Custom poems, live music as part of Flint’s free art events this weekend

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FLINT, MI – Looking to have some fun in downtown Flint this weekend? Flint’s Downtown Development Authority has planned a series of arts events, including a day of outdoor music and personalized poetry.

The What’s Up Downtown ProjectThe list of events begins Thursday night at 6 pm with “Soul Stroll,” in which blues musicians The Frenchtown Playboys will stroll down Saginaw Street and perform. Another Soul Ride starring Jeff Warner and Kedree Young is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. The goal of the walk is to introduce street music to the city center and get residents used to donating to street musicians, said Kady Yellow, the project’s creative director.

“We’ve planned a really cool, socially distanced weekend for the people here in Flint,” Yellow said. “It’s safe, and it’s healthy, and it’s very rewarding.”

A “Poet for Hire” pop-up event will also begin at 6 pm Friday at Churchill’s Food and Spirits, located at 340 Saginaw Street. Five local poets will sit at tables with vintage typewriters, inviting passers-by to sit with them and take away a custom poem after a conversation, Yellow said.

“The idea is to reintroduce chance encounters during the pandemic,” Yellow said. “We removed that element of magic and socializing. Even if you meet someone, we are nervous about stopping and talking. It gives an excuse and it’s non-contact, you don’t touch yourself, you are 6 feet from the poet, everything is pandemic-kosher. “

On Saturday, 12 hours of outdoor music will begin at 9 a.m. at Café Rhema, located at 432 S Saginaw St. The event will continue until noon with two concerts on the porch at the Whaley Historic House Museum, located at 624 E Kearsley St., and will end at Blackstone’s Smokehouse later that night with a performance by Eclipse Band. A $ 15 ticket to one of the porch concerts will provide free entry to concerts at the other two venues, and also includes a free cup of filter coffee at Café Rhema and a free drink at Blackstone’s, located at 531 Saginaw St .

For more details on this weekend’s events, visit What’s Up Downtown’s Facebook page or see his calendar of events here.

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