Dedication of The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit - AURN Inspirational

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Published on May 23rd, 2019 | by Nicole Vear

Dedication of The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit

Singer Aretha Franklin gestures to the crowd during commencement ceremonies at Berklee College of Music, Saturday, May 13, 2006, in Boston. Franklin received an honorary doctor of music degree. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, City Council President Brenda Jones, and members of the Franklin Family joined The Right Productions, Inc to formally celebrate the renaming of The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre (formerly Chene Park) and unveil the venue’s new marquee over the weekend. The dedication event was held at the riverfront venue, 2600 Atwater Street, Detroit, Mich. 48207.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan commented, “Aretha Franklin was a jewel in our city and now our riverfront jewel appropriately bears her name. Now, generations of Detroiters who come to the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater will have a constant reminder of her musical legacy and her profound impact on our city.”

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones said, “It is befitting that Chene Park be renamed in honor of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who gave so much to this city and made significant contributions to the musical legacy of Detroit and the world.”

Mayor Duggan announced the venue’s name would be changed in tribute to the Queen of Soul at Franklin’s funeral in August. Days later, Detroit City Council unanimously approved the resolution. A new digital marquee has been installed reflecting the name change. It features the venue’s new logo and a stylized signature of the Queen of Soul’s first name. Walker Miller Energy Services, Inc. sponsored the dedication event. Landscaping Services, Inc. provided landscaping support. Skidmore Studio, a specialized creative studio based in Detroit for 60 years, designed the venue’s new signature logo.

Kecalf Franklin, son of Aretha Franklin said, “We are very excited about the renaming and very grateful and thankful to everyone who is involved in the process.”

“The Franklin Family is honored that Aretha’s hometown of Detroit would rename one of the city’s jewels after her. The fact that it is a music venue on the Detroit River makes it even more exciting,” said Sabrina Owens, Aretha Franklin’s niece.

The facility is known for its stellar series of summer concerts along the Detroit River. Aretha Franklin performed at the venue in 2015 to celebrate its 30th anniversary. A Franklin tribute show was held at the venue last summer. The 2019 inaugural season begins June 1st. The lineup for the renowned Wednesday Jazzy Nights series and weekend shows includes an all-star roster such as Detroit’s own KEM (June 1), a Father’s Day Doubleheader featuring 13-time Grammy® Award nominated vocalist Charlie Wilson (June 15 and 16), Grammy® Award-Winning Platinum Hip Hop Artist Snoop Dogg (July 5), Grammy® Award nominated vocalist Maxwell (July 27), famous reggae bands UB40 and Steel Pulse (August 2), Lost 80’s LIVE (August 9) and Gladys Knight (August 11). Season tickets and seat licenses are available.

“We are honored to have been entrusted with upholding a tradition of excellence at The Aretha,” said The Right Productions CEO Shahida Mausi. The Right Productions, a entertainment and special events services company, has managed and operated The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre for 16 years. “This beautiful waterfront venue offers an unmatched experience to enjoy live music during this inaugural season.”

It was announced at the event that The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre is receiving the 25 Year Honor award for sustained excellence in design from the American Institute of Architects Michigan.

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