Alarmed by the collective loss of creative voices, musical recordings, and cultural spaces, Detroit Sound Conservancy was established in 2012 to create programs and provide leadership in the preservation of musical heritage in a spirit of partnership and celebration.

In 2012, our founder, writer and academic Dr. Carleton S. Gholz, organized our initial board, threw a initial fundraising party, and conducted a music tour for Allied Media Conference. The Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation acted as our first fiduciary.

In 2013, we executed a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign to start an oral history archive for Detroit music online and in the city based on pre-existing recordings from Detroit’s music journalists.

In 2014, we began acting as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit and executed our first conference.

In 2015, we accessioned the Graystone International Jazz Museum Collection, held our second conference, and moved our first exhibit space, office, and Vault into United Sound Systems Recording Studios.

In 2016, we outgrew our space at United pushing us to engage patrons via Patreon for a new home. We also celebrated John Lee Hooker’s 99th birthday, convened our third sound conference, and rebuilt the Blue Bird Inn Stage.

In 2017, we installed the Blue Bird Inn Stage in France for a major design exhibition. We also celebrated the legacy of the Chess Mate Cafe, started the Detroit Sound Hall of Fame, and convened DETROITSOUND4.

In 2018, we received a grant from The Kresge Foundation to plan and, potentially, purchase The Blue Bird Inn at 5021 Tireman.

In 2019, we finalized the purchase of The Legendary Blue Bird Inn.

Updated 14 June 2019