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Expanded Museum aligns with Foundation’s vision for strong communities

Motown Museum announced today that the William Davidson Foundation, established by the late businessman and philanthropist William “Bill” Davidson, has contributed $2 million to Motown Museum for the funding of the Museum’s expansion and long-term sustainability. Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry made the announcement.

Announced in late 2016, the $50 million Motown Museum expansion will grow the Museum to a 50,000-square-foot world-class tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a state-of-the-art performance theater, unrivaled recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by world renown architects and exhibit designers. When completed, the new Museum campus will 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 historic area.

“Since announcing our expansion plans, we have received feedback from residents and supporters from all over the country who have enthusiastically responded to this expansion project and our mission to expose the world to the transformational power of the Motown story,” said Terry. “The William Davidson Foundation was one of the first to ask what they could do to be a part of this mission with us. They believe in Motown Museum and they are investing in our future. We are thankful for this generous gift that will help us tremendously as we move forward with our expansion.”

“Motown’s contributions to American life, American music and the identity of its hometown, Detroit, are immeasurable,” says Ethan Daniel Davidson, grants committee chair for the William Davidson Foundation and son of its founder, William “Bill” Davidson. “Motown Museum tells a powerful story of creativity, vision, innovation and determination, one we want everyone to experience for generations to come.”

Davidson says the gift to Motown Museum was a natural fit for the organization. The William Davidson Foundation works to enhance the quality of life and economic opportunities of residents in Southeast Michigan and Israel. It supports vibrant cultural institutions and signature spaces that attract and engage residents and visitors and help define Detroit’s identity beyond its borders. These institutions and public spaces also can contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

“My dad believed business success was a means to build stronger communities,” Davidson adds, a singer-songwriter himself. “He also had a family history in the same neighborhood and a great appreciation for entertainment in all forms, so I know he would fully support the Motown Museum expansion project.”



Founded in 1985 by Esther Gordy Edwards, Motown Museum is a 501(c)(3) not for profit, tax-exempt organization in Detroit. The Museum is committed to preserving, protecting and presenting the Motown story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences.


The William Davidson Foundation is a private family foundation that honors its founder and continues his lifelong commitment to philanthropy. It advances for future generations the economic, cultural and civic vitality of Southeast Michigan, the State of Israel, and the Jewish community.


For more information on Motown Museum, visit http://www.motownmuseum.org. For more information about the William Davidson Foundation, visit williamdavidson.org.

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