The one-year grants will be used to supplement the core programming and day-to-day operations of the center's member institutions, freeing up funding and resources for the production of engaging programs for the half million or so students and adults who visit the district annually. The grantees are the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, which received $1.35 million, including support for Longway Planetarium, the Sloan Museum, and the Whiting theatre; the Flint Institute of Arts, which received $1.25 million; and the Flint Institute of Music, which received $650,000 to be shared with the Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Symphony Orchestra, and Flint Youth Theatre.
Built entirely with private funds, the Flint Cultural Center draws visitors from more than half of Michigan's eighty-three counties. Increasingly, area schools rely on the district's resources to supplement their performing and visual arts curricula, while community groups utilize the thirty-three-acre campus for summer fairs and festivals. As with arts institutions nationwide, the groups that make up the center are having difficulty maintaining their earned income and corporate support, while income from their endowments remains flat. In an attempt to preserve core programs, the institutions have initiated a variety of cost-cutting measures.
"In successful communities across the country, the arts are being used as part of an overall strategy to spur economic development, revitalize the core city, and address social and educational issues," said Mott Foundation president and CEO William S. White. "Mott's funding for the various institutions that make up the Flint Cultural Center is part of a larger foundation effort to support Flint's assets as the city continues to pursue its promise as a healthy, vital place to live and do business."