The Flint Cultural Center Presents…Earth Day Fun!


The Flint Cultural Center has a special celebration planned for Earth Day by his year! Several organizations have teamed up to honor the environment in a three-day Earth Day celebration, including: FIA, Applewood Estate, Flint Public Library, Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Youth Theatre, Longway Planetarium, and Sloan Museum.

“This is the first year the Cultural Center has celebrated Earth Day,” says Kathryn Sharbaugh, Director of Development at Flint Institute of Arts. The idea started when FIA caught wind of a Canadian couple, Gary and Joanie McGuffin, who spent years locating the exact spots where a group of famous landscape artists created iconic landscape paintings. “Gary photographed what these great artists painted,” Kathryn says. A documentary was produced that highlights their journey. Kathryn thought that Earth Day would be the perfect time to bring the McGuffins documentary to FIA, due to the film’s environmental theme. Presentations by each of the organizations all have an environmental theme. Sloan Museum has a new exhibit about water, and Applewood Estate had recently completed a study about Gilkey Creek that runs through the property. “Gilkey Creek defined the cultural area,” says Kathleen. “Applewood did an extensive study on the impact the creek has on the environment.”

Here’s a look at what can be seen and experienced at the Cultural Center’s three-day Earth Day celebration.

Thursday, April 21

Kicking off the event at 6pm will be the McGuffin’s 70-minute documentary Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven at the FIA. The film focuses on the McGuffins and their 25-year venture to find the locations where the landscapes were painted by the Group of Seven. These artists from the 1920s did their works in Algoma and the region north of Lake Superior. Gary is a photographer and Joanie is a writer.

At 7pm, FIA will be featuring a Q&A with the McGuffins.

Friday, April 22 – Earth Day

Beginning at 10:30am, the Flint Public Library is hosting Great Lakes Adventures: Teen Forum. Gary and Joanie McGuffin will talk to students about their travels and show a clip from their documentary. The Sloan Museum will present its Water’s Extreme Journey exhibit to middle school students and will host a scavenger hunt based on the McGuffins presentation. These programs are for school groups only, and are already at capacity.

Saturday, April 23

Earth Day celebrations begin on Saturday at Sloan Museum with Museum Free Day, from 10am to 5pm. There will be five hands-on stations throughout the Water’s Extreme Journey exhibit. The science stations will focus on the environment including wetlands, groundwater, water treatment, the water cycle and habitat. Applewood Estate will host a nature walk by Gilkey Creek, from 11am to 12pm. In 2007, Gilkey Creek underwent a restoration project that reduced flooding to the historic estate and created a more natural channel that has helped restore the habitat.

There’s more fun for visitors at The Flint Youth Theater with “Story to Stage.” FYT artists will work with kids to create their own Earth Day play and turn it into a short performance. From 12pm to 4pm, landscape art will be on exhibit at FIA. Visitors will then have the opportunity to create their own landscape in the art studio. According to Kathryn, artists are very respectful of the environment, as much of the material they use to create art is from the Earth. The Flint School of Performing Arts will host “Exploring the Earth: Conservation & Water Through Creative Movement” from 12-1pm and 2-3pm. FSPA Dance Instructor, Peggy Mead-Finizio, will lead a family workshop. The school is also hosting another family workshop, Musical Instruments from the Earth, from 1-2pm and 3-4pm to look at instruments that are made from natural materials. Lastly, Longway Planetarium will show an ecology film at 12:30pm and 4:40pm.

Kathryn is very excited about the celebration. “We are very excited to do this collectively,” she says. “Everything is free [for those who attend], thanks to the Mott Foundation. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about our water and our planet and how it is linked with the theater and arts.”


Comments are closed.