There's a great story on Joel Rash and Flint Local 432, the music venue that's breathing some life into downtown, in The Atlantic Cities.
Michael Seman reports:
"It was a ghost town down here when we started out," Rash recalls. He opened his first Flint music venue back in 1987, in the basement of the historic but waning 2,000-seat Capitol Theater. Chris Everson, general manager of the Flint Downtown Development Authority, recalls the time after a show when the singer of his former band rode naked on a moped for half an hour through the streets of downtown. "No police, nothing," Everson muses. "Nobody was here."Rash's efforts show that Flint's revival will be spurred by a series of smaller, grass-roots efforts that build into real change for the city:
"Coinciding with Flint Local 432’s success, in the 2000s the city and nonprofits alike coalesced around a renewed interest in the potential of Flint’s downtown, resulting in streetscape improvements, building renovations, art walk events, and successful summer festivals. "It was organic, not top-down," Rash says. "It was laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, active, diverse, functional downtown."