$100 Million Investment from Wilson Foundation Makes Detroit’s Art Scene A Whole Lot Richer

The massive investment includes a one-time $5 million gift to the Motown Museum and the creation of a $60 million endowment that will generate operating funds for the eleven chosen organizations for decades to come.

Meta Stange
Meta Stange

A handful of arts organizations and museums in the city and around metro Detroit are about to get a lot of support for their operating budgets.

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has announced a multiyear, $100 million investment that will benefit organizations like the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well as smaller museums like the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills.

Part of the $100 million purse will be invested into a $60 million endowment, which will generate about $3.5 million annually split between eleven arts organizations each year in perpetuity.

The investment also includes a one-time, $5 million capital grant to the Motown Museum for their ongoing expansion of their campus, as well as the creation of an annual $500,000 grant program that will be made available to small and medium-size non-profit arts organizations who apply. More information on that application process will be announced in 2022.

Listen: Wilson Foundation’s Dave Egner, the Motown Museum’s Robin Terry and Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld from the Holocaust Memorial Center discuss the investment:

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.