The funding will underwrite the costs of designing, constructing, and outfitting the Flint Cultural Center Academy and support improvements to the Cultural Center campus. Scheduled to open in time for the 2019-20 academic year, the school will offer K-8 students an educational experience featuring daily activities and programs at the Cultural Center's institutions — the Flint Institute of Arts, the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, Longway Planetarium, the Sloan Museum, and The Whiting — in a 78,000-square-foot facility that includes a gymnasium, cafeteria and kitchen, and an adjacent exhibit and learning space.
The school initially will enroll up to three hundred K-5 students and eventually will serve six hundred and fifty K-8 students annually. Enrollment will be open to students living in Flint, Genesee County, and — in accordance with state law for public charter schools — elsewhere in Michigan. The Mott Foundation previously awarded a $2.9 million grant to the Cultural Center to fund planning and development activities for the school.
"Our goal for the Flint Cultural Center Academy is to engage students in science and the fine and performing arts in ways they otherwise might not encounter," said Flint Cultural Center Corporation COO Mark Sinila. "Those experiences will reflect and reinforce the learning taking place in the classroom, and the result will be a cohesive, engaging, and stimulating educational experience."
"The Flint Cultural Center Academy will build on the strengths of the Cultural Center institutions to create an experiential learning opportunity that doesn't exist anywhere else in the region," said Mott Foundation president Ridgway White. "It also will mark the next step in efforts to strengthen the education continuum in Flint — from cradle to college and career."