FLINT, Michigan – The music scene for a 14-year-old girl was limited in Flint.
Ashley Marie couldn’t bar hop or hit the local clubs to showcase her vocal talents and poetry at that age.
But she found a platform with The Greater Flint Creative Alliance, a nonprofit group aimed at revitalizing Flint through what they call, “collective creative action.”
The Greater Flint Creative Alliance, a nearly 15-year-old nonprofit comprised of artists, volunteers and local businesses, runs a number grassroots events in the Flint community to give a stage and support to local artists.
“We need to ban together to entertain ourselves,” said Jennie Moench, The Greater Flint Creative Alliance’s membership director. “It’s an outlet and a way for people to get together. It’s like a community thing you know.”
Ashley Marie, who is now 18, found her love of music and the arts after her grandfather gave her guitar lessons. Then, she found a home at The Greater Flint Creative Alliance.
“The people have been really great. I’ve kinda grown up here,” she said.
The Creative Alliance serves of artists of all ages and all mediums.
Artists gather at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at Churchill's and third Wednesday of the month at Good Beans. A typical meeting brings together painters, photographers, singers, poets to display their talents.
“It allows freedom of expression,” said Good Beans owner, Ken VanWagoner. “It creates a community space for creative people.”
Moench, who is a painter and an author, has been a member and volunteer for nearly 8 years. She said the organization is working on various strategies to increase membership including holding online meetings and a Facebook art contest.
“We are making a transition,” Moench said. “We’ve been around for a long time. We have to get the word out.”
Annual membership is $6.
For more information about The Greater Flint Creative Alliance, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/flintcreativealliance
Call for artists
Local artists will have to grab a partner to have a shot in appearing in “Voices” a book from The Greater Flint Creative Alliance. The work will go on display May 5, 2017, at Good Beans Café located at 328 N. Grand Traverse St. in Flint. Both artists must be of different disciplines to be considered. The show from 5-7 p.m. also will include an open mic and projector. Works will be on display for two months.