Detroit, MI (May 10, 2019) – MotorCities National Heritage Area welcomed the Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA) to the birthplace of the automotive industry as ANHA kicked off their spring business meeting. ANHA, a membership organization of National Heritage Area directors and partnering institutions across the country, meets three times a year to share resources and learn about best practices. This gathering allowed attendees to experience MotorCities NHA firsthand.
Long considered the heart of the automotive industry, this part of Michigan literally “put the world on wheels.” When Henry Ford introduced assembly line production in his factories in the 1910s, automobiles suddenly became affordable to more of the population. As the popularity of automobiles skyrocketed, so too did the growth of automobile factories and related businesses in central and southeastern Michigan, cementing its legacy in automotive history.
MotorCities NHA protects and promotes these nationally important stories by partnering with numerous organizations throughout the region, including museums, archives, cultural organizations, factories, and more. Their work is relevant not only to the many communities in which they work, but also to the country and the world. ANHA’s spring meeting, held April 23-25, provided MotorCities with the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments in the realm of historic preservation, education, and heritage tourism.
At Fair Lane, the Home of Clara and Henry Ford, ANHA members learned about a collaborative project between MotorCities and the Michigan Department of Transportation to place new highway signs to help increase the visibility of the National Heritage Area. At the historic United Auto Workers Local 600 building, MotorCities unveiled interpretive plaques commemorating the Ford Hunger March of 1932, a key event in labor history that led to the formation of the United Auto Workers labor union.
Throughout the week, ANHA members held workshops and presentations at a variety of sites, including automotive factories and a historic labor union building. They also visited the Detroit Institute of the Arts, learned about Detroit’s history along the waterfront, and toured automotive heritage sites in Flint. During their time together, the participants from National Heritage Areas across the country shared their experiences, learning from each other’s challenges and successes. They will then be able to take those lessons back to their own National Heritage Areas.
Discover more news and stories from America's National Heritage Areas.