Mott Foundation awards $5M in grants

Increases funding support for free, low-cost programs for kids and families at the Flint Cultural Center

GENESEE COUNTY — In an ongoing effort to preserve and enhance arts and cultural services for area communities and schools, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has granted more than $5 million in operating support to the Flint Cultural Center Corporation (FCCC), the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA) and the Flint Institute of Music (FIM), according to a press release.

The Flint Cultural Center is a regional hub for the performing and visual arts, welcoming more than 625,000 children, students and adults each year to its 33-acre campus. 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 collections of national significance.

“It goes without saying that the Flint Cultural Center institutions are a key asset to the area’s ongoing efforts to recover and revive as a community,” said William S. White, president and chief executive officer of the Mott Foundation. “And the value they add in quality of life for children and families cannot be overestimated.

The one-year, general operating grants include:

• $1.7 million to the FCCC, including support for Longway Planetarium, Sloan Museum and The Whiting;

• $2,225,000 to the FIA; and

• $1.1 million to the FIM, including the Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Symphony Orchestra and Flint Youth Theatre.

As in years past, this latest round of grants support core programming and the day-today 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.

To date, the Mott Foundation has provided more than $110 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.


Among programs to benefit from this round of grants are:


“The Art of Video Games” — a traveling exhibit created by the Smithsonian Institution that will run from Oct. 25, 2014, through January 18, 2015.

START (Success Through Art) — program for 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs in Genesee County.

The FOMA (Friends of Modern Art) Film Series — featuring independent, international and classic films that otherwise would not be seen in the Flint area.

What’s Up at the FIA? — A program that provides stimulating experiences for individuals in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s and their caretakers.

The College Town Initiative — annually provides free membership, events and films for about 1,000 area students.

• K-12 collaborations with area schools and after school programs provide students with activities linked to language arts, social studies, science and math.


The Flint School of Performing Arts’ “Super Saturdays!” – gives children ages 4 to 12 and their families the opportunity to take part in classes, including ballet, creative movement, show choir, piano, strings, percussion and early childhood music.

Flint Youth Theatre — one of the few remaining professional theaters in the state of Michigan offering live theater experience for young actors and audiences of all ages.

The Troubadours — a string quartet from the Flint Symphony Orchestra who interact with 45,000 elementary students annually, using instrumental music and storytelling that incorporates lessons in geography, writing and social studies.

“Music in the Parks” — offers free, family friendly summer concerts featuring a variety of musical groups performing at several locations throughout Flint and Genesee County.

“PIT and Student Swap” — offers discounted symphony tickets for young adults and a chance to attend a free pre-concert lecture about the evening’s music and composer.

• “Black Classical Music Family Festival” — an annual event each February that features guest artists and raises thousands of dollars for scholarships.

Flint Cultural Center Corp.

The Buick Gallery — displays classic and concept vehicles and contains an automotive conservation and restoration shop.

“Family Science Hour,” — developed by the Sloan Museum in collaboration with the Genesee District Library, serves multiple communities as part of a statewide, summer reading program.

The traveling Portable Dome Theater — uses an inflatable “star” dome to bring state-ofthe art video technology to schools throughout Genesee County.

The Acting Company — a week-long residency program and workshops, including an educational outreach program that culminates in a public performance of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

The Whiting — provides American Sign Language interpreters for several performances.

• “Entertainment Express” — sends local artists to senior citizen facilities to entertain audiences with limited ability to attend live performances.

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