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Greater Flint Arts Council Jazz Walk: Building Audiences

Muscians performingGreater Flint Arts Council’s Free Jazz Walk only debuted in August, but it’s already building audiences for the arts. People have been pouring out to enjoy local jazz bands at clubs in Downtown Flint on the fourth Thursday of every month.

President and CEO of GFAC Greg Fiedler is thrilled about the event’s success, which draws about 1,000 people a month. He says The Jazz Walk has fulfilled the Arts Council’s mission to foster economic development through the arts in numerous ways: not only does the event create Thursday night business at local clubs and create more paying work for Flint’s jazz musicians, it also builds audiences that will support jazz in the future.

The Jazz Walk runs from 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. at various clubs in Downtown Flint, but anyone can join at any venue. The plan for 2012 is to have each band play for an hour and a half, to encourage people to visit each venue, but so far, the happy byproduct is that each club that participates enjoys a full house all night. People are drawn by the prospect of hearing great music, and they stay out to mingle and enjoy the scene.

Beginning as a commemoration of the 30th anniversary Flint Jazz Festival, The Jazz Walk quickly became so popular that the arts council decided to make it a monthly event.

Preview Image: Sherm Mitchell plays the trombone with Pat Cronley & Friends at The White Horse Tavern in Flint during the Jazz Walk in August.

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