We think you're going to have a fantastic experience in the city meeting Flint residents as well as artists, designers, and planners from around the country.
Like many groups and individuals who are working to revitalize Flint, we're operating on a very tight budget, and all of us on staff are juggling many responsibilities. This field guide will help you navigate the city independently and will answer basic questions.
There is a hotel close to downtown, the Holiday Inn Express. Please contact them on your own, as we are not able to coordinate your stay.
Kayak.com has cheap airfares for direct flights to Flint, or to Detroit. From NYC, we often take United, which flies via Cleveland to Flint in 3.5 hours. Spirit Air flies to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, about 75 minutes away from Flint. Unless you plan to rent a car, please consider flying through Flint, as there are shuttles available from a few places:
Flint Bishop Shuttle
Ground Transportastion from Bishop Airport
Flint Taxi services
While you're here you'll most likely be able to walk to and from where you're staying to the various conference sites in town. Please bring comfortable walking shoes, and dress for chilly weather - Flint is colder than many other cities in the Northeast this time of year.
Other than bars, most venues close early.
A Survey and Review of Restaurants in Downtown Flint
Flint Crepe Co. - crepes, coffee, open until 10pm (wifi)
The Torch - food and drinks (wifi)
Hoffman's Deli - sandwiches, salads, smoothies (wifi)
Wise Guys Pizza - pizza, heros, salads (wifi)
501 Bar and Grill - food and drinks (wifi)
Halo Burger - burgers (wifi)
The Farmer's Market - open Tue, Thu, Sat - brunch, fresh produce & prepared food
Churchill's - food and drinks
Angelo's Coney Island - breakfast, classic Flint Hot Dogs, open 24 hrs
Tom Z's - breakfast, Flint Hot Dogs
Cork - wine bar, new American cuisine, Weekdays only
Good Beans Cafe - coffee, open til 4 pm (wifi)
Brown Sugar - coffee, open 7.30 am til 4.30 pm (wifi)
Lunch Studio - breakfast and lunch, 8 am - 4:00 pm, Fri. to 7 pm, Sat, 11 am - 3 pm
James Andrews - Director of Strategy and Operations
Matthieu Bain - Project Architect / Project Coordinator
Jerome Chou - Director of Programs
Andrew Perkins - Resident Architect / Project Coordinator
Brie Williams - Intern
Stephen Zacks - Producer and Artistic Director
Flint Public Art Project Office
124 W. 1st Street, Flint MI 48502
Flint Public Art Project website
If you have any questions or concerns about your presentations or projects, please email Jerome Chou or call 443-465-0664.
If you have questions or concerns about housing or travel, please email James Andrews or call 347-423-8398.
Art Place blog
Video of Flint Public Art Project at September's Detroit Design Festival
New York architects aim to turn historic Flint mortuary into piece of art
Abandoned buildings, vacant spaces transformed in 'Value + Ruin' panel by Flint Public Art Project
Free City is a three-day international public art festival that will take place in Flint, Michigan from May 3 to 5, 2013 in and around an abandoned, former Chevrolet manufacturing site known as
Free City will create a highly visible symbol of the Flint's ongoing transformation, reconnecting residents to the site and building awareness of its potential as an open space. The festival will feature projects that:
– engage local residents, institutions, and community groups in the planning, construction, and design of installations and performances
– connect to surrounding neighborhoods visually, physically, or thematically
– address the specific characteristics of the Chevy site, including its physical conditions and current uses, its geological, industrial, and social history, and other environmental qualities.
Chevy-in-the-Hole compost site
A schedule and full list of participating artists and performers will be posted April 1.
The Call for Proposals is now closed. Thanks to the more than 100 artists and performers who proposed projects for the festival.
Chevy-in-the-Hole is a roughly 130-acre area adjacent to the Flint River just northwest of downtown Flint, situated between major institutions such as Kettering University, the University of Michigan-Flint, and Hurley Hospital. An active GM factory, a tool & die metal shop, is stationed on the southern edge. The name Chevy-in-the-Hole refers to the site being in a flood plain 10-20 feet lower than its surroundings.
Free City will be centered around Stevenson Street, which will be closed temporarily for the festival, and a portion of the site known as Parcel D. (See the Site Map below for more details.)
The site has major historic significance: sit-down strikes at the site in the mid-1930s led directly to GM recognizing the UAW in 1937, and were a major factor in the birth of the U.S. labor movement. In the 1960s, the site along with three other Flint industrial "campuses" employed nearly 90,000 people. However, layoffs followed throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and all but one building at the Chevy site were demolished in 2004.
Today, the Chevy site is considered a key piece to Flint's future. The City of Flint has received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to plant more than 1,000 trees that are helping to clean up the soil. The City is also processing several tons of leaf waste and other organic matter for compost. Both activities are symbols of rebirth that are also helping to speed the site's future re-use.
Chevy site and the surrounding area
Chevy-in-the-Hole may one day be developed as an open space, or for new homes and businesses. However, that kind of development will take many years to unfold. In the meantime, the site is safe for most kinds of temporary activities and uses. Its central location and visibility from all points around it make it an ideal place to showcase the city's overall transformation through public art and temporary structures.
Free City site map
For more information about the site, please see Reimagining Chevy-in-the-Hole (PDF)
Flint Public Art Project organizes public events, workshops, and temporary installations to inspire residents to reimagine the city, reclaim vacant and underutilized buildings and lots, and use innovative tools to steer the city's long-term planning.
We support collaborations among local residents and organizations with leading artists, architects, planners, and community organizers from around the world, connecting the city to regional, national, and global movements to revitalize places through art and design.
We are documenting and amplifying the many ways residents, businesses, and institutions are transforming the city and its public image, and broadcasting this new story to audiences throughout the world.