MotorCities National Heritage Area

May 5, 2017

file 20170505182305 Packard Proving GroundsAutomotive destinations in southeast and central Michigan, such as the Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township, are at risk of losing grant funding if the MotorCities National Heritage Areas is eliminated in FY 2018.

The MotorCities National Heritage Area Partnership and 48 other heritage area sites across the country have been funded through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 in the spending package approved by Congress on Thursday, May 4.

In its Omnibus Appropriations Bill, Congress earmarked $19.8 million for the Heritage Partnership Program, which is under the National Park Service budget, through Sept. 30, 2017. This funding will support the ongoing preservation of America’s greatest stories, cultural themes and watershed historical moments.

At the MotorCities National Heritage Area, funding will support the work to preserve and link the story of Michigan's rich automotive legacy through grant making and education. Since its creation via the Automobile National Heritage Area Act in 1998, this unique federal designation has safeguarded and bolstered the overarching story of how southeast Michigan put the world on wheels.

MotorCities will now focus on the next budget cycle in 2018. The national heritage area program is targeted for elimination in the White House’s proposed budget, and the organization has asked for the public’s help in contacting federal and state representatives to support the continued preservation of Michigan’s rich automotive legacy.

The elimination of the MotorCities National Heritage Area would have a negative impact across a network of historic preservation projects and attractions. Projects such as the Fort Street Bridge Park, a collaborative effort to erect a park and site honoring the 1932 Ford Hunger March, would be imperiled.

“The loss of this designation would deal a terrible blow to the communities we serve in southeast and central Michigan.” said Shawn Pomaville, executive director of MotorCities. “We would lose the ability to leverage the cultural and historic linkages that contribute to a sense of pride in this region. We would imperil the trickle-down effect of heritage tourism which creates more than $410 million in economic impact including $35 million in tax revenue.”

Over a nearly 20-year lifespan, MotorCities has funded 220 partnership grants for roughly $1.4 million which has generated nearly $5.5 million in community activity.

To learn how you can support the MotorCities National Heritage Area, contact 313-259-3425 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.