Lighting up Brush Alley

Lighting up Brush Alley

Flint city residents lit up the night yesterday at the “Light Up Brush Alley Wine Party Fundraiser” at Cork.

Yes, the wine flowed, but the evening also involved hard work and a lot of elbow grease as participants worked to the floor to raise funds to add more lights to Buckham Alley.

Friends of the Alley (FOTA) Committee Members Mike Melenbrink , Kristy Bearse and Kathleen Gazall worked the floor to raise funds to support new lighting along Brush Alley. Photo by Alvin Brown/Artistic Visions Enterprise

Their fundraising efforts will help to support the installation of new strings of lights in Brush Alley, extending the already popular Buckham Alley Festival’s footprint (The event takes place on July 15 this year).

New lights will be strung along the gateway along popular eateries including , and Cork on Saginaw.

The official campaign kick-off occurred earlier this week. Organizers hope to raise $50,000 in 30 days to secure a Public Spaces, Community Places grant through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. that will double their money. 

Friends of the Alley (FOTA) Secretary Kristy Bearse collected donations to support the Brush Alley lighting effort. Photo by Alvin Brown/ Artistic Visions Enterprise


Let’s help them. Donations are being accepted through Patronicity.




Jessica Hammon, Darci Racette Kristy Bearse, Kathleen Gazall, Marge Murphy,  Jon Hardman, Mike Melenbrink and Elizabeth Saab led efforts to light up Brush Alley at last night’s event, which drew a capacity crowd. Photo by Alvin Brown/Artistic Visions Enterprise








The Project

The aim? To permanently light Buckham Alley. Over the past 5 years Buckham Alley fest has drawn thousands of people to the downtown who marvel at the twinkle of its  lights. This past year, Buckham Alley remained lit through the fall, when supporters were  forced to take them down due to Michigan weather changes.

This year, organizers want to permanently affix the lighting to the buildings along the alley, as well as provide areas for sponsor banners.

The overall cost for the permanent installation will exceed $80,000 dollars, according to organizers. The remaining money from the grant will be used to install banner holders, cover any contingencies and to have a maintenance reserve to assure that the lights stay lit for years to come.

The Impact

Organizers are confident that the effort will grow a culture in Flint’s rebounding downtown. And they hope new lighting will instill an  increased sense of security for visitors,office employees and residents. The effort will also help to further Friends of The Alley’s mission of creating a friendly, fun usable space and attempting to pedestrianize and beautify its alleys, encouraging commercial growth.




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