The Flint Institute of Arts, like many other museums in the United States, is organized as a public trust. As such, the Institute was formed to manage gifts made to the public of money, art, and property. To maintain the public's trust, museums form boards of trustees, made up of individuals who accept the responsibility to lead and plan for the Institution's future. Indeed, the word "trust" is embedded in the title they carry, and they are given this role by the people they serve. The FIA's Board of Trustees selfless contribution of time, effort, and financial support makes it possible to serve its purpose to engage the community and reach its full potential.
Guided by its mission, the FIA's 29-member board of trustees makes decisions about the direction, quality, and financial management of the museum and art school. The FIA Board is diverse in its knowledge, professional experience, age, ethnicity, and geographic representation. Board members may serve up to two three-year terms and are required to work alongside "at-large" members (potential board members) on at least 2 of 10 standing committees where they actively participate in policy development, strategic planning and implementation, and financial oversight.
Board members also fulfill their role at the FIA by attending meetings, programs, events, and by volunteering on event planning committees. And, through their personal and business connections, our trustees represent the museum in all sectors of the community. Elected by current trustees, new trustees are recruited based on their involvement in the community and their proven commitment to the museum (whether through contributions of time and/or money).
In 1928 when the FIA was founded, George Crapo Willson, who was the grandson of Michigan's 15th governor, became the first President of the Board of Trustees. He also gave the first works of art to the collection, in addition to significant financial support. He, along with seven others, began an unbroken tradition of board members giving time, artwork, and funding support to the FIA.
This September we welcome a new board president, as well as six new board members. In recognition of this important service to the FIA, I would like to thank each and every trustee who has served or is currently serving on the FIA board. A list of the current board appears in every FIA Magazine, which you can find on page 42 of this issue.
John B. Henry