“I’m excited about the future of Motown Museum and happy to support it,” Gordy said in a press release, according to the Associated Press. “Not only will the expanded museum entertain and tell the stories of talented and creative people who succeeded against all odds, but it will also inspire and create opportunity for people to explore their dreams the way I did mine. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of that.”
The donation to Motown Museum’s $50 million, 50,000-square-foot expansion campaign comes at “the right time,” museum officials said Wednesday, as Motown Weekend will celebrate the label’s 60th anniversary Sept. 21-23. The event will be highlighted by a “Hitsville Honors” award ceremony at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall Sept. 22, per detroitnews.com.
The museum was founded by Gordy’s sister at the former “Hitsville U.S.A” headquarters in Detroit. The museum’s CEO is Robin Terry, Gordy’s grand-niece, and she said the donation “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.”
Mayor Mike Duggan called Gordy’s gift “great news and a huge step forward for this vision.”
Even though Gordy moved Motown’s operations to Los Angeles in 1972, Terry said: “Detroiters know how much he cares about the city, and what a special place it holds in his heart. This gift just underscores that.”
Berry’s donation is the single largest in the campaign so far from an individual.