Detroit Museum Expansion Project Gets $3M from Ballmer Group

Ballmer Group, the philanthropic organization co-founded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, has given $3 million toward the expansion of a Detroit museum.
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Motown Museum rendering
The Ballmer Group has given the Motown Museum $3 million toward its 50,000-square-foot expansion project. // Rendering courtesy of the Motown Museum

Ballmer Group, the philanthropic organization co-founded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, has given $3 million toward the expansion of a Detroit museum.

The gift will go toward the 50,000-square-foot expansion of the Motown Museum, which is planned to be an entertainment and education tourist destination featuring interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience, and meeting spaces.

When completed, the new museum campus is expected to have a transformative impact on the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods, providing employment, sustainability and community pride by serving as an important catalyst for new investment and tourism in the area.

“In the face of historic global challenges, we continue to see our community, supporters, and our Motown family come together in ways that are truly inspiring,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum. “The momentum and support for the expansion has continued with visionary and committed leaders like Steve and Connie Ballmer voicing its significance. Their belief in the power of community and opportunity is a fitting tribute to the enduring spirit of Motown and we’re very fortunate for their generous gift.”

The museum broke ground on the expansion project on Sept. 22, 2019 when the fundraising effort reached $25 million, about half of the $50 million needed to complete the project. Work was halted between March and May due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Phase One of construction has since continued.

Phase One of four planned construction phases is called Hitsville Next, which will serve as the museum’s educational and creative hub designed to offer innovative education and community engagement programs. The programming made possible through Hitsville Next is designed to activate and inspire future generations of creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs.

“Motown represents the cultural lifeblood of the southeast Michigan region, as well as its legacy of incredible talent and entrepreneurship,” says Kylee Mitchell Wells, executive director of Ballmer Group – Southeast Michigan. “Much of the work we support at Ballmer Group is rooted in racial equity and helping kids and families succeed. The museum’s programming and their impressive forthcoming expansion reflect that mission. We’re inspired that the expansion will share the story of Motown on a larger scale and welcome new generations of fans, music lovers, budding artists, and business leaders from Detroit and around the world.”

For more information on Motown Museum programs, visit here.

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