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Art and Law Newsletter: Kansas City Art Institute pursuing promised donation

By June 23, 2013October 8th, 2018No Comments

In 2005 Larry and Kristina Dodge pledged $5 million to the Kansas City Art Institute for the construction of a new building which would bear their name. The Dodge Painting Building now stands on the KCAI campus, despite the fact that the Dodges only paid $1 million of the promised amount. The school hired an attorney and initiated litigation in order to compel the donors to pay the outstanding amount, which resulted in a $3.3 million judgment against the family. Mr. Dodge, a former banker once worth an estimated $1 billion, has lost his fortune and declared bankruptcy, partially, he claims, due to the lawsuit.  Mrs. Dodge now fears she will have to file for bankruptcy as well if the school continues to pursue the matter.  

     The Art Institute maintains that the Dodges are under a contractual obligation pay the amount pledged.  In fact the Institute argues that as a nonprofit organization it is under strict accounting guidelines, under which it has already reported the pledged donation.  Failure to collect the full amount may result in an accounting deficit, which could negatively impact future donations.  


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