What an exciting time to be a part of the D.I.Y. music scene in Flint! We’re seeing so many talented bands, from so many different backgrounds, age groups, parts of the state, parts of the country, and hopefully in a few months parts of the world. People from various walks of life with so many different stories, ideas, emotions, words, and thoughts to share with us. Everyone coming together for one common purpose and goal, to perform and share a connected experience with the people around us.
We’ve watched bands develop from the basement to headliners. We’ve watched bands start to grow bigger and play outside of Flint again with extremely positive responses from audiences around the state and region. It’s exciting to have momentum in a scene that’s putting Flint on the map again. Our scene is hosting incredibly raw and refreshing house shows throughout each month as we’re finding more places for to play and to help build the network for other bands in the scene. We’re starting to see our numbers grow and grow. It’s a slow process, but this scene is about to explode into something even greater than ever anticipated, or previously thought capable. I continue to see so many talented and creative artists making incredible artwork and they’re increasing in number.
We’ve successfully traversed the genre spectrum into areas which we’ve never really promoted before. We’ve hosted events educating young people in Flint on safe and healthy sexuality. We’ve shown multiple art shows featuring a variety of fantastic local and regional artists. We’ve held several theatre and spoken word events. We’ve collaborated with like-minded organizations to produce exciting events for the Downtown and greater Flint community. We’ve served as a free meeting place for various organizations to further develop their goals, collaborate, and build their capacity. We’ve hosted community planning sessions to take an active role in the master planning process for the City of Flint and have done so while partnering with organizations across the board.
It’s been amazing to watch the connections form, to see people meet each other and have their lightbulbs go off. People coming together under the common purpose and shared goals of making Flint a better place to live and work. For example, today I was at Leadership Genesee at the Farmer’s Market where we discussed the market in its current location and its programming, the move to downtown, other changes in the community, had a demonstration about bee-keeping, and shopped with the various local vendors. I was on a break to shop, bought some raw juice, and then decided to sit outside for a little while. Jason from South Bay Bessie, GameSpace, Dwellings Church, and outright awesome dude, walks up and we talked for about 20 minutes about what’s happening and their upcoming comeback show. Then a friend he had made who was a visiting traveling artist involved with the Free City Festival this weekend, a huge event at Chevy In-the-Hole organized by the Flint Public Art Project, She was frustrated because she was having a difficult time making connection to get people involved with her project. Speaking of which, if you are interested, just send us an ask and I can provide more information on it. But it’s a really interesting idea for a piece and she needed people from the community from all ages and any background. So I brought her downstairs to speak in front of 20 some people from different organizations, businesses, and institutions from around the county. It got me thinking about how important and powerful building these connections can be.
This summer, Punk Rock Softball starts up for its second season, and it’s added an additional team to the league. We’re playing a longer season with a bunch of new people and a fresh start. The Flint D.I.Y. Collective has started with the purpose of supplementing and contributing to the creative community through various people involved in bands or are artists in their own right. We’re creating some truly refreshing and exciting things that the D.I.Y. community significantly lacks.
All of this came from years of establishing an extensive community through the local music scene. When we closed the Local in 2005, and then stopped doing shows under the Flint Local 432 name, it was a rough period of time with little sense of direction or community. I moved away to Texas because I thought it was done and never would happen again. When I was offered the position as 432 Manager over a burger at the Torch with Joel and Chris, I immediately said I would move back without question and do it. It’s only gotten better and better. I went on tour with the Swellers last year and I’m going on a short run starting next week with The Sky We Scrape who is supporting Arliss Nancy down to DTFH Fest 3 in Durham, NC, then up to Pouzza Fest 3 in Montreal, QB, and then back to Flint for a house show on May 19th on the ride back to Chicago. Really looking forward to hanging out with good friends and having a lot of fun.
Currently, there’s such a fantastic energy of positivity in the community of Flint, Michigan. To be a central part of building that enthusiasm, dedication, and drive to rebuild Flint has been incredible.
Please, I implore you for your own self-benefit, come be a part of this community. We’re having our monthly General meeting this Monday at 6pm, which is literally open to anyone who is interested in this music and art community. Some of my greatest and fondest memories growing up in the Flint area come from this organization. An organization that was always filled with tremendous potential, but was always a victim of timing. Come out and be a part of this community’s rebirth. We need more positive and energetic people willing to build and grow something. Do something that will bring people up instead of being one of the negative, cynical naysayers denying us any semblance of progress.
Come out to a show, meet some new people, watch a great band, musician, actress, poet, or artist. Make music, make art, be a part of something greater. Thank you so much for a great year, we love you all for your unending support, I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us!
Flint Local 432
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