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DATE: September 29, 2004

Gift from Maggie Allesee will support art exhibitions and education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn

DEARBORN---Maggie Allesee, a longtime cultural arts advocate and philanthropist whose influence can be seen throughout the metropolitan Detroit area, has pledged $100,000 to support the Art Museum Project at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The Allesees

Allesee's gift will be used to support continuing projects in the visual arts at UM-Dearborn, including exhibitions and educational programs. It will also be used to support preservation, presentation, conservation and study of the campus's permanent art collection and of loaned works.

"The Art Museum Project at UM-Dearborn was started in 1996 with the mission of extending the appreciation of art and culture to the communities served by UM-Dearborn," according to director Kenneth Gross. "This includes our students, faculty and staff, as well as residents and visitors from outside communities."

The project includes a gallery named for early supporter Alfred Berkowitz, and is supported by a volunteer group called the Fine Art Associates. In addition to exhibitions in the gallery, the Art Museum Project has developed and delivered programs in arts and culture that have involved thousands of art lovers, including tours of regional galleries and collections, a collection of sculpture on the campus, and studio art classes.

"There is nothing finer than being able to combine art and education to offer to students every opportunity in that regard," Allesee said. "We are excited and pleased to include the Art Museum Project at UM-Dearborn as an important part of our effort to support art throughout southeastern Michigan. We are particularly happy to assist with the efforts to make more of the permanent collection accessible to UM-Dearborn students and the wider community."

Allesee and her husband, radio pioneer Bob Allison, have supported a wide range of artistic and cultural programs in Detroit and around the country. Among other projects, they have supported the dance department at Wayne State University, the National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, the Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit's Orchestra Hall and the Hospice of Michigan.

In 2003, the Allesees received special recognition in the ArtServe Michigan Governor's Awards for Arts & Culture. "Tireless advocates and generous patrons, Bob and Maggie understand that the arts are key to sustaining a dynamic regional economy and quality of life in Michigan," according to the award citation. "Through their vision, leadership, astute business sense and deep understanding of the organizations they support, the Allesees have helped to ensure that arts organizations large and small have an opportunity to thrive."

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