Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Free City Mural Festival” project in Flint

Thursday, August 29, 2019

$15,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – The Flint Public Art Project will be hosting the city’s first mural festival this fall involving the completion of 75 murals around Flint through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit Flint Public Art Project (FPAP) announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $15,000 by Sept. 27, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Bringing local, national and international artists together to activate spaces using creativity is a beautiful form of community development that the Free City Mural Festival is making possible,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Over the last five years, FPAP has hosted the Free City Art Festival, an event centered on empowering artists. The first festival took place at the old Chevrolet manufacturing site called “Chevy in the Hole.” Shortly after the first Free City event, the city of Flint developed a plan to turn the old manufacturing site into a large community park with the help of Genesee County Parks. Today, the area is known as Chevy Commons. FPAP’s Free City is committed to diversifying the urban landscape and highlighting the unique voices within communities by bringing art out of the galleries and into the streets.

As part of its campaign to shift the image of Flint from a troubled city to a community of creative hope, FPAP will be hosting the area’s first mural festival, Free City Mural Festival. The festival will take place on October 12, 2019 at various locations on Flint’s south side.

“With the funding from the PSCP matching grant program Flint Public Art Project will be able to provide 15 new murals from world known artists to revitalize the city of Flint. The funding will also help us further our mission of activating public spaces by encouraging people to explore parts of the city they may have never visited,” said Joe Schipani, executive director of FPAP. “Please join us on October 12 for Flint's first mural festival consisting of music, live art and a bike tour to check out the new murals.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Bringing public art to a community is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Engaging local, national, and international artists to create that art simultaneously will result in an exciting short-term mural festival with long-term impact.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of August 26, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,768,196 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 225 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $8 million raised from 41,547 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.