Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

February 24, 2013

Flint artists to involve community

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For Kenyetta Dotson, that means looking to the past and the future. She said she wants to look at history while engaging area youths.

“(What) we want to do is utilize our history, our ancestors, and really create community signage in the high-traffic areas that has community art on it to get people to create community dialogue,” she said. “To not ignore the problem, but be actively involved in and part of the solution.”

Dotson is a social worker and is part of the WOW Outreach Center, a Flint-based program focused on ending violence.

By using signs and artwork from area children, she hopes to spread a positive message at two locations in Flint’s First Ward, taking up the northwest corner of the city.

“If people can see it on a daily basis, then people can see it as a reminder that we’re all in this together,” she said.

Other proposed projects include a verbatim theater project led by the Fifth Ward’s Andrew Morton, who has already led two other verbatim plays in the area — plays that are based on real information and interviews with local residents.

Another project that Wood said she’s looking forward to is a project in which the artist will invite community members out to Mott Golf Course to light paper lanterns they’ll send into the sky, each with a wish for the community written inside.

At first, organizers of the arts project were worried they wouldn’t have enough applicants, or wouldn’t have applicants in certain wards. After a last-minute push, however, they ended up with a total of about 40 applicants, with more than one in each ward.

“I thought that we got plenty of applications and we were able to find people that lived in all of the nine wards that we felt confident would be able to carry out the project,” said Greg Fiedler, president of the Greater Flint Arts Council.

“I was very satisfied, and a lot of very qualified and creative people applied.”

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