The Neighborhood Art Parade brings together residents with artists and performers for monthly walks and gatherings to help reclaim the streets for the community. Each parade features art and performance elements—marching bands, jazz musicians, dancers, spoken word poets, and site-specific installations—making each event a movable, free performance series. Each month’s walk takes a different route, marked by ephemeral markers such as balloons, painted yard signs, and temporary installations, as well as more permanent elements such as planters. Each walk culminates in a block party that is open to everyone.
Last Thursdays, April through September, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Sarvis Park (Apr. 30)
Atherton East (May 28)
Civic Park (June 25)
East Side (July 30),
Metawanee Hills (Aug. 27)
Hasselbring Park (Sep. 24)
Neighborhood leaders serve as community organizers for the events, recruiting residents as well as local businesses and institutions to participate as anchors along the route. A local resident may open her home to describe the neighborhood’s history and current issues, or a restaurant may serve as a final stop for participants for a communal meal. The walks began with residents from the immediate neighborhood, then gradually grew to include residents citywide—bringing together people both within the Northside and from around the city to join in the process of revitalization.
Long-time Flint residents remember social clubs that used to bring neighbors and performers together for walks on the Northside. Neighborhood Art Parade revives this tradition, creating a fun, ceremonial experience to increase public safety and community cohesion.
Since 2014, Neighborhood Art Parade has been produced in combination with Light Up the City, a community-policing initiative of the city and state police to hand out free compact fluorescent lightbulbs in neighborhoods, encouraging residents to keep porch lights on and developing relationships between officers and members of the community.
In cooperation with Neighborhood Restoration Coalition, Salem Housing, Neighborhood Engagement Hub, Flint Neighborhoods United, UFO Village, Civic Park Neighborhood Association, Michigan State Police, Consumers Energy, the Flint Police Department, Elga Bank, and Walmart, with support from the Ruth Mott Foundation.