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Artpod: Flint, public art, and revitalization

The Genesse Towers were lit up for one night only as part of The Flint Public Art Project
Photo courtesy of Stephen Zacks
The Genesse Towers were lit up for one night only as part of The Flint Public Art Project

Flint is in the spotlight on today's Artpod.

We talk a lot about Detroit’s path to revival, but drive an hour northwest to Flint and you’ll find a city whose struggles are similar if not worse than Detroit's.  Now a coalition of artists, city officials and residents is trying to re-write Flint's story through art.


The Genesee Towers have been abandoned since 2004. They were home to the first Flint Public Art Project installation. The towers were were lit up for one night only. There were also music performances and video projection. You can check out a slideshow of the event here.

Stephen Zacks, the guy behind the project, issued a press release with details about the next few installations:

For the next series of events, from August 12 to 19, we will activate another set of public spaces in correspondence with the ArtWalk and Back to the Bricks, the annual collector car event in downtown Flint that attracts tens of thousands of restored classic cars to the city. We are planning a series of actions to connect the revitalized downtown strip to the Flint River, the restored Carriage Factory across the river, and the Flint River Trail, the new bike path extending 10 miles through the city. For the first time since the closing of the Chevrolet factories, we will produce a major public event at the site known as Chevy-in-the-Hole, a mile-long strip once occupied by a complex of manufacturing buildings and the location of a historic sit-down strike that established the national labor movement.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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