Doris Sutton

Recently, the FIA received incredible and bittersweet news in the form of an unexpected bequest from Doris Sutton.  Had she told us of her estate plans, the FIA would have enjoyed celebrating her generosity during her lifetime through acknowledgement in the Renaissance Society. Established to recognize and honor individuals who have notified the FIA that they have made provisions for the museum in their estate planning, the Renaissance Society has no fees or membership dues. Member names appear, with their permission, on the FIA website and in its Annual Report under Planned Giving. The society allows both donors and the FIA to review their wishes and ensure how their support will contribute to the mission of the FIA for generations to come. 

A long-time donor to the Art School, Mrs. Sutton’s generosity helped cover expenses for materials, supplies, and scholarships for children. She was clear “that the funds be used to allow access to the arts, particularly for those with innate talents but [who] lack the means to achieve their potential.” Each year, Mrs. Sutton remained informed on the impact of her contributions through reports from the Art School on the students, their ages, classes attended, and their success.

Through her bequest, she will continue to support children in the Art School. Mrs. Sutton wrote, “Let these children sing the well-known spiritual by William Farley Smith, This Little Light of Mine, as their own.” The FIA honors Mrs. Sutton. Her legacy will continue to help the FIA provide access for children to realize their talents and fulfill their dreams. We are grateful.

For a brochure on the FIA’s Renaissance Society, please contact Kathryn Sharbaugh, 810.234.1695 or