Flint Institute of Music - Whiting /Capitol Consolidation Frequently Asked Questions

July 1, 2021

What is going to be different?


  • The Whiting and Capitol Theater operations will be fully integrated with the rest of the FIM organization.
  • There are now five divisions: Central Administration; External Relations; Theatre Operations; Music, Dance and Theatre Instruction; and Artistic Initiatives and Community Programming Partnerships.
  • The Whiting and Capitol are joining the Artistic Initiatives and Community Programming Partnerships Division alongside the Flint Symphony Orchestra and Flint Repertory Theatre. 
  • FIM’s new, mission-driven business plan includes all our performing arts venues – The Whiting Auditorium, Capitol Theatre, Elgood and Bower Theatres, and MacArthur Recital Hall – as well as FSPA, FSO, The Rep and our wide array of community education and engagement programs. 
  • Together, we will create a patron-centered model that ensures integration and coordination of all of our programs for maximum community benefit.


How long will it take for all of this to happen?


  • The consolidation officially starts July 1.
  • FIM anticipates a year-long process to align and transition staff to the new integrated program model, implement a new governance structure and executive management team, and create a new, unified culture and business operation.


Are any jobs going to be eliminated?


  • No. Some people will be reassigned based on the new operating structure. This will be an exciting, intentional, transformational integration of people and programs, and culture and business operations.


How did FIM arrive at this decision to restructure?


  • FIM went through an extensive due diligence process over the past 18 months together with the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, community stakeholders and a number of consultants who specialize in performing arts management.
  • With more than 100 years of performing arts programming, FIM was in a strong position to build on the success of The Whiting and Capitol Theatre. It just made sense for us to bring them into our family.  
  • We wanted to ensure a unified culture with diversity, equity and inclusion at its core.


What is the rationale for changes in the operational structure?


  • FIM didn’t want to simply add The Whiting and Capitol Theatre operations to the existing FIM organization. We wanted to rethink the entirety of the FIM structure. The changes represent a fundamental shift in how we think and operate.
  • Our process has been guided by several basic principles: 
  • Maximize community benefit.
  • Strengthen community collaborations and partnerships that expand diverse performing arts experiences and nurture local talent. 
  • Foster and reward collaboration and coordination across divisions and departments. 
  • Build internal capacity for excellence in administration and program delivery.
  • Eliminate redundant capacities and realize cost efficiencies where possible.


What does “program integration” mean?


  • Simply put, it means we are better when we combine our strengths to drive our mission. 
  • FIM sees The Whiting and Capitol Theater facilities as assets in the larger context of our portfolio of training, education and community engagement programs, and artistic productions. 
  • Without integration, the proposed consolidation would represent only a “bolting on” of Whiting and Capitol operations to ours. 
  • With integration, the proposed consolidation holds promise as a net gain for the community, with new and exciting possibilities for programming that draw from FIM’s full range of artistic resources and capabilities, as well as its capacity to engage in a wide range of programming partnerships. 


Will the benefits of the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage change?


  • No. All benefits available through The Whiting, Capitol Theatre, The Rep, FSPA, FSO and FIM remain the same. 
  • For the Capitol Theatre, this means a 30-50 percent discount on select performances. For Whiting, it means a 30-50 percent discount on select Whiting Presents performances and subscriptions.


What will the Artistic Initiatives and Community Programming Partnerships Division do?


  • It will bring together the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Flint Repertory Theatre, presenting programs at Whiting Auditorium and Capitol Theatre, and digital and streaming productions.
  • All education and community engagement programming, such as Music Around Town, Whiting School-time performances, Troubadours, Hocus Focus, Master Classes, and Learning Through Theatre will be in one place. 
  • Educators, school administrators, and other community partners will work with a single contact at FIM for the full spectrum of available programs involving FSPA, FSO, The Rep, The Whiting and Capitol Theatre. 
  • There will be shared artist services. 


What is the Music, Dance and Theatre Instruction Division?


  • Instructional programs refer to individual lessons, classes, camps and performance ensembles. These will be located in the Flint School of Performing Arts in the Music, Dance & Theatre Instruction Division. 
  • The Flint Repertory Theatre Education program will transfer to the Flint School of Performing Arts so that all instruction is managed in one division. This means the Flint Youth Theatre will now stand alongside the Flint Youth Ballet and Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra in one division.  
  • All students will continue to benefit from a tremendous range of professional talent. They’ll have access to extensive master class opportunities and other performing arts programming. 


How will the External Relations Division function?


  • It will handle all public-facing initiatives, including:


    • Fund development and related special events
    • PR & Communications
    • Marketing operations
    • Ticketing and Patron Services
    • Patron Engagement
    • Audience Insights/Data analytics

  • Our communications will be more integrated. For example, Whiting and Capitol patrons will start to see correspondence from the Flint Institute of Music. 


How do I buy tickets now?


  • The Ticket Center will service all divisions of FIM and continue to serve external customers such as UM Flint. 
  • Tickets can be purchased online at https://tickets.thewhiting.com, by phone at 810-237-7333, or at box office locations, including at both The Whiting Auditorium and Capitol Theatre.


What will Venue Operations include?


  • This division will oversee all performance venues and related services including technical production, on-site audience services, rentals and tours, venue support, and Capitol café and all venue concessions. 


What is Central Administration?


  • This division encompasses finance, human resources, public safety for administrative and school offices, IT, facility maintenance and custodial. 
  • It will lead all Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives.