribbon-cutting for the initiation of a new arts era in Pontiac. Tours of the seven reproduced masterpieces that had been framed on the sides of Pontiac buildings then began.

According to their website, “The DIA is working with the communities to plan educational opportunities and other fun activities, such as bicycle and walking tours. Residents of participating communities will enjoy a designated weekend to visit the museum for free and see "their" works of art. Visitors will receive a 10 percent discount in Café DIA and the museum shop, $1 off Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) tickets and free admission to showings of the DFT 101 film series.” Also on their website, you can find other locations where DIA Inside | Out events are being held.

Detroit Metro Mashup really enjoyed this DIA/Pontiac event and is among the many groups and persons working for a renewal of Pontiac and the Detroit Metro area in general. Click on the stack of photos above this narrative and enjoy our pictures!