Flint Local 432 receives $19,500 in grant funding

FLINT, Michigan — Flint Local 432 was recently awarded $19,500 in grant funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. An anchor in the downtown Flint all-ages scene, Flint Local 432 has provided a space for youth arts since 1985. The funds will continue to provide programming, including music, theatre, dance, film, and yoga for young people in 2022.

The Local is also made possible with support from the Mott Foundation, the Greater Flint Arts Council’s Share Art Genesee Grant Program, the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage funds. In a press release, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) says Flint Local 432 was around when he was in high school. “I’m proud to help provide support to make sure this generation of teenagers has a safe, welcoming, and diverse arts venue to call their own,” he says.

Maiya Legardye, events coordinator for Flint Local 432 says the center was created 36 years ago to be a safe place for music lovers of all kinds. “To this day, that’s still really what it is,” she says. “It’s a great place for a lot of the younger generation in the city and surrounding cities to come to. To get on stage for the first time, experience that, and for the audience to come together and fellowship over the love of the music.”

Local musicians Rashaad Reed (left) and Brelia Renee (right) during a live performance at Flint Local 432.Legardye says the grant application is an annual process for the center, which applied back in March. “It accounts for about a fourth of our overall funding,” she says. “We got the final approval for it in late October/early November.”

Part of the funding will be used to improve the space. “Coming out of COVID, we were actually out of the venue for a little over a year dealing with that. We’ve been doing shows, but we’re going to be really full-force come 2022. It’s going to take care of making some improvements to the building,” Legardye says.

Aside from hosting concerts, The Local also acts as a kind of pop-up community center, offering the space at no cost to local organizations. 

“We also have a number of partners who occupy the space in the building,” Legardye says. “What the grant allows us is the opportunity to offer the space for free to community members and groups. We have a yoga group [Howl and Heal] that comes in, a dance group [Culturas Del Sol] that comes in, a record label [All Varsity Music] that comes in. With this grant, we’re able to keep the lights on, keep the heating and cooling going, and allow these groups to be in the venue for free.”

Funding will also go towards improving sound and lighting systems for concerts and performances. Past notable shows include early-on performances from national touring acts like Fugazi, Mustard Plug, Less Than Jake, My Chemical Romance, Coheed & Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold, and more. With this grant, Flint Local 432 is poised to remain one of the longest-running all-ages venues in the nation. 

For more information on booking and upcoming events, visit the Flint Local 432 Facebook page.

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.