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Berry Gordy Jr. donates $4 million to Motown Museum

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

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The Motown Museum is $4 million richer thanks to a gift from Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr.

The funds will be added to a growing pot of donations targeted towards a major expansion of the museum -- housed in Motown's original Hitsville USA headquarters on Detroit's West Grand Boulevard -- into a 50,000-square-foot multi-media attraction. Gordy's is the largest individual donation to the campaign.

"I'm excited about the future of the Motown Museum and happy to support it," Gordy, who founded the company during 1959 with an $800 loan from his family's Ber-Berry Co-op trust, said in a statement. Prior to this he has taken the public position that the museum should be self-sustaining in order to guarantee its long-term health.

"Not only will the expanded museum entertain and tell the stories of talented and creative people who succeeded against all odds," added Gordy, 89, who sold Motown in 1988 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 10 years later. "but it will also inspire and create opportunity for people to explore their dreams the way I did mine. I couldn't be prouder of that."

Gordy joins donors such as the Ford Motor Company, UAW-Ford, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, AARP the DTE Energy Foundation,t he William Davidson Foundation and others.

"There would be no Motown legacy, Motown Sound or Motown Museum without Berry Gordy," museum chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry, a niece of museum founder Esther Gordy Edwards, said in a statement. "With this transformative and generous gift...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."

No groundbreaking or construction start date has been announced for the expansion yet.

Gordy will be in town later this month for a weekend of events celebrating Motown's 60th anniversary. A Motown Gospel Concert takes place Sept. 21 at Detroit World Outreach followed by a Hitsville Honors concert -- featuring the Temptations, the Four Tops, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Martha Reeves, Big Sean, KEM and Ne-Yo -- on Sept. 22 at Orchestra Hall, and a Soul In One Celebrity Golf Classic outing on Sept. 23. Details can be found at motownmuseum.org.

Web Site: www.motownmuseum.org

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