From the President 


Greetings Cranbrook Friends and Happy Spring!


Spring is finally here, and this special season always gives me a feeling of "openings." I open the windows in my office at Cranbrook House, leave a zipped jacket behind and enjoy a warm noon walk, and take a daily drive to admire the open daffodils in front of the Middle School for Girls.  The spring season at Cranbrook is truly a time for all things to fully open after a long, persistent winter. 


I often feel that same sentiment about our Cranbrook Family. Spring means graduation at Cranbrook Schools as well as at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Both of these special events are "openings" too. This time of year I also think about the very best colleges and universities, particularly how they open their doors to the graduates of Cranbrook Schools. I think, too, about our Academy of Art graduates and how their work will change the world. Each morning as the winter snow departs, I think about how springtime at Cranbrook is so special indeed!


One of my favorite springtime traditions at Cranbrook is the President's Award for 

Excellence event, held this year on April 14th. This special gathering is a celebration of those whose contributions to our community have been truly exceptional. Our recipients this year, Maggie Allesee (Senior Trustee), Stephen Pagnani (Institute of Science), Jennifer Rivard (Cranbrook IT) and Deborah Rutzen (46 years at Cranbrook Schools!), are a true reflection of the very best of all that is Cranbrook. It's an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as the host for this annual event and I hope you will take a moment to congratulate each of this year's recipients if you cross their paths. The presence of President Emeritus and Founder of the President's Award for Excellence, Dr. Lillian Bauder, made this year's event extra special. 


I'd like to share the news that I broke with protocol this year and awarded Arlyce Seibert, Director of Cranbrook Schools, a very special (and very personal) President's Award for Excellence in celebration of her 20th year as Director of Cranbrook Schools. In so many ways, Arlyce is the heart and soul of our community, and in terms of excellence, leads by example. I know that each of you can truly appreciate what a treasure Arlyce is to Cranbrook.


I'd also like to make you aware of what's coming up over the next several months. I invite each of you to attend or support events where you might feel drawn, either individually or as a family. You can access all of these activities through the Cranbrook Educational Community website at 


Cranbrook Horizons-Upward Bound (HUB) closes its 50th year at Cranbrook with commencement on the 16th of May. As one of the oldest and most successful programs of its kind in our country, I hope you will consider joining us to celebrate. I hope, too, that you will mark your calendars now for HUB's 50th Anniversary Gala, to take place on November 14 this coming fall. This special celebration promises to be unlike any other you have ever attended at Cranbrook, I promise! You will hear more about this truly nationwide gathering as the summer approaches. 


In Cranbrook's art precinct, there are two weeks of upcoming events you won't want to miss. April 18 is the ArtMembers' Opening of the 2015 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art, where the work of 69 graduating students will take over nearly all 15,000 square feet of the Museum and surrounding grounds. The exhibition will be open to the public from April 19 through May 10, 2015. Then come back next weekend for the annual STUDIO and OPEN(STUDIOS) events on April 25 and 26 and go inside our private studio spaces. STUDIO includes a prelude reception at Cranbrook Art Museum, dinner in an Academy studio (Benefactor ticket holders get to choose their studio), admission to the AFTER(STUDIO) party at the Art Museum, and early access to OPEN(STUDIOS) the following day. If you love the cutting-edge art scene and have a taste for the unexpected, you should consider attending. There is no better way to appreciate and experience the energy at the Art Academy than by interacting with our graduate student artists and observing their creative process. On Sunday, OPEN(STUDIOS) is a fantastic, family-friendly day of art and discovery and is a fitting close to the academic year at the Academy. Tickets for both events are available on the Academy's website.


Meanwhile, the Art Museum also is preparing for what many of us think will be one of their most exciting projects to date, the ambitious Nick Cave: Here Hear exhibition and Detroit Performance Series. You won't want to miss it when it opens in June.


The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research celebrates the emerging spring with a series of lectures in April, a "Day Away" in May, and, in partnership with Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary, a chance to hear Cranbrook's newly restored Steinway piano during a late-afternoon concert at Cranbrook House June 7. Please visit Cranbrook's website for more details, as well as for information on the Center's other upcoming offerings. I know you will be impressed with the quality of these special new programs.    


Spring at the Institute of Science takes us into outer space, into the "wilds" of 

Mic higan, and explores the science of taste. The Cranbrook Space Odyssey exhibition, which runs through the end of the summer, explores black holes and the Hubble Telescope project. A real space suit and touchable NASA artifacts are all in the offering. I like to think that this spring the Cranbrook Institute of Science is as close to outer space as you can get without leaving Michigan!


As a special happening for the young adult crowd, the Institute has perfected the antidote for "just another night out" with their CIS After Dark series, for adults 21 years and over. These unique nights at the museum for grown-ups have been an immediate success. On Thursday, April 23, Taste After Dark will dive into the science of new and unusual culinary experiences for all those with a taste for science, food, and a bit of adventure. See the Institute's website for more details.


Finally, the Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary volunteers have wasted no time in their "off-season," offering a full schedule of activities planned for spring and the start of summer. Events include special tours, performances, and the best plant sale in Michigan! Rumor has it that in celebration of The Kentucky Derby, there will be some exciting hats on display during the May tour, both by the Auxiliary and guests.


Also, please share the news that admission to the gardens this summer is FREE (!!), courtesy of sponsors at PNC Bank, Roberts Restaurant Group, and Meijer. Donations to support our gardens are encouraged and always appreciated. There is still a charge for admission to Cranbrook House, which launches its tour season in June. Stay tuned for a future communication with specific details on this generous offering.


As the academic year winds down, I want to thank each and every one of you, as Cranbrook friends, for all that you do to support and improve our special community. Please know how very much I value and appreciate your support of our efforts.  


Finally, I'd like to extend a special invitation to families of Cranbrook. My personal offer to your family is to connect you with: 

  • Parts of Cranbrook you've always wished to see;
  • Spaces you hoped to visit but never knew how to access;
  • Tours of Cranbrook collections you always hoped to have;
  • Members of our faculty and staff with whom you wanted to meet but may not have known how to contact. 

If I can help arrange a tour, experience, or introduction simply call my office. I can be reached at 248.645.3100. 


As my letter stated earlier, the spring season is truly a time of "openings" at Cranbrook and beyond. The goal of our community has always been to open new doors for learning, reach new levels of creativity, and to lift all who engage with our community to new levels of excellence and achievement. This spring, please accept my sincere thanks for all of the doors your support and friendship have helped to open. What a warm spring indeed!  


Best wishes,  



Dominic DiMarco, President

Cranbrook Educational Community