MotorCities National Heritage Area

November 15, 2021

On Wednesday, November 17, the MotorCities National Heritage Area Partnership will honor U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and seven finalists who have distinguished themselves in the areas of auto and labor heritage with its 8th annual Awards of Excellence. 

A winner in each of the three categories -- revitalization, education and tourism -- will be announced during Michigan Auto Heritage Day, an annual invitation-only event taking place this year from the R.E. Olds Trnasportation Museum in Lansing at 11 a.m. The event will also be livestreamed via Facebook Live on the MotorCities Facebook page. 

Congresswoman Dingell will be honored with MotorCities’ annual Milestone Award. She has been a stalwart supporter of MotorCities from its beginning, when she headed the General Motors Foundation. In that role, she helped secure the launch of the heritage area in 1998 and built a strong partnership with GM which continues to this day. After that, Dingell served on MotorCities‘ Leadership Council and now chairs the group. Since her election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, she has continued her support by sponsoring two reauthorization bills, culminating this year in H.R. 5044, a bill to reauthorize the MotorCities National Heritage Area for 15 more years. 

“Fighting to ensure that the MotorCities National Heritage area continues receiving federal funds has been a priority of mine since coming to Congress,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “It’s an incredible honor to receive the Milestone Award at Michigan Auto Heritage Day, and I couldn’t do it without the many advocates working with us along the way. Preservation of this history helps to develop economic, cultural and recreational opportunities in the region that inspire passion for and awareness of the automobile, the workers who built them, and the history of the industry.” 

The finalist for the award for Revitalization is:

  • The Fort-Rouge Gateway Partnership for the Fort Street Bridge Interpretive Park in Detroit. 

Finalists for the award for Interpretation and Education include:

  • The Detroit Historical Museum for their “Body by Fisher” exhibit;
  • Russell Dore of Dore Productions;
  • Henry Ford Heritage Association for their Henry Ford Quiz Show. 

Finalists for the award for Heritage Tourism are the following:

  • Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores for their new Visitors Center;
  • Don and Gayle Nicholson of Don Nicholson Enterprises for organizing numerous car cruises in the metro Detroit community;
  • and Karin Risko of City Tour Detroit. 

Michigan Automotive Heritage Day and Awards of Excellence began in 2014 and has become an annual opportunity to celebrate the story that can only be told in Michigan: how this area "Put The World On Wheels."