FLINT, MICH.- As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting arts and culture in its home community, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation today announced a package of grants totaling $3.8 million for the institutions of the Flint Cultural Center.
The one-year, general operating grants are:
$1,550,000 to the Flint Cultural Center Corporation (FCCC), including support for Longway Planetarium, Sloan Museum and The Whiting;
$1,549,924 to the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA); and
$740,100 to the Flint Institute of Music (FIM), including the Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Symphony Orchestra and Flint Youth Theatre.
From the Foundations earliest days, weve believed that arts and cultural activities are crucial to building a socially inclusive and vibrant community, said William S. White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. The Flint Cultural Center, with support from Mott, continues to expand on that blueprint for the future of Genesee County.
The grants mark a significant milestone in the Foundations support of the cultural center, which totals $101 million since 1928. That funding over the years has allowed the member institutions to improve and expand their facilities, provide best-in-class programming, and develop outreach activities to engage underserved audiences, including children and senior citizens.
This latest round of Foundation grants will support the core programming and day-to-day operations of those institutions, and enable them to offer more free and low-cost activities, expand their efforts to work with local schools, and host more community events.
Motts longstanding commitment to its hometown is further reflected in the more than $758 million that the Foundation has invested in the greater Flint area over the past 84 years $24 million in 2011 alone. That funding has included support for programs serving children and youth; economic and downtown development; job training; public safety; and emergency and family services.
One of the countrys first cultural districts, the Flint Cultural Center attracted more than 640,000 people over the last year, an increase of 5 percent from the year before. Nearly half of those served are children, and the cultural centers various programs and events attract thousands of visitors from outside Genesee County each year.
In these challenging times, it is of critical importance to offer people a serene environment filled with extraordinary cultural, historical and educational experiences that nurture the human spirit, says Marsha Barber Clark, interim president and CEO of the FCCC.
The Flint Cultural Center embodies that spirit and the continued support of the C. S. Mott Foundation ensures that these treasures will be available to engage current and future generations.
The Mott grants will support ongoing efforts both at the cultural center and local schools to serve and engage area children and young people. These include interactive programs focused on music, science and technology; free admission to various performances; summer camps designed around such topics as gardening and model rocketry; and working with area teachers to bring supplemental arts and science activities into the classroom.
Research by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Americans for the Arts suggests that young people who actively and consistently participate in artistic programs are four times more likely than their peers to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to win an award for school attendance.
Studies also indicate that steady exposure to the arts can help to deter behavioral problems and raise academic performance among at-risk youth.
"The arts celebrate what it is to be human and create opportunities to connect with people across cultural and geographic boundaries, said FIA Director John B. Henry, III.
The cultural center institutions are committed to engaging children in the arts as a means of helping them grow as individuals, develop the skills needed to succeed in the world, and recognize the many opportunities life has to offer."
The impacts of institutions like the Flint Cultural Center extend further into the community. For example, ArtServe Michigan a Mott grantee reports that every dollar of public investment in the states nonprofit arts sector returns $51 to the Michigan economy. This includes income generated by the cultural institutions through ticket sales and other revenue, along with profits realized from restaurants, gas stations and other businesses that share customers with the art communities.
Paul Torre, president of FIM, also points to the potential of the arts to help strengthen and expand the communitys social ties by bringing people together, building connections, and stimulating discussion.
The cultural centers value to the greater Flint area is deeply rooted in the excellence of our programs, their relevance to peoples lives and the respect for patrons at every level. It's reflected in the I am at home here feeling that the community experiences in our classrooms, lobbies, concert halls and theatre. This generous grant from the Mott Foundation allows us to continue this work for people.
The Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. Besides Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg (South Africa) and London. The Foundation, with 2011 year-end assets of approximately $2.13 billion, made 456 grants totaling $89.3 million.