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As part of its Celebrating Culture and Community Grants Program, Ford Motor Company is awarding $250,000 this year to support nonprofit projects that reflect the unique culture and history of the neighborhoods surrounding Michigan Central Station.
 
The grants are tied to Ford’s renovation of the 105-year-old train depot, which will be the centerpiece of a new innovation and mobility hub in Detroit. As part of its commitment to the area, Ford is investing $2 million over the next four years through the Community Benefits Agreement to support a variety of nonprofit projects aimed at bringing innovative programs and opportunities to residents in the community.  
 
Grant recipients were selected based on votes from a panel of judges, as well as approximately 200 local residents and community leaders who attended a special pitch session in late May.
 
“We want to thank everyone who submitted creative and thoughtful ideas for celebrating the vibrant culture of our neighborhoods,” said Pamela Alexander, director, Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “With help from the community, we determined these four proposals represent a diversity of talent and topics. We look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have in the neighborhoods surrounding Michigan Central Station for years to come.”
 
The grantees are:
 
S.A.Y. Detroit/Capturing Belief, $85,000 – Build a visual history of the community and mentoring young residents in photography and creative writing
Heritage Works, $75,000 – Activate community spaces with music, movement, visual and spoken word artists in green spaces, non-traditional venues, existing events and schools
Matrix Theatre Company, $55,000 – Record first-person accounts, oral histories and cultural perspectives of the rich diversity of people living in the area
Motor City Street Dance Academy, $35,000 – Engage community members via hip-hop and empower them with the S.E.E.D. Program (Spreading the Elements Everywhere in Detroit)
Grant recipients are expected to complete their projects in 2020. Topics for future grants may include streetscapes and neighborhood beautification; entrepreneurship and job creation; mobility and innovation.
 
With phase two of the renovation work underway, Michigan Central Station is on its way to becoming a base for thousands of entrepreneurs, innovators, designers, technologists and Ford employees to come together to solve the world’s mobility problems. It will host a mix of office, retail, entertainment, food and hospitality spaces.
 
Ford expects the renovated train station to be ready for tenants and open to the public once again in 2022.
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