Motown Records Celebrates 60th Anniversary With Interactive Experience At Essence Festival
Motown Records brought its year-long, 60th anniversary celebration to the ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola – the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. On Saturday, July 6, the iconic label opened the doors to Motown Manor, located at New Orleans’ historic Race + Religious property along the riverfront of the Lower Garden District.
The day-long experience kicked off with a VIP women’s brunch, which included a special fireside chat shining a light on the Motown legacy and its future. “Motown & Lyft Presents Leading Ladies: A conversation about finding your voice” was moderated by Nilka Thomas, Vice President of Talent and Inclusion for Lyft. Speakers included Motown’s Ethiopia Habtemariam; Valerie Jarrett, a member of the Lyft Board of Directors and former senior advisor to Barack Obama; and Amber Grimes, Senior Vice President of Capitol Music Group.
Motown Manor opened its doors to festivalgoers and a group of HBCU students/alumni for The Motown Social in the afternoon. The History Room was filled with Motown memorabilia, images and vinyl listening stations featuring hits from throughout the label’s 60-year history. In the Beauty Room, guests were treated to makeovers. With makeup by Black Radiance and hair by Swivel, they could choose from three looks celebrating the women of Motown – The Diana, The Erykah and The City Girl. Monica Poindexter, Lyft Head of Inclusion & Diversity, moderated a playback of music from BJ the Chicago Kidand King of Brass performed live, putting a New Orleans spin on beloved Motown hits. The event also featured a DJ set by Millie, tarot card readings, henna tattoos and more.
Motown Noir followed, with captivating performances by JAMESDAVIS, Ms. Nix and BJ the Chicago Kid. Guests sipped special Motown cocktails throughout the evening and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres created by New Orleans Chef Nigel Henderson’s Feast L.A. To check out more photos from the anniversary celebration, hit the flip!