Motown Records Founder Berry Gordy and a host of special guests broke ground on Sunday for Hitsville Next, the Motown Museum’s planned campus center for innovative educational and community programming in Detroit.
The museum also says it has collected $25 million of the needed $50 million to complete the expansion project it announced in 2016.
The groundbreaking was the culmination of a week of events celebrating the 60th anniversary of Motown Records. “This is the moment the world has been waiting for,” says Robin Terry, CEO of the Motown Museum and Gordy’s great niece. “I couldn’t be more delighted to stand with all of our supporters who have made this possible.”
The programming made possible through Hitsville Next is designed to activate and inspire future generations of creatives and entrepreneurs who follow in the footsteps of Motown legends. Motown Museum already offers four programs as part of its Hitsville Next initiative, and the expansion project makes new programs possible to further cement museum’s role in providing education and resources to budding artists and entrepreneurs in Detroit and beyond.
Additionally, workforce development training programs are expected to create opportunities for individuals to gain the critical skills needed to be successful in the music industry and compete in the modern-day creative economy.
New programs planned as part of Hitsville Next will begin in 2020, with learning opportunities and mentorships available to young people through young adulthood. The new Master Class Series will connect middle school and high school students to professionals in a variety of business and entertainment disciplines, fostering career dreams from a young age.
The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program will connect youth ages 13-18 and young adults 19 and up, with mentors who have successfully navigated the entrepreneurship journey and allowing for exploration of potential career paths within and beyond the music industry.
Current programs available through Hitsville Next include the museum’s SPARK and IGNITE summer camps for young adults attending under-resourced schools with little to no music education; Motown MIC, a tribute to Motown’s Black Forum Label for poets speaking on social commentary influenced by Motown; AMPLIFY-The Sound of Detroit, a singing competition celebrating timeless Motown sound and the robust talent of aspiring artists; and its Black Legacy Series, recognizing Detroit’s African American entrepreneurs and their accomplishments, while also providing guidance and resources to launch or enhance businesses.
The Motown Museum expansion will further preserve the inspiration of the Motown legacy for future generations from across the country and around the world. It is expected to continue the organization’s mission to elevate the community and provide economic growth and regional enrichment for Detroiters and visitors alike, ensuring the history of Motown informs the future of the music and entertainment industry for years to come.
When complete, the expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot entertainment and education tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by renowned architects and exhibit designers.