Wilson Foundation donates $100 million to metro Detroit arts groups

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Holocaust Memorial Center, and The Arab American National Museum are all set to be recipients of funds donated by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

A windfall of cash is making Detroit’s arts and culture scene a lot richer.

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has announced a multiyear, $100 million commitment to 11 arts organizations in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs, creating a large endowment that will generate operating money for decades to come.

The list includes cultural name brands like the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Institute of Arts as well as small museums like the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills.

Ralph Wilson, longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills and metro Detroit resident, died in 2014.

There’s also cash set aside for a one-time capital grant of $5 million to the Motown Museum for the ongoing expansion of its campus.  For the museum, the gift is another notable step in its ongoing $55 million expansion campaign. Its fundraising total now stands at $37 million, and work is underway on the second of three construction phases at the Hitsville, U.S.A., complex. 

Alice G. Collins

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