MotorCities National Heritage Area

January 24, 2022

The MotorCities National Heritage Area, a non-profit organization dedicated to the historic preservation of the automotive industry, has begun accepting applications for phase two of its 2021-22 Challenge Grant program.   

Challenge Grants are awarded up to $25,000, and funds must be matched by a combination of cash, in-kind, donated goods and documented volunteer services. Potential grant recipients must have a project which will be completed by September 30, 2022. Recipients also must be active members of MotorCities and must be a non-profit 501 c3, educational institution, government municipality or tribunal.

Education is MotorCities' special strategic focus for 2021-22, and projects related to education will receive preference. In addition, projects which exemplify diversity, equity and inclusion will receive preference, as well as projects which address adapting content to be presented virtually will receive special consideration.

Grant applications must be received by Monday, February 28, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST.  

In addition, MotorCities' 2022 Lunch & Learn Series returns one week from today with our FREE grant workshop webinar on Wednesday, January 26 at noon via Zoom. Attendees will be stepped through the entire 2021-22 MotorCities grant application process with examples from previous successful project partners.  

MotorCities deploys programming which preserves and promotes the automotive and labor heritage of the 10,000-square mile National Heritage Area, focusing on three areas:

  • Revitalization;
  • Education & Interpretation;
  • And Heritage Tourism. 

Learn more about our grant program at 

For any questions, contact Brian Yopp at 313.259.3425 x307 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Three organizations were recipients of phase one challenge grants:

  • The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn: funding for an upcoming lecture series - $20,260;
  • The Flint Institute for Science and History: funding for a transportation exhibit at the new Sloan Museum of Discovery opening to the public in July 2022 - $20,000;
  • The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing: support for the construction of ADA-compliant restrooms - $13,000. 

In addition, 10 organizations were recipients of 2021-2022 mini grants:

  • The American Rosie the Riveter Association of Ypsilanti: support for their public programs - $1,500;
  • The Automotive History Preservation Society of Perry: funding for a project to have college students digitize items from their collection - $1,200;
  • The Dearborn Historical Museum: support for an upcoming permanent exhibit on the early days of auto manufacturing in Dearborn - $1,500;
  • The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit: funding to create new signage for their upcoming Quadricycle exhibit - $1,500;
  • Friends of the Highland Recreation Area: support for a new exhibit recreating the Haven Hill Lodge - $1,500;
  • Friends of Historical Hamtramck/Hamtramck Historical Museum: funding for an exhibit on 100 years of the history of Hamtramck and Dodge Main - $1,500;
  • The Glenwood Cemetery Association in Flint: support for the creation of an online self-guided tour on "Flint's Automotive History through the Generations - $1,500;
  • The Haitian Network Group of Detroit: funding for the creation for an auto heritage and pride tour - $1,500;
  • Henry Ford College in Dearborn: support for creating a community college curriculum on auto and labor heritage - $1,500;
  • The Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society in Pontiac: funding for a project spotlighting historic automotive images on large canvas banners installed around their community - $1,500. 

The MotorCities 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 over $1.6 million in grants to more than 300 projects.