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Ford Helps Orchestrate a Week of Music, Celebrations and Community Engagement in a Revitalized Downtown Detroit

  • Ford is center stage for the League of American Orchestras National Conference and the 2nd annual Ford Musician Awards
  • Ford is also a presenting sponsor for the first Detroit Music Weekend featuring a star-studded lineup that includes Aretha Franklin and Mitch Ryder
  • Ford and Ford Motor Company Fund – the company’s philanthropic arm – have been strong supporters of Detroit and southeast Michigan for more than 100 years

DETROIT, June 6, 2017 – Ford Motor Company is leading a week of musical celebrations that will showcase a revitalized Detroit and the city’s rich music culture.

Ford is the presenting sponsor of the 72nd League of American Orchestras National Conference in Detroit on June 6-8. At the conference:

  • Ford Fund President Jim Vella will provide opening remarks on the importance of supporting cultural institutions to form strong community bonds;
  • Ford Chief Diversity Officer Meeta Huggins will address delegates from across the country about workplace diversity, a key topic facing orchestras;
  • Ford will award $75,000 to five orchestra musicians for their inspirational work in hospitals, nursing homes and schools as part of the 2nd annual Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service.

Ford is also a presenting sponsor for the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend, June 9-11. Music legend Aretha Franklin, Josh Gracin and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels are among the performers who will take the stage outside of the historic Music Hall on Madison Street downtown.

“Detroit’s rich musical history strikes chords with audiences around the world,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are proud to help bring together a diverse group of music and arts supporters to learn from each other and experience what our region has to offer.”

Supporting music and the arts have been at the core of Ford and Ford Fund’s community investments, both locally and across the U.S., since the company was founded in 1903. Over the past 10 years alone, Ford has invested more than $15 million in arts and culture support.

In addition to this week’s events in Detroit, Ford’s art support includes international musical outreach and continuing education including:

  • The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and its historic first visit to China and tour of Japan, plus DSO Live from Orchestra Hall webcasts and DSO on The Go community events;
  • Ford and UAW-Ford are lead donors in Motown Museum’s $50 million expansion, including a $6 million investment in the new state-of-the-art Ford Motor Company Theater.
  • The GRAMMY Museum®, GRAMMY in the Schools, Latin GRAMMY and the Music Educator of the Year.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 196,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

About Ford Motor Company Fund

Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford Fund works with community and global partners to advance education, safe driving and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 67 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving.  Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit

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