Introducing Flint Local 432's General Manager, Maiya LeGardye

FLINT, Michigan — Flint native Maiya LeGardye is making history. At 23 years old, she is the first African American woman to hold the position of General Manager of Flint Local 432 — one of the longest-running all-ages venues in the country — located in downtown Flint. Being the first and being General Manager are titles and moments in her life that she is grateful for but isn’t taking for granted. 

Born on the Northside of Flint, LeGardye, through watching her mother as a child, understood the value of hard work and instilled in her a fire. But more than that, LeGardye is a bonafide trendsetter and business aficionado. In her attempts to stay “lowkey,” as she puts it, LeGardye owns and operates multiple businesses in Flint that create a unique synergy between them and her job at Flint Local 432. 

First, there’s Next2Last Productions, a film production company and umbrella to her other businesses. Next, MaiMuxic Productions houses her love and passion for music through producing, beat-making, and engineering. Finally, and more recent, is her arrival into the fashion industry with Uptown Nationals Clothing Co., set to be released on May 1.

Flintside caught up with the LeGardye inside Flint Local 432 to talk about her new position, vision for the future, life lessons.

"I don’t feel pressure. I feel pride. I feel pride in being in this position and being able to provide opportunities for more people of color." - Maiya LeGardye
Flintside: With two businesses under your belt, a clothing line getting ready to launch, and now becoming the General Manager of the historic Flint Local 432, it feels like you are on the move. Where do you find your passion and fire to create?

Maiya LeGardye: “It speaks to what my parents instilled in me — the work ethic. I grew up with a single mother but shout out to my dad. I watched my mom in the house with my sister and me having to get up when she was tired, didn’t want to get up, and go and grind and do. That put something in me to be like, 'I don’t want you to have to do this forever.'”

Flintside: How did you arrive at Flint Local 432?

Maiya LeGardye: “My relationship with Flint Local 432 started with an internship — shoutout to Mott Community College. They got me an internship with a gentleman, Ashley Peacock, who gave me an opportunity. He introduced me to Joel Rash, who put me in my position. These are the same people who gave so much advice and game and looked for nothing in exchange. So for me, I feel it’s my duty to go out, use that, and not waste time and the energy that these people have put into me. They helped open the door for me and I want to do that to somebody else.”

Flintside: So what does it mean to be the General Manager?

Maiya LeGardye: “It means I’ve been given this to carry that torch forward. To take this further and bring up the next generation of young artists, musicians, people in the city who are working towards something. It’s so many people out there who don’t know what [Flint Local 432] is. So for me, General Manager is making sure that we get to another 30 years down the line and I don’t carry that lightly.” 

Flintside: How do you feel about being young, Black, and having a critical role here and within the community?

Maiya LeGardye: “I don’t feel pressure. I feel pride. I’ll speak specifically for Black women in my life — my mother, grandmothers, aunts, cousins — who I’ve seen go and hold their heads up high and represent when the circumstances were much worse than I will ever have to endure. So, I feel pride in being in this position and being able to provide opportunities for more people of color who may not feel comfortable walking into a room and not seeing anybody who looks like them.” 

Flintside: Do you feel this symbolizes a shift in Flint’s culture and in alignment with the current era we’re experiencing?

Maiya LeGardye: “I think it speaks to the times we live in. I come from that culture. I think it speaks to the understanding that representation is important. It speaks to Joel and his understanding of what this city looks like when you walk outside those doors. His thing is getting people who understand what’s going on outside those doors in position. I can speak to that.”

Flintside: I know the Local has its vision but what’s your vision in this position?

Maiya LeGardye: “My vision of it, and it is ever-evolving, is I want to give people an opportunity. I want Flint to continue to grow this music scene and help each other grow in it. For me, the Local is somewhere you can come and kick it — it’s a safe place and an all-ages venue. We have a 13-year-old rapper who can’t go anywhere else but can come here. He can invite [his family] and do what he wants without being turned away at the door. I feel the Local has a responsibility to be one of those spaces for you to come and learn, understand what stage presence is and how to network in a venue.”

Flintside: To that point, how does someone book the Local for an event? And, what kind of events does the Local hold?

Maiya LeGardye: “To hold events in this space, send a quick email. I will say, 90% of the time, if you are somebody looking to hold something, you can get in here for free. As we learn and grow, we have to be more than just a music venue. This summer, we will have a lot of family-oriented events: movie nights, inside picnics, plays, fashion shows, game nights. We have someone coming in to rehearse a play tonight. We are willing to listen to your idea of what you want [your event] to be.” 

Flintside: You mention your mother, grandmothers, aunts, and cousins as people who inspire you. Are there others?

Maiya LeGardye: “Two people who I find inspiration in, and both of them have since passed on, is one, Ashley Peacock. He opened my mind to what this could be and took the barriers away. He [said] lead with your heart. Another person is Nipsey Hussle. How I feel about him is how people feel about Tupac. I watched countless Nipsey interviews to learn and understand his mindset. The continuous knock down that door, don’t skip steps, stay ten toes down and stay true to who you are.” 

Flintside: Before we go, congratulations on everything in your life. When you look back on everything, what do you take from it all?

Maiya LeGardye: “I’m blessed. God is good cause it could’ve gone left. Just understanding I have been given a gift, I favor over my life, and [I] should not take that gift lightly. So, when I look at my life, I look at it like it’s a testimony and how can I help someone else. Every day I wake up and declare that I have favor in every situation that I walk into.”

To learn more about the Flint Local 432, visit: flintlocal432.org

For booking information, email Flint Local 432 at [email protected]. In addition, find LeGardye LeGardye on Instagram and through Next2Last Productions and Uptown Nationals Clothing Co.

Read more articles by Xzavier Simon.