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DEARBORN, MI-The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services organization in Dearborn has received a grant of $269,750 to help pay for its Arab-American National Museum and Cultural Center. The money will be used to help complete the construction and provide programming at the $12.8-million museum that is expected to open this spring.

The funding is a part of the 2005 Omnibus Appropriations bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives. In all, 21 projects in Metro Detroit were funded at a total cost of more than $12 million.

Officials from ACCESS announced plans for the museum in 2002. The 38,500-sf museum is being modeled after the Japanese-American National Museum, which opened in Los Angeles in 1992. The museum will feature an exhibit with four galleries focusing on the Arab world, the six major waves of Arab immigration to America, religious and cultural life and Arab-Americans who have made a difference.

Workers predict the $12.8-million museum, in the former Leed’s Furniture store on Michigan Avenue, will be finished by January. After a series of walking tours and input from officials, the site will be open to the public by May. A grand opening is set for May 5.

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