We serve as Genesee County’s arts / cultural incubator. GFAC support services for artists and arts organizations include consulting in career development, program development, strategic planning, funding, organizational development/ sustainability, marketing and partnership development. All GFAC programming is done in partnership with local agencies, businesses and media. More than 1,500 volunteers work with us annually to accomplish an impressive portfolio of events and services. We normally have under our wing more than two dozen young artists of various disciplines who produce their own events. Many of these productions are paired with character building and civic engagement activities. Through arts incubator, GFAC is able to provide artists and small arts organizations funding, space for meetings, performances, rehearsals, office space, phones, a mailing address and more. Facility rental was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID Pandemic. Facility rental was restored in 2022 and is once again going strong, demonstrating the need for affordable space for local artists.
We receive close to 5,000 requests annually for information and referrals via email, phone and social media. Topics of inquiry include locations of art, music and theatre classes for youth, dates and times of events, local artists seeking services and arts agencies seeking funding and other resources.
Another incubator program, GFAC founded the Parade of Festivals in 1999. This program was created to boost the economy of our downtown during its renovation. It offers incubator funds to begin new festivals, long term support for free festivals and a marketing package which includes regional media and a brochure that is designed for displays and the highway welcome centers throughout Michigan. Our media package was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. In 2023 we intend to bring back the brochures. GFAC was involved in the incubation of many of the participating festivals, including Goodstock, Porch Fest, DROP Fest, Alley Fest and the Tunes At Noon Festival. We have received a number of requests to help with future events and plan to continue working with local artists who want to produce them. Additionally, this program gives support to existing festivals including Flint Pride, Goodstock, DROP Fest, Alley Fest, Tunes at Noon, Flint Jazz Festival and Porch Fest. After being suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, this program resumed in an altered state in 2021 and operated at almost normal pace in 2022. We anticipate a full summer of festivals in 2023.


GFAC produces festivals and events which we use to build community, sustain American art forms such as jazz, support the careers of established artists and give young artists experience in professional venues.
In 1999, in coordination with the downtown development plan and the Parade of Festivals program, GFAC founded the Tunes At Noon Festival. For 23 years, we produced 30 lunch-time concerts out of doors in downtown Flint. We set up sign boards on Saginaw Street, MTA and the market to advertise the schedule and distributed 5,000 flyers. Average daily attendance for these casual concerts is near 100 persons. This festival has moved several times since it’s inception and is now produced in Willson Park.
In 2001, GFAC inherited the Flint Jazz Festival which was founded by local musician and producer, Joe Freyre. Upon his death, GFAC assumed the production of this festival to keep it alive for generations to come. In 2023 we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the festival. Special features included a concert by Peobo Bryson at the Capitol Theatre, a JAZZWALK in six locations and three days in Riverbank Park with internationally known headliners, Lee Ritenour, Bob James and Alexander Zonjic. Throughout the five day event, 4,200 people were in attendance in downtown Flint.
In August 2011, the celebration of the 30th Annual Flint Jazz Festival gave birth to the GFAC JAZZWALK. This became a monthly event for 3 years. Then the clubs created their own Jazz nights. JAZZWALK is now an annual event on Thursday night leading into the Jazz Festival. JAZZWALK was in 6 locations in 2022. GFAC also produces JAZZNITE at the White Horse Tavern on the fourth Thursday each month. JAZZNITE patrons also return during the month once they have discovered our growing downtown as a destination for arts and entertainment. JAZZWALK played a significant role in developing the live music scene downtown Flint which continues to grow.
GFAC is the founder and anchor for the downtown Flint ARTWALK program begun in 1994 through partnerships forged by GFAC. ARTWALK began as a partnership between the Buckham Gallery and GFAC to share an audience of visual arts enthusiasts. It has grown to more than twenty locations including University of Michigan-Flint, three churches, five galleries, a teen center, several eateries and retail stores and of course in the warm months…the streets of downtown where artists and musicians demonstrate and perform. ARTWALK attracts more than 2,500 people to downtown on the second Friday of each month throughout the year and includes many disciplines of the arts: poetry, music, dance, theater, book signings and more. ARTWALK builds community, gives professional exposure to local artists and builds the local economy. Sales increase in venues throughout downtown on ARTWALK night as ARTWALK patrons fill the downtown eating/drinking establishments. ARTWALK patrons also return during the month once they discover the rich offerings in downtown Flint. ARTWALK attendance has recovered in 2022 after losing ground during the COVID pandemic. ARTWALK exhibitions represent the gamut of artists from pre-school to high school, college and accomplished artists. In collaboration with the Flint ARTWALK, the GFAC Exhibition Program offers twelve diverse exhibitions in our gallery. We celebrate the opening of each exhibit with a reception during ARTWALK on the second Friday of each month. We celebrate diversity when planning our annual offering of exhibitions.


GFAC makes funding available to the arts community. We have been a Regional Regranting agency for MACC since the inception of the program over 30 years ago, currently representing Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee Counties. This program has a component called “Professional Development,” which can be used by individual artists. In 2023 this program will provide $24,500 in grants ($4,000 max.ea.) for arts projects, $7,500 in funds for professional development grants ($1,500 max.). Grants to schools ($7,000) which will provide supplies or transportation to arts venues.
This will be the fifth year for the “Share Art Genesee” millage grants totaling $440,000. These grants will be given in 4 categories:
1. $2,500 grants for place making projects
2. $5,000 grants to small arts organizations
3. Up to $30,000 grants to developed arts organizations
Developed arts organizations are defined as those having property they own or lease and paid staff.
4. Up to $2,500 for Cultural Planning
In addition to granting funds, we include local arts groups in our fund raising programs. We produce the Cool City Art Auction. Auctions are now operated online and the preview takes place during ARTWALK. This has made the event more accessible to a diverse public. The partners have agreed to produce the auction every other year to reduce stress on the local artists who donate their work. The next auction will take place in 2024.


GFAC produces two group exhibitions that compliment arts education. Our annual Young Artists Today High School Exhibition hosts works of art from seventeen high schools in Genesee, Shiawassee and Lapeer Counties. Six awards are announced a half hour before ARTWALK to an audience of more than150 students and their families. A partnership between GFAC and the Art Department at Mott Community College, MCC Dept. of Studio Arts and Graphic Design sponsors the event to attract talented students to their program. MCC Art Professors judge the exhibit for awards. All winners receive an annual membership to GFAC, scholarships to the Flint Institute of Art and scholarships for art classes at Mott Community College.
In May, we produce the annual exhibition for students of the University of Michigan-Flint Art Department. A competition is a component of the exhibit, organized by the UM-Flint staff. Included are purchase awards. GFAC awards an annual membership to each of the winning students.
GFAC will continue to help young musicians break into the professional arena, hiring them to play at ARTWALK, Tunes at Noon, JAZZNITE and Flint Jazz Festival. In 2022, we were able to offer these venues to a new student jazz ensemble at the University of Michigan-Flint.


GFAC has a history of successful Community Cultural Planning beginning with two Where’s Art? conferences in 1981 and 1985. We lead our community through an assessment (Forging Links) and another cultural plan in 2003-04 with partial funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. We again received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2012-13. In partnership with the City of Flint, we lead our community through cultural planning in 2013. The 2013 Community Cultural Plan has been incorporated into the City of Flint Master Plan. This is a first for the arts in Flint. Our process for planning has been showcased by the National Endowment for the Arts on their website for the NEA Our Town Project ( The work of the implementation team lead by the City of Flint and GFAC was completed in December, 2015. Greater Flint Arts Council will continue to monitor the progress of the plan and work toward the implementation of its strategies as is appropriate.
In 2019 GFAC awarded two Cultural Planning grants to the City of Fenton and the Clio Area Art Center. By the end of 2019 both of these communities had a plan specific to their needs. The Grand Blanc Arts Council undertook a Cultural Planning program in 2020, also with a grant from GFAC. Swartz Creek was awarded a Cultural Planning grant for 2021.


In 2022, GFAC was invited by Americans for the Arts to participate in the next National
Arts and Economic Impact Study, AEP6. Throughout 2022 and 2023 we will be gathering data about the level of community spending on arts and culture throughout Genesee County.
Genesee County will receive a report and we will also be included in the national report, drawing national attention to our local arts and culture. This report will be useful in 2026 when we ask the community to renew the Arts and Education Millage. Americans for the Arts waived the usual fee to insure our participation, however there is added expense as we need additional staff to complete the project.


GFAC represents the Flint arts community at the Local, State and National level. Our CEO, Greg Fiedler, was District Captain for Americans for the Arts for 8 years. He was invited annually to share the national vision for the arts with Michigan legislators in Washington D.C. Greg Fiedler has twice been a presenter at national conventions through Americans for the Arts and has been a presenter at the State of Michigan Festivals and Events Conference. In September, 2013 Greg Fiedler attended the Americans for the Arts Leadership Conference at the Sundance Resort near Park City, Utah. Only a dozen people are invited annually to this conference. All the GFAC staff represent Flint in Lansing with State legislators and MACC. Greg Fiedler reviews grants for the Michigan Arts and Culture Council. Through our concerted efforts, GFAC staff make sure that Flint, Michigan stays in the forefront of the state and national arts community. Greg has consulted with the Gretchen Whitmer campaign for Michigan Governor on campaign language in support of the Michigan Arts and Culture Council which appeared on her campaign website. Greg also connected their campaign staff with the legislative liaison at Creative Many. In 2019 Greg created a session on Sustainable Funding for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota based on the passing of the Arts/Education Millage in Genesee County. The session was adopted by Americans for the Arts and as proposed by Greg Fiedler, our Campaign Strategist, Randall Thompson was invited to present at the session, once again sharing positive results from Flint, Michigan with a national audience. Recently, Randy Cowen, Vice President of Research for Americans for the Arts, invited Genesee County, Michigan to participate in the next National Arts Economic Impact Study and waived the participation fee for Greg Fiedler, a savings of near $8,000. The national report from this study is scheduled to be available late 2023.