(FLINT, MI – December 21, 2010) By next summer, Flint-area teens and college students will see a long-treasured venue for local music and art relocated and transformed, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The grant will allow the Foundation for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation to redevelop a vacant building in downtown Flint into a permanent home for Flint Local 432, a popular arts and culture community center serving youth ages 15 to 25.
The center will be located at 124 West First Street between Beach and Saginaw streets. It will house a concert hall capable of accommodating 275 people as well as space for workshops, art classes and rehearsals. Planned renovations will include making the building wheelchair accessible and upgrading the facility’s electrical system.
“This is great news. The Local brings thousands of young people to downtown Flint every year,” said Tim Herman, CEO, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and Board President for Uptown Reinvestment Corporation. “And they are contributing to the economy through their support of local businesses, restaurants and stores, and bringing vibrancy to downtown Flint. Attracting students to create, learn, work and invest in our region is one of the key ways we will revitalize Flint and Genesee County.”
Joel Rash founded Flint Local 432 in 1985, primarily to provide local bands with a public venue. It has since hosted bands such as Black Flag, Fugazi, Superchunk, Less Than Jake, Avenged Sevenfold and My Chemical Romance.
“Generations of area youth have become familiar with downtown Flint because they were drawn by the events at Flint Local 432. They have experienced the thrill of playing in bands, being part of the audience and they have learned job skills and teamwork as volunteers. In fact, they have helped sustain downtown.”
The venue is expected to hold more than 100 concerts each year, featuring local, regional and national bands. Plans are also to offer area youth the chance to engage in theatre, dance, film, art, design, fashion and more.
The Local will continue its history of operating alcohol-free, which has been an important draw for both area high school students and local college students.
The renovated center is expected to open in the second quarter of 2011. For more information about Flint Local 432, please join their Facebook group or send an e-mail to FlintLocal432@gmail.com.