DIA’s New Kresge Court

o longer just for stuffy art aficionados, the Detroit Institute of Arts used Midtown as its muse to create what the museum calls, a "cultural living space" at its redesigned Kresge Court.  

With the help of a $268,500 grant from ArtPlace America, the DIA was able to revamp Kresge Court with upgrades in all areas from menu options to seating arrangements.
What changes will you notice first?

Director of Publications at the DIA, Pamela Marcil helped BLAC Detroit sculpt a list of the five best upgrades at Kresge Court:

1. Eats & Other Treats

With the exception of a few popular DIA eats, the Kresge Court menu has received a complete remodel to feature a wider selection of tastes, like the museum's art collection.

"The menu is really revamped to be much more contemporary and upscale," says Marcil. "We have the whole list of Starbucks offerings with new entrées and the menu is also vegetarian friendly, which is nice."


Including a selection of sandwiches and salads, the menu highlights a selection of quick bite foods under the headers "crispy crunchy salty" and "slates, plates & boards. " In addition to the usual beer and wine, the museum will now feature a full bar on Fridays from 5-9 p.m.

2. Décor

The DIA said au revoir to industrial-styled chairs to introduce a mix of traditional and contemporary comfort to Kresge Court.

"It is meant to suggest an English garden," says Marcil. "It is so welcoming and comfortable. People have come to the space before, but now people might think of [Kresge Court] as a reason to go to the DIA."

Featuring designs provided by some Michigan retailers, such as Pot & Box and Thompson Millworks, the museum hopes comfortable furniture encourages patrons to stay longer, making Kresge Court a social destination. 

3. Cyber Cafe

Pairing new décor with new technology, iPads are now installed in several table tops with pre-loaded applications on the DIA's current art collections.

"People can come and have informal meetings," says Marcil about the added technology upgrades. "If they are discussing ideas, they can quickly look something up."

4. Books

Books in a museum may seem like a no brainer, but with Kresge Court's new comfortable atmosphere, patrons will need more reading material.

"There were no books at all there. It really was just an eating space and a place for after-hours events," says Marcil. Visitors can expect books and catalogs on the DIA's art and artists. 

5. Ambience

A new lighting and sound system creates a soft ambiance for patrons to enjoy into cocktail hour. 

"I hear it creates a romantic atmosphere. So it’s a pretty cool place for a date night," says Marcil. There were no installed lights before. 

"It seems to me a relax atmosphere is conducive to getting creative ideas for work. No matter what business it is. I think that atmosphere will encourage inspiration and also creativity," says Marcil. 

Kresge Court is located inside the DIA, but with its new revitalization, Marcil says she hopes the space will be more than a stop on a walk through of the museum.

"I like that it can be a destination itself, but you know it is surrounded by all of this world class art. You have to come visit."

For upcoming events at the DIA, visit our BLAC online calendar

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