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Motown Museum receives $5 million gift from Mackenzie Scott

Motown Museum launches singing competition in Detroit
Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 15:14:09-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — As they continue to fundraise for their planned expansion, the Motown Museum is celebrating a $5 million gift from Mackenzie Scott.

Scott is a novelist and philanthropist, as well as the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“Motown Museum is just over the moon that Mackenzie Scott selected us to be one of her nonprofit gift recipients,” said Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry in a news release. “As a leading cultural institution, Ms. Scott felt a powerful connection to our mission of inspiring future generations — particularly youth and people of color in Detroit — to identify and amplify the power of their unique artistic talents and extraordinary entrepreneurial aspirations. This generous and meaningful $5 million gift significantly impacts our ongoing fundraising efforts and brings us closer to bringing the expanded Motown Museum to our Detroit community and visitors from around the world.”

The gift to the Motown Museum is part of Scott's plan to fund high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked. Scott and her current husband Dan spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected. They have allocated $2.739 billion in gifts to 286 organizations they have identified, including the Motown Museum.

Scott said in a news release, “Arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates, and improving mental health, so we evaluated smaller arts organizations creating these benefits with artists and audiences from culturally rich regions and identity groups that donors often overlook.”

The Motown Museum announced plans to expand to 50,000 square feet in late 2016. They broke ground on the project in September 2019, after reaching the halfway point towards their $25 million goal.

Phase one of the project entitled Hitsville Next is scheduled to open in 2021.