Mott awards $4.9 million to Flint Cultural Center institutions

Whiting Auditorium
The Whiting Auditorium. Photo: Rick Smith

Flint, Michigan — In an ongoing effort to provide school children, families and residents in the greater Flint area with an opportunity to enjoy visual arts, live music, dance and theater, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has granted $4.9 million to the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, the Flint Institute of Arts and the Flint Institute of Music.

A regional hub for the performing and visual arts, the Flint Cultural Center welcomes more than 610,000 children and adults to its campus each year. In addition to offering national touring artists and exhibitions, the campus is home to Michigan’s largest domed planetarium, one of the few remaining professional symphony orchestras in the state, a school for the performing arts, and art and historical collections of national significance.

“The Flint Cultural Center is a place where children, families, students and seniors can take advantage of all kinds of activities that entertain, educate and inspire,” said William S. White, chairman and chief executive officer of the Mott Foundation. “In addition to providing core support for building and grounds maintenance, staffing and security, our grants enable the member institutions to focus their energy on what they do best — great programming for the community.”

The one-year, general operating grants include:

As in years past, the latest round of grants support core programming and the day-to-day operations of each of the Cultural Center institutions, enabling them to offer more free and low-cost activities, host community events, and expand outreach services to local schools, where shrinking budgets have created greater need for instruction in the arts, music and theater.

“Flint is home to a rich and diverse array of performing and visual artists — an asset that our cultural institutions want to preserve and encourage as the city works to reposition itself for a new type of economy and prepare our young people for the future,” said Jody Blackburn, chief operating officer of the Flint Cultural Center Corporation. “Those goals would be very difficult to accomplish without the ongoing support of the Mott Foundation.”

Created in the late 1950s, the complex of educational, recreational and cultural facilities that now make up the Flint Cultural Center is located on a 33-acre campus east of downtown Flint. Since 1928, the Mott Foundation has provided more than $121 million in combined support to the FCCC, FIA and FIM. The grants have been used to expand and renovate buildings, improve grounds, support public activities and enhance programming.

“The C.S. Mott Foundation’s tremendous and unfailing support over the years has done so much to encourage and support our community and enhance its vitality,” said John B. Henry, executive director of the FIA.

“The Flint Cultural Center has enabled millions of people to experience music, theater, dance and the fine arts in ways that add a bit of magic to their lives,” added Paul Torre, FIM president.