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January 29, 2018

The MotorCities National Heritage Area, a non-profit organization dedicated to the historic preservation of the automotive industry, has launched its 2018 Challenge Grant cycle by awarding more than $60,000 to groups telling the story of how “We put the world on wheels.”

Grant recipients for 2018 include a diverse assortment of projects from physical restoration of historically significant buildings or automobiles to educational programs that chronicle important stories from the region’s automotive and labor history.

“MotorCities, now in its 20th year, is proud to continue to support such a varied selection of projects which support our rich automotive and labor heritage and its influence on our communities,” said Shawn Pomaville-Size, MotorCities Executive Director.

There were a total of 10 projects awarded grant funding this past grant cycle, including the following:

  • Detroit Blues Society: Supporting the creation of an educational curriculum and companion book to the recent documentary on the life of Detroit blues luminary Uncle Jessie White -- $2,350;
  • Detroit Historical Society: Supporting restoration of a 1934 Chrysler Airflow CU four-door sedan from their collection -- $1,176;
  • Engineering Society of Detroit (Southfield): Supporting production of a special episode of ESD’s popular television show “SciEngiMathePloration” on trends in the transportation industry and STEM and skilled trade careers – $1,718;
  • Ford Piquette Avenue Plant (Detroit): Continued support of the building’s roof restoration -- $25,000;
  • Friends of the Highland Recreation Area (Highland): Support for the rebuild of the existing center core doors of the Haven Hill Edsel Ford Barn, built by Edsel and Eleanor Ford in the 1920s -- $560;
  • Friends of Rouge Park (Detroit): Support to build four signs in Rouge Park explaining the automotive heritage of the property near the former estate of the early 20th Century Ford Motor Company executive Charles Sorenson -- $6,020;
  • Michigan Institute of Contemporary Art (Lansing): Supporting efforts to expand screenings of the 2014 documentary “Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration” to a national audience – $4,000;
  • Partnership for the Arts & Humanities (Canton): Continued support of efforts to restore the Cherry Hill Veteran’s Dormitory, built by Henry Ford in the 1940s to house disabled World War II veterans – $5,350;
  • Preservation Detroit: Supporting the creation of digital archive to preserve Corktown’s labor heritage -- $3,084;
  • R.E. Olds Transportation Museum (Lansing): Support of repairs to a portion of the Museum’s roof that have not been touched for more than 25 years -- $11,740.

In addition, MotorCities has launched Phase 2 of the Challenge Grant program with $40,000 available for projects. Grants can cover up to 20 percent of total costs for eligible initiatives. Projects can include brick-and-mortar restoration and revitalization, educational outreach, exhibit creation and much more.

Non-profit organizations, government entities and educational institutions that are member organizations are all eligible to apply. To start your grant application, go to: There will be a grant training webinar on Monday, February 5 at 10 a.m. EST. This will be particularly helpful for first time applicants.

The deadline for 2018 grant submissions is February 28.

The MotorCities Challenge Grant program has been funding historical and cultural preservation projects in Michigan since 1998 when Congress passed the Automobile National Heritage Area Act. Since that time, MotorCities, an affiliate of the National Park Service and the state’s only National Heritage Area, has awarded $1.4 million in grant monies to hundreds of projects.


About MotorCities NHA:
Headquartered in Detroit, the MotorCities National Heritage Area Partnership is a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the National Park Service that serves 16 counties representing a population of over 6.5 million. Its mission is to preserve, interpret and promote the region’s rich automotive and labor heritage. Regional programs inspire residents and visitors with an appreciation for how the automobile changed Michigan, the nation, and the world. Find MotorCities on the web at; also visit their Facebook page at and follow them on Twitter/Instagram: @MotorCities.

Contact: Bob Sadler
Communications Manager
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Phone: (313) 259-3425 ext. 302
Fax: (313) 259-5254
200 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243