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 Foundation’s earliest days, we’ve 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 Foundation’s 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.

Mott’s 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 country’s 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 center’s 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.