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sexta-feira, 25 de junho de 2010

As new Jackson 5 exhibit debuts, Motown museum talks expansion

In the days after Michael Jackson's abrupt death one year ago this week, fans directed much of their attention -- and emotion -- to Detroit's Motown Historical Museum.
The footage was replayed around the world: Fans gathered in vigil outside the familiar West Grand Boulevard house, where they placed mementos, stuffed animals and letters in Jackson's name.
Inspired by that outpouring of love for the fallen star, museum officials have reciprocated with a commemoration of their own. On Friday -- the anniversary of Jackson's death at age 50 -- they'll debut an exhibit of Jackson 5 memorabilia from the group's Motown career.
The exhibit, which will run through October, occupies a large corner on the museum's second floor, where one of Jackson's famed white gloves has long sat in an alarm-secured glass display. It's now joined by several groovy Jacksons costumes, a host of gold and platinum records, magazine covers, rare photos and other souvenirs.
The exhibit is more than just an homage to the Jacksons, whose bevy of Motown hits -- chart-toppers such as "ABC," "I Want You Back" and "I'll Be There" -- preceded Michael Jackson's skyscraping solo career. It also marks a renewed vigor for the museum itself, which this year celebrates its 25th birthday and is embarking on what officials describe as a bold new chapter.
Topping the list: plans for a massive expansion at the West Grand site, just west of Henry Ford Hospital, which has launched its own major development project along the boulevard.
Officials with the nonprofit museum have talked for several years about augmenting their exhibit area, now limited to the cozy confines of the three-level house that once served as the label's headquarters.
But the pace is picking up. With financial brokering, city hall meetings and architectural mockups quietly coming together behind the scenes, museum chief executive officer Audley Smith says an expansion announcement will be made by year's end.
"There's a compelling need for expansion. Clearly the museum needs additional space to tell the stories that embody the legacy of Motown Records," says Smith. "We're looking very seriously at how we can be part of the redevelopment of the Midtown area. We believe the timing is right."

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