The Michigan Times

Flint Entertains Students

Kathryn+Sharbaugh%2C+Assistant+Director+of+the+Flint+Institute+of+Arts.+%3Cbr%3E%0A%0APhoto+Credit%3A+Madeline+Ciak
Kathryn Sharbaugh, Assistant Director of the Flint Institute of Arts. <br>

Photo Credit: Madeline Ciak

Kathryn Sharbaugh, Assistant Director of the Flint Institute of Arts.
Photo Credit: Madeline Ciak

Kathryn Sharbaugh, Assistant Director of the Flint Institute of Arts.
Photo Credit: Madeline Ciak

Madeline Ciak

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Freshmen students at UM-Flint can learn a lot about the city’s culture, economic conditions and personalities of residents based upon the art they see, the music that they hear and the museums that they visit.

Flint has become an epicenter of entertainment not only because of its numerous art galleries, museums and concert venues, but because these places bring people together to enjoy the art that is displayed and produced there. Luckily for UM-Flint students, many of these entertainment venues are just a short walk or car ride away from campus.

The Greater Flint Arts Council, located at 816 S. Saginaw Street, is just one of the art galleries downtown, and displays the works of local artists. Harold Hill, operations manager at GFAC believes that students benefit from seeing a local artist’s work because it reflects their talent and because local artists are able to better capture the city’s scenery and personality.  

“GFAC is one of the few places that a student can visit and see artwork that might be similar to their skill level, which is important because (that) helps a student grow as an artist,” said Hill.

GFAC also partners with UM-Flint art students each spring so that they can display their work at the downtown gallery. Mr. Hill believes that doing so is a great way to bring the community together.

“Art brings people together and gets them involved in creating and promoting art, and also offers a holistic approach in bettering the community,” said Hill.

The Flint Institute of Arts, located at 1120 E. Kearsley Street, features mostly fine art and is another art gallery located just minutes from the UM-Flint campus. The FIA also offers all college students an opportunity to become part of their “College Town Membership” program, which provides a student with free admission to the museum for one year after filling out an application and providing their student identification card. The FIA is considered  a regional museum not only because it features artwork that ties into common themes of Flint, such as people working, automobiles, agriculture and boating, but because it reflects the tastes in art of the people that reside in Flint as well.

“The museum is a treasure trove because the art that is displayed here not only reflects beauty, but also reflects structure and engineering, and those aspects are important to Flint, its residents and its students,” said FIA assistant director Kathryn Sharbaugh.  

Sharbaugh said she also believes that the FIA provides students with the opportunity to see what humans are able to create, and to be able to become contemplative about that notion in a relaxing setting.

“The museum offers the solitude that is needed to truly explore and understand art at a deeper level. It’s truly a sanctuary for stimulation,” said Sharbaugh.  

The Sloan Museum, located at 1221 E. Kearsley Street, also provides students with a unique lens into Flint’s past, which is not only entertaining but also gives them a better sense of appreciation for the city that they go to school in. The museum’s “Collecting Flint from A to Z” captures everything a person would want to know about Flint in alphabetical order, ranging from its archives to zoology and natural history and everything in between. The museum also has several displays that pertain to the city’s automotive industry, complete with cars and engines.  

Flint Local 432, located at 124 W. First Street, is another unique staple in Flint’s entertainment scene; the substance-free concert venue is open to all ages and is where The Swellers and Chiodos got their start.  

The Buckham Gallery, located at 134 ½ W. Second Street hosts a wide range of events, such as art exhibitions, poetry performances and concerts. Art exhibits are held here monthly and the gallery is also open during Artwalk, which occurs every second Friday of each month.

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