From the Executive Director
When I interviewed for my position at the Flint Institute of Arts 25 years ago, a longtime patron of the museum pulled me aside and said, “one thing you will learn about this community is that they will give, and then give again, and then give again.” Those words were true then and are still true today. Even amid the pandemic, our community continued to give generously to several projects that help achieve our vision to become widely known as the premiere center for art and education in the region.
Operating support from the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage and the C. S. Mott Foundation keeps the FIA going, while additional contributions from the community provide funding for programming and special projects. From sponsorship of virtual lectures to art purchases for the permanent collection to building projects, support from our community this past year enabled the FIA to complete several projects that enhance the visitor’s experience.
Through a fundraising campaign titled Light the Way, donors assisted in the replacement and lighting of the sidewalk and entrance to the FIA. Lead gifts to the project came from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Security Credit Union, The Whiting Foundation, Susie’s Hope, and the Jay & Marilyn Nelson Family Fund. Not only did this project beautify the entrance, it improved the safety of entering and exiting the building.
ADA compliant modifications to the Hurand Sculpture Courtyard made the space easier to enter and navigate for differently-abled visitors. The addition of an automatic sliding door and surface leveling provides a safer and more enjoyable visitor experience. Supporters of this project included the FIA’s Board of Trustees and the Shand Family.
Renovations continued inside the museum with a 30% increase in storage to the Piper Print Library for the FIA’s ever-expanding collection of works on paper. Thanks to contributions from Mark & Kate Piper and Martha Piper, the library will continue to serve as a research and learning space for staff and scholars.
Since it was built 16 years ago, the FIA’s primary fundraising and rental space, Isabel Hall, has had to improvise to meet the many demands of event planners. Thanks to a memorial gift in the name of past board president, Elizabeth Neithercut, Isabel Hall received a long-overdue refresh that included new carpet, acoustic wall treatments, and state-of-the-art audio/visual components, making it the areas premiere meeting facility.
FIA programming continued to receive funding support from many donors. The Merkley Elderly Charitable Trust and Jim Chintyan sponsored the weekly video series, Art á la Carte, which serves 2,000 attendees annually; Dr. Alan Klein increased his support of the Sheppy Dog Fund Lectures, which continues to attract and grow virtual audiences; and the Education Department’s Pre-K-12 programs serving over 30,000 students annually received support from the Arthur G. Bishop Charitable Trust, Halo Burger, The Hearst Foundations, The Sheppy Dog Fund, Stella and Frederick Loeb Charitable Trust, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Nartel Foundation, and the Windgate Foundation.
The ongoing stewardship and philanthropy from local businesses, longtime patrons, and donors is testimony to our community’s commitment to arts and culture in daily life. Time and again they prove what is possible and what can be accomplished through their contributions of time and resources, and we are grateful.
I hope you will stop by soon to visit the galleries and the recent additions I mentioned above. I look forward to seeing you.
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.
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.
Thomas B. Lillie
Mark L. Lippincott
Attorney Dean Yeotis is in private practice in Flint. He serves on the boards of the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame, the Bruin Club, and the Atwood Stadium Authority. Dean lives in Flint with his wife, Lynda, who is Executive Director of Jewish Community Services.
Elizabeth S. Murphy
Immediate Past President
Kathryn C. Boles
Eleanor E. Brownell
Ann K. Chan
James D. Draper
Founders Society President
Raymond J. Kelly, III
FIA Rep to FCCC Board
Matthew L. Norwood
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
Dale K. Weighill
Shannon Easter White