Listen On …
Studies prove that success creates success. And nothing exemplifies this than the remarkable come-back story of downtown Flint. Greg Fiedler shares the incredible journey from renovating one burned out building to revitalizing the entire downtown Flint Area.
Greater Flint Arts Council Website
Downtown Flint Festival and Activities Website
My jaw hangs open. In front of me, stands this three story mural in the brightest colors. An image so vibrant I have expect it to simply walk through the wall.
Greg smiles with almost a paternal pride, “We have some wonderful artists in Flint.”
It seems that whenever I hear about Flint, it’s either because a crime was committed or the water situation. I never had a real reason to go to Flint. Even the pull of the Genesee Valley Mall waned over the years.
Imagine my surprise as Greg takes me around downtown Flint. Murals hang off so many of the walls, tucked around alleyways. High end bistro’s line the street. Stores and shops line the street.
But the most important part: people.
They are everywhere.
“We have 18 festivals planned,” Greg continues our tour. “That should draw in over 100,000 people.”
When I came to Flint to interview Greg and the good things the Greater Flint Arts Council is doing, I had no idea I would wind up in the middle of one of the most inspiring comeback stories I’ve ever heard of.
Greg started with a simple mission: find a building for the Greater Flint Arts Council to own. This simple mission turned into a community-involved endeavor to not only save a beloved landmark but also create a bright spot in the downtown’s community.
Their success caught the eye of the Mott Foundation. They then asked Greg what would it take to continue this success to revitalize all of downtown Flint.
Today, downtown Flint is home to some wonderful restaurants, fun festivals, and gorgeous art walks that allow the local artists of Flint to showcase their talents to the public. An opportunity not many artists in other communities would get.