The Flint Institute of Music plays an important role in our community by providing outstanding music, dance and theatre experiences for people of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. Symphony concerts, music lessons, drama lessons, dance classes and live plays are just some of the hundreds of performances and classes that take place each year, providing our community with a rich and wonderful resource few others-of any size-enjoy.
But the FIM does much more. World-class soloists performing with the FSO, a range of classes and programs that make the FSPA one of the largest community music schools in the country, and FYT's moving, original plays that have made their way to Capitol Hill, have helped the FIM establish an outstanding reputation that reaches far beyond our city. People from an 18-county region participate in our programs-in fact, more than 300,000 visits are made each year! Visitors from outside the area also discover other amazing organizations on the Cultural Center campus like the Flint Institute of Arts, Sloan Museum, Whiting Auditorium, Longway Planetarium and The Buick Gallery. They shop at local stores and eat at local restaurants, and in the process, help weave the very fabric of our community.
The FIM represents a powerful catalyst for transformation. Experiences in the performing arts help us learn, experience and grow in meaningful new ways. Those positive experiences extend to the community, as well, helping break down barriers and negative perceptions about our city and giving it a chance to grow and prosper.
The support for this important work starts with you! FIM raises nearly a half a million dollars each year to subsidize tuition for children and adults to study music, dance and drama. In addition, the FIM subsidizes tickets for children and their families to attend performances of the FSO, Nutcracker and Holiday Pops. At one time ticket sales and tuition covered 30% of our expenses. Today ticket sales and tuition cover just over 20% of our expenses.
We know through competent studies; that four consecutive years of study in the performing arts increases cognitive and behavioral skills significantly among students, particularly the under-served. One of our many programs that support this is now a national model. As a matter of fact, one of our young musicians recently graduated with a full scholarship from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to attend a university of his choice.
Please join us in our commitment to provide performing arts experiences in Flint and throughout Mid-Michigan with your membership gift today! By making a contribution, you automatically become a member of the FIM, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the lives of others. Should you choose, you will receive a variety of tangible benefits; as well, including a tax deduction and recognition in FIM promotional materials.