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Motown Museum – January 2019 Update

Written by: Paul Barker, Director, Development and Community Activation, Motown Museum

As a proud recipient of a NeighborHUB grant, the Motown Museum wasted no time in implementing plans to transform a vacant lot next to the Museum into a year-round gathering space. The space is designed to bring tourists and local residents together and to expand the museum experience outside its physical structure.

Plans for designing, constructing and creating programming in the space were pulled together quickly.  In collaboration with the design firm Hamilton Anderson Associates, we achieved an exciting design and chose fabrication materials based on other successful placemaking spaces around the country.  Assistance in planning came from the New York professionals at Projects for Public Spaces who gifted additional funds to help construct the space.

Construction plans will begin in the spring. In the meantime, the Museum continues to expand its public engagement programs as planned in our grant by utilizing existing museum space until the new space is completed. Our December “Carols and Cocoa” event brought in record numbers of community participants for free performances, cookies, cocoa and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Our next event will be a celebration of the MLK holiday on January 21, offering free admission for children, Dr. King CD giveaways and performances by our Motown MIC spoken word composition poets on each tour.

Some advice to those planning on developing similar projects: work closely with community and historic groups in your area while planning and setting timelines to guarantee stronger community support and more seamless implementation. If you have any questions about our project, please feel free to contact me at 313.875.2264 ext. 226 or by email at