Where We've Been

As the birthplace of General Motors, America's love affair with the car began in Flint. As the birthplace of the United Auto Workers (UAW), the American Dream first became real in Flint. Major civil rights victories, like the nation's first Fair Housing law, were won here in Flint. Leading innovations for transforming industrial cities into sustainable centers of working, learning, living, and thriving were first implemented right here in Flint.

1960s street scene of downtown Flint.

Transportation. Labor rights. Civil rights. The future of cities. The future of life on Earth! Throughout the world, these are our critical issues. The fact that Flint has been confronting them head-on for decades is no small thing. In fact, it IS our thing.

This spirit of asking the hard question and doing the tough job is who we are. It has produced a community-wide knowledge and skills base like no other. It has cultivated a climate of critical thinking, questioning, attempting the impossible without fear, and embracing failure without shame. That, after all, is how learning works. That's how Flint works.

Where We're Going

Flint's deeply-rooted sense of purpose continues to propel this community forward. New restaurants, nightclubs, retail businesses, and urban living spaces continue to pop up throughout the downtown. These new venues, along with old favorites, provide the stage upon which evermore activities, events, programs, and spontaneous happenings come to life.

Street vendors and performers at Flint's annual Buckham Alley Fest.

Flint has an especially strong tradition of celebrating artists and musicians. The Flint Institute of Arts (FIA) is the second largest art museum in the state (behind the Detroit Institute of Arts). The FIA screens foreign and independent films, and offers other programs especially for Flint's nearly 35,000 college students.

Events and exhibits put on by the Flint Creative Alliance, Flint Public Art Project, Flint Peace Mob, and others also continue to bring people and ideas together. In recent years, Flint has elevated monthly Friday ArtWalks to a region-wide ritual.

Flint features an endless stream of creative community discovery projects, such as city-wide scavenger hunts. We even have an emerging experimental theatre scene, highlighted by Shop Floor Theatre Company's community-focused verbatim theatre projects. There is live music, an art installation, or an unconventional creative event somewhere in Flint nearly every weekend—and increasingly on weekdays.

UM-Flint students hanging out in downtown during a Friday evening Art Walk

Flint also hosts some great annual events, including Flint Jazz Festival (which recently had its 30th anniversary) Buckham Alley Fest, Back to the Bricks, Flint Zombie Walk, Bikes on the Bricks, Flint Drop Fest, Crim Festival of Races, Flint Horror Con, the Flint Art Fair and more. These events grow every year, attracting thousands of new visitors.

More than anything, this community takes great pride in its reputation for attracting, cultivating, and recognizing “doers.” And let’s face it, there’s a lot to be done in this city. Those wanting to start a new event, organization, activity, or other opportunity embrace Flint's spirit and go for it!