Some 400 people dressed in their finest cocktail attire converged under an elaborate tent erected in Capitol Park on Thursday to raise money for the expansion of the Motown Museum. Titled “A Motown Summer’s Night Dream,” party planners transformed the Lear Innovation Center into Motown Detroit, circa 1965. There was paparazzi and cocktails on the Motown Blue Carpet, a performance by the Four Tops under the clear-top tent, and a cool wind-down on the Cloud Nine Rooftop Cigar and Cognac Lounge.
Matt Simoncini, Lear president and CEO, tried to shame auto supplier competitors to match his $200,000 pledge for the museum’s $50 million expansion. “Anybody here from Delphi?” he said. “Anybody here from Adient?”
Last year, the museum announced the expansion of its Grand Boulevard campus that would include interactive exhibits, recording studios, a theater, meeting spaces and a retail area. The 50,000-square-feet project would be built around the museum and the neighboring Hitsville U.S.A. house. Ford Motor Co. and UAW-Ford pledged a $6 million gift for the expansion, in addition to a most recent donation of $2 million from the William Davidson Foundation. Tickets were $500.