Motown Museum announced today that Motown founder Berry Gordy has presented the museum with a $4 million gift to benefit the facility’s planned expansion. It is the single largest individual donation to the project.
Gordy’s roots in Detroit run deep. In 1959, he took an $800 loan from the Gordy family’s Ber-Berry Co-op and set out to apply the principles he learned working in an auto plant to the production of records and the creation of music groups and solo artists. Motown Records was the result.
“I’m excited about the future of Motown Museum and happy to support it,” says Gordy. “Not only will the expanded museum entertain and tell the stories of talented and creative people who succeeded against all odds, but it will also inspire and create opportunity for people to explore their dreams the way I did mine. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of that.”
Gordy’s latest contribution is in addition to donations from institutions and organizations across the country including Ford Motor Co. and UAW-Ford, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, AARP, DTE Energy Foundation, Dr. William Pickard, The Elaine & Leo Stern Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Lear Corp., William Davidson Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, and many others.
“There would be no Motown legacy, Motown sound, or Motown Museum without Berry Gordy,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum. “He has given the world a soundtrack to live by, Detroit a legacy of pride, and our youth an example of entrepreneurial and creative excellence. Now, with this transformative and generous gift to the expansion campaign, Berry Gordy advances our vision of making the expanded museum a world class entertainment and educational destination that will ensure the inspiration of Motown lives on for generations to come.”
Announced in late 2016, the Motown Museum expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot entertainment and education destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience, and meeting spaces. When completed, Terry says the new museum campus will provide employment, sustainability, and community pride by serving as an important catalyst for new investment and tourism in its historic neighborhood.