Hands-on science and regional history are major features of the re-imagined Sloan Museum of Discovery, which re-opened July 16, 2022, after an extensive renovation and expansion. But Sloan originally opened in 1966 as the Sloan Panorama of Transportation, named after longtime General Motors President and CEO, Alfred P. Sloan. Back then, it was all about transportation and a place to house the Genesee County Historical Society's massive collections.

college-and-cultural-development-committee In 1920 when the Historical Society disbanded, the collections were turned over to the Flint Board of Education for a museum display in a building occupied by Flint Junior College (now Mott Community College). When the Historical Society reorganized in 1946, the collections were returned and the Society moved its exhibits to the Genesee County Court House. From the outset of their second era, the Society sought a permanent historical museum.

In 1952, the greater Flint community began planning for a College and Cultural Center. Funds were secured to build seven independent cultural facilities in a park-like setting east of downtown Flint. The ad hoc College and Cultural Development Committee designated the Flint Board of Education as the governing authority and endowment administrator of the Cultural Center.

Two museums were planned for the new Cultural Center – a transportation museum and a local history museum. Due to the prohibitive costs of separate museums, campaign leaders decided to combine the two themes in a single facility. The Genesee County Historical Society donated its collections to the Sloan Museum which originally opened to the public on November 2, 1966.

proposed-college-and-cultural-development-map On December 15, 1993, the Board of Education approved a Lease-Management agreement which transferred administration of the Cultural Center agencies to the recently formed Flint Cultural Center Corporation (FCCC).  Today, the Flint Cultural Center includes Sloan Museum of Discovery, Longway Planetarium, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Repertory Theatre, The Whiting Auditorium, Applewood Estates, Flint Institute of Music, and The Gloria Coles Flint Public Library.

In 2004, Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium was combined into one entity to teach science and history. They are now overseen by the non-profit organization, Flint Institute of Science and History (F.I.S.H.). Together, these two institutions serve more than sixty thousand school children annually, providing bench mark classes in STEM programming, hands-on science, history and social studies. We also serve another forty thousand walk-in public visitors who come to see history, exhibits, planetarium shows, as well as our historic automobile collections. Sloan Museum of Discovery and Longway Planetarium are fortunate to serve many volunteers and researchers looking for local, genealogical, and automotive history. We are proud to have the privilege of preserving, collecting, and presenting Genesee County's history.

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