Americans for the Arts is saddened by the passing of Madeleine "Madge" Berman.
Mrs. Berman dedicated more than 40 years to the support of the arts nationally and in her home state of Michigan. She was an Americans for the Arts Board Member Emeritus and a charter member and long-time supporter of the Arts Action Fund
. In 2014 she received the inaugural Legacy Award at the National Arts Awards
for her long-standing dedication and contributions to the arts. She was also a major investor and leader in the development of the National Arts Administration & Policy Publications Database
, which now houses thousands of research studies and policy reports and is searchable on the Americans for the Arts website.
Mrs. Berman served on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities during President Clinton’s administration. In the 1980s, as a founding board member of Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan, she initiated the Governor’s Arts Awards, which are presented annually to artists, arts organizations, and civic leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the arts in Michigan. Appointed by Governor Milliken, she served as vice chair of the Michigan Council of the Arts and, as a member of the New Detroit’s Arts Committee, she implemented a plan for establishing the first Detroit Arts Council and was a founding board member. She was also a member of the board of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Ringling Museum of Arts in Sarasota, Florida. and a major supporter of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Detroit Zoo, where she established the Madeleine Berman Academy for Humane Education. Mrs. Berman served on the board of the Michigan Humane Society and funded one of its shelters in Westland, Michigan. With her husband, Bill, Mrs. Berman built and supported the Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Americans for the Arts will miss her energy, passion, leadership, and dedication that helped shape and advance the arts across the country.