Motown summer camp to feature Rhonda Ross-Kendrick

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

High school performing art students — here’s your chance to hone your talents and learn the Motown philosophy of entrepreneurship in a weeklong summer camp sponsored by the Motown Historical Museum and General Motors.

The Motown EDU camp is open to Metro Detroit high school students aged 14-18, and runs Aug. 10-14. Spaces are limited, so students should obtain an application at the Motown Museum, 2648 W. Grand Blvd., or at Youthville, 7375 Woodward, both in Detroit, and return it by Friday.

For the second year, singer/actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick, 43, daughter of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and Diana Ross, will be one of the counselor/presenters.

“The purpose is really to get our young people to consider business ownership,” said Robin R. Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the museum’s Board of Trustees. “It’s one thing to have a talent, but it’s another to own and market your brand, and create business for yourself. It’s one of the messages that Rhonda brings home so clearly. In order to make it in this business, you have to know the business of your brand, and you can’t relegate that to someone else.”

Other camp counselors include Motown songwriter/producer Melvin Moy and Don Bosco Hall/Youthville music production/disc jockey instructor Morris Porter. Ross Kendrick and the others will all do one-on-one coaching with the students as well.

The campers spend the first day at Hitsville for a Motown immersion, then they go to Youthville, Motown’s partner this year, for days two through five.

“They will be exposed to the beat studio, so they will make music,” said Terry. “They’ll learn about songwriting and then Rhonda will come in to talk about how you develop and manage your brand as a business. This year will be far more hands-on for them.”

Campers only need to pay a registration fee of $20, GM provides a scholarship to cover the rest of the camper’s costs. Breakfast and lunches and all the supplies they need are provided.

Motown’s classic era is generations away from today’s students, but its methods are timeless, Terry says.

“As they think about their own brands and what kind of artist they want to be, it helps to look at an iconic company that created iconic superstars and study what they did.

“Young people have to figure out not what’s popular and who’s trendy, but how do I cultivate that unique gift I have? Our role as a museum in the community is to continue to create platforms to showcase up and coming talent.”

For more information about applying, call (248) 225-6265.