DETROIT — Detroit’s own Kid Rock is partnering with the Detroit Historical Society to help share the story of the city’s musical past and inspire its future.
The Kid Rock Foundation is donating $250,000 to the Society to establish what will be known as the Kid Rock Music Lab, an interactive gallery that covers more than 100 years of Detroit’s musical history. It will span a myriad of genres from jazz and blues to gospel, funk, rock, pop, techno and hip hop – all of which have defined Detroit in song.
The donation was derived from Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie’s own love for the City of Detroit. As a result, everyone from Motown legends like Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson to rock gods like Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and the MC5 will be represented in the gallery, as will Kid Rock himself. The performer’s music has evolved since his early days. As Kid Rock rose to international prominence, his own music has transcended boundaries. Known for experimentation, he fuses multiple musical genres that resonate with Detroit audiences to create a distinct sound all his own.
The Kid Rock Music Lab will offer more than a solid education in the history of these amazing artists. It will grant visitors a glimpse at the concert-going experience itself, a reminder of venues of past and present where musicians made their way to stardom, including the Grande Ballroom and Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. The Kid Rock Music Lab will explore the way in which song has inspired generations to demand R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and reflect the struggles of the era, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.
“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Kid Rock for making this lab a reality,” said Bob Bury, executive director and chief executive officer of the Detroit Historical Society. “Our intention from the beginning of this partnership was to showcase Detroit as a city with a rich musical history. We believe that is the sentiment that will emanate from the Kid Rock Music Lab as all genres and aspects of the Detroit music scene are represented. Our challenge in creating it has been managing to fit in as much of the city’s exciting and important musical past as possible.”
Visitors will not only see and hear stories of Detroit music – they will experience it for themselves. The music lab stays true to its name by offering this array of interactive activities meant to educate, entertain and inspire:
· Name That Artist – sample Detroit’s Greatest Hits and guess the singer.
· Kid Rock Picture Stop – Play in Kid Rock’s band and have your picture taken.
· Concert Stage – Feel what it’s like to be on stage, in concert with Kid Rock, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger or The Supremes.
· Mix Your Own Music Station – Experiment with sounds and vocals to create your own song.
· Detroit Music Trivia – Test your knowledge.
“We believe the Kid Rock Music Lab will be an inspiring new exhibit for museum-goers,” said Bury. “We envision our school groups will try out the interactive stations and leave with the notion that they not only understand the music of artists like Aretha Franklin and Kid Rock that much better, but that they will feel empowered enough to make their own music. The intention behind the new Kid Rock Music Lab is to help usher in the next generation of Detroit’s great musical artists.”
The quarter-million dollar donation supporting the Kid Rock Music Lab marks the Kid Rock Foundation’s largest outright charitable contribution to date. The lab, 1,400 square feet, will be located adjacent to one of the Detroit Historical Museum’s brand new galleries, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, which highlights the past century in Detroit pop culture.
These additions are part of the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past>Forward campaign, an effort to renovate the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society collections. The upgrades represent the first major renovations to the museum since the 1960s.
On Nov. 23rd, the Detroit Historical Museum will reopen to the public, allowing visitors to explore new and expanded exhibits, enjoy technology upgrades and experience new educational offerings.