From the Executive Director
When the pandemic’s grip on our patterns of socialization and communication is finally over, we can expect the experience will have changed our behavior in many ways. During the March through June shutdown at the FIA, social media outlets, our website, and e-news were the only way we could keep the museum “open” to our public. And while the importance of digital or virtual communication has been increasingly understood over the years, it was the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown of all entertainment, sports, arts, and cultural venues that really brought home how vital and effective these tools have become in keeping in touch with the world around us and each other. Even when restrictions were lifted, allowing us to reopen in July, we had to make significant adjustments with some still working from home, others on and off in the office, and all of us on greatly increased social media schedules.
Over the last two decades, the FIA has devoted significant time and effort developing our virtual platforms and social media outreach. And with prohibitions and limitations on indoor gatherings remaining in place, and the galleries the only in-person experiences we could offer, the curatorial and education staff began producing content for a weekly e-newsletter providing digital access to exhibitions, permanent collections, curator and artist’s talks, lectures, films, fundraisers, Art School schedule updates and studio activities for our virtual “visitors” to enjoy at home. The Museum Shop added online shopping as well. And with visitor safety in mind, we converted our 200+ stop audio tour to a format accessible on our visitors’ smartphone, computer, or tablet.
As we increased the creation and presentation of new content, we discovered more and more people finding our virtual programming to be a suitable alternative to visiting in person during the pandemic. Since June 2020, we’ve seen a 29% increase in our Facebook page’s total impressions and the total number of engagements are up 12.5%. The FIA’s Instagram accounts continue to grow steadily. The open and click-to-open rates for our eNewsletters are well above the average for Art, Culture, Entertainment. Since the beginning of March 2020, the website has seen a 16.5% increase in page views. These numbers indicate that the public’s appetite for museum entertainment and learning online is increasing and most likely will continue. So, as we move beyond the pandemic, our intention is to keep expanding our efforts to provide additional program content virtually.
We still eagerly await the moment we can return to a full schedule of live presentations of films, lectures, family programs, classes, and fundraising events. After all, the aesthetic experience is incomplete unless encountered as the artist intended: seeing the true color, texture, and scale of a work of art in person; feeling the energy of a performance on stage or simply sharing an event with a large audience. There’s really no substitute for authenticity.
John Henry has been the FIA's Director since July 1996, and holds an M.A. from the University of Mississippi in Art History and a B.F.A. from the University of South Carolina in sculpture.
He is a member of Rotary International and a member of numerous professional affiliations including the Board of Trustees of the Flint Classroom Support Fund, The Association of Art Museum Directors, American Association of Museums and the Midwest Museum Conference.
The Director is responsible for the administration of board policies and all museum operations.
Board of Trustees
The FIA welcomes the following members to the Board of Trustees:
David T. Taylor
David T. Taylor was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, and grew up in Birmingham, Michigan. He earned his B.S. in Microbiology and Biological Sciences with honors from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Taylor attended the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1999. After graduation, he completed a three-year residency in Foot and Ankle Surgery at Hines Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center in suburban Chicago. Dr. Taylor published several research papers during his residency regarding great toe joint arthritis.
In August 2002, Dr. Taylor joined Community Podiatry Group located in Flint, Michigan. He is Board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) in both Forefoot and Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery. He is the program director for the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency at Ascension Genesys.
Dr. Taylor lives in Fenton and has three children (Lauren, Emily, and TJ). He enjoys scuba diving, photography, alpine skiing, fitness/running, ice hockey, and gardening.
John Bracey earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan-Flint. His graduate work has been in liberal studies with a focus on American Culture. He recently retired from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), where he served as Executive Director for 13 years, previously serving as the Director of Programs. He has also been a lecturer at the University of Michigan-Flint for the Rackham Graduate School in Arts Administration, in addition to holding positions as a journalist, editor, and as an employee of General Motors Chevrolet Truck Assembly.
John has served on numerous boards and task forces, including the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Arts Midwest, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and as a grant reviewer for the Kresge Foundation and several states throughout the country.
John and his wife Dianne have two children, Denise and Dan, daughter-in-law Amy, and one incredible grandchild Hailey. He enjoys making pottery, writing, poetry, the Detroit Tigers, and nearly all music.
Officers & Trustees
The board of directors is the governing body of a nonprofit. Individuals who sit on the board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities. Board members meet periodically to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. At a minimum, an annual meeting must occur with all board members present. Additional meetings are likely to take place throughout the year so board members can discuss and make other necessary decisions. Board memberships are not set up to be permanent positions; most organizations have terms set up for board members, which typically fall between two and five years.
Elizabeth S. Murphy
Elizabeth Murphy is returning to the FIA Board of Trustees after having served two previous six-year terms in which she served as Board Secretary for five years and Board President for two more of those years. Liz is a member of the Rubens Society and previously served as the FIA’s Rubens Society Coordinator for five years. Professionally Liz is an industrial engineer, receiving her BS and MS from GMI (now Kettering University). She was a senior engineer with Buick, served on the executive staff of Flint’s Mayor Collier as Deputy City Administrator, and is currently the Senior Assistant to the Emergency Manager for the City of Flint. Liz is married to Dr. Kienan Murphy (pediatrician) and they have three adult children.
Thomas B. Lillie
Mark L. Lippincott
Eleanor E. Brownell
Ann K. Chan
James D. Draper
Founders Society President
Raymond J. Kelly, III
FIA Rep to FCCC Board
Jamile Trueba Lawand
William H. Moeller
Jay N. Nelson
Karl A. Olmsted
Dr. Brenda Rogers-Grays
Mary Coe Ryan
Sharon A. Simeon
Theresa A. Stephens-Lock
Lynne A. Taft-Draper
David T. Taylor
Gregory G. Viener
Shannon Easter White