Each year, the Flint Cultural Center presents Growing Up Artfully, a fundraiser that helps sustain the services provided to the public by this group. Different FCC supporters serve as hosts to the event each year, with this year’s 10th annual Growing Up Artfully held on June 6 at the Flint home of Dr. Christopher and Sharron Ash.
The Cultural Center Corporation explains that Growing Up Artfully “increases access to the arts, history, and sciences” for “underserved youth and families in Genesee County” through the Longway Planetarium, Sloan Museum, and The Whiting. Services provided include free and subsidized admission to the above organizations, support for busing of school groups, and discounted events and workshops for families and schools that participate in Cultural Center activities.
The architecture of the Ash residence seemed to welcome and compliment Growing Up Artfully well; its tall columns, white finish, and design elements are reminiscent of southern antebellum mansions. It is of the Gregorian Colonial style of houses, and was completed in 1929. Over three dozen sponsors supported this year’s event. Entertainment included live music by Joe Powers, the Jeff Price Jazz Group, and Neil Woodward; Fandangles’ served Southern style cuisine, drinks were provided by Fabiano Brothers, and attendees enjoyed the artistry of caricaturist Kenjji Marshall and mentalist, Joshua Wilde.
Flint native Jake Emerick supports the local arts, and is often in attendance at art happenings. He enjoyed the “The Party” held at the Flint Institute of Arts just five days prior to Growing Up Artfully. Emerick has been in awe of late as he witnesses the recent growth and revival in all things Flint. “Having grown up on the west side, the city is looking as good, if not better, than when I lived here 20 years ago. My mom raised our family just a few blocks away from [the Ash home]and it’s nice to have a shindig here, so thanks to the Ash family for putting it on.”
For serving as hosts for this year’s event, Dr. and Mrs. Ash were recognized by the Cultural Center with an award from Growing Up Artfully. Board Chair of the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, Dr. D.J. Trela, thanked the couple and the donors for their support of Cultural Center member organizations during the award presentation. After receiving the award, Dr. Ash explained to My City Magazine that Growing up Artfully is special to him and his family. “We love Flint and we love Growing Up Artfully,” he said, “and we show our appreciation by supporting the Cultural Center.”
PHOTOS BY TRACI TURNER
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