Time is running out: Massive mural effort in Flint looks to raise $4,500 by Oct. 1 to fund festival

FLINT, Michigan—With just a few days left to go, supporters of the Flint murals project remain $4,500 short of their goal to fund the Free City Mural Festival, a massive celebration of street art that will flood a block in south Flint with artists who simultaneously create murals to revive the area. 

If Flint Public Art Project successfully raises $15,000 by Oct. 1 — its funding will be doubled through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Patronicity. The match is only given if the initial $15,000 goal is met. As of the morning of Sept. 25, just over $10,500 had been raised.

Plans for the festival include shutting down a section of Saginaw Street for the family-friendly celebration of art that will include music, food, and local and international artists creating 15 murals in a single week. Joe Schipani, executive director of the Flint Public Art Project, said getting that match and doubling the festival’s budget is critical to its success.

Without it, the show will go on, as they say, but it will certainly be smaller and more scaled back then the festival they intended to create, he said. 

The Festival would make a significant addition to the nearly 70 murals painted this summer throughout the city. On water trailers, business storefronts, and around corners throughout the city, artists from Flint, South Africa, Britain, and elsewhere have left their mark on the city. 
Related story: Wave of new murals position Flint as one of world's top destinations for street art

“I’m just glad that I’m able to do something, to be able to help and be a part of something that has given the community such joy. Being a community member I know how much the community needed that joy,” Schipani said. 

Donors to the campaign are thanked through gifts of art. For instance, a $100 gift includes a signed, limited-edition print.

The Free City Mural Festival 2019 is planned for South Flint Business district along South Saginaw Street, from I-69 to Hemphill Road. It is scheduled to run Oct. 7-12, with the street closure and celebration of the city’s 75th mural completion on the afternoon of Oct. 12.

For more information, visit the Patronicity fundraising page.

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.