FLINT, Michigan — The Flint Institute of Arts
was recently awarded $18,000 in grant funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
and the National Endowment for the Arts
. The FIA submitted their application alongside nearly 400 others in competition for the 2022 fiscal year funding.
FIA Executive Director John Henry says, “the operating funds assist the FIA in fulfilling its mission to advance the understanding and appreciation of art for all through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs. We are grateful to the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs for its recognition and support of the Flint Institute of Arts."
The FIA is Michigan’s second-biggest art museum, thanks to support from the Genesee County Arts Education & Cultural Enrichment Millage. Every year, the museum sees over 160,000 visitors, hosts educational programs for over 30,000, and offers 8-10 temporary exhibits annually, on top of the permanent 9,000-piece artwork collection. Part of its mission is to make art available, approachable, and accessible for all with the center’s 25 galleries, 15 studios, a sculpture courtyard, theatre, gift shop, cafe, and more.
Tracey Stewart, FIA grants and special projects manager says the annual grant process application is lengthy but important. Funds from this specific grant will be used for operational support, says Stewart, partially funding an educational department staff position in the Community and K-12 programs. The museum is always supportive of any kind of assistance, whether from state or federal funding, or private entities.
The Hurand Sculpture Courtyard located within the Flint Institute of Arts.
“It’s always appreciated because the operating funds we get from the state assist us in fulfilling our mission, so it’s always appreciated and always necessary,” she says. “There was additional funding made available to organizations and nonprofits because of the pandemic which was very helpful for most of us to continue and redirect our programs to virtual.”
Like nearly every sector, the arts, education, and non-profits were deeply impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FIA’s museum-connected community art school is one of the largest in the country, enrolling over 2,400 students and offering more than 400 classes and workshops each year, including lectures, youth and school/homeschool programs, and special events.
"Taking those traditional educational studio instructions and transitioning to virtual programming was not an easy task, yet, a very necessary one," says Stewart. “Fortunately, we were able to pivot and serve our communities that way, but it does show us how much we need to divert some funding towards that because now that we’ve created that audience, we need to continue to fulfill their expectations.”
The Flint Institute of Arts is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission
is free for FIA members and Genesee County residents, $10 for adults, free for children 12 and under, $8 for students with ID, and for seniors. Admission is free for everyone on Saturday, courtesy of Huntington.
For more information about the Flint Institute of Arts, visit: flintarts.org