By: Matt Hendrian
The Flint Masonic Temple is getting a refresh with the support of a $250,000 Prosperity Award from the Consumers Energy Foundation. The grants are given to empower projects that will make a substantial impact on their community.
Communities First Inc. (CFI), a Flint-based nonprofit, is leading the renovation of the downtown landmark. The team has a comprehensive plan to restore and reopen the Flint Masonic Temple’s restaurant and auditorium spaces as a premier arts and culture venue for the community. With a main auditorium that can seat 300 to 400 people for events, concerts, art shows, festivals, and other cultural activities, CFI anticipates this investment will generate a significant positive economic and social impact for Flint.
Glenn Wilson, president and CEO of Communities First Inc., outlined the vision for the renovation. “New flooring, polishing fixtures, new window coverings, fresh paint, updated lighting, and other upgrades will allow this century-old building to be a staple in the Flint community for generations to come. This venue will offer diverse programming that will ensure equitable access for all,” he said.
After opening in 1911, the building was added to the State Register of Historic Sites in 1981 for its cultural and architectural significance. After more than 100 years, Communities First Inc. anticipates the renovation of this downtown gathering space will provide an ideal stage to share culture through dinners, concerts and receptions. Once renovations are complete, The Flint Masonic Temple will reaffirm its place as a world-class attraction and centerpiece of the community for years to come.
In November, it was announced Communities First Inc. and the City of Cadillac received $250,000 grants to support critical work in their respective communities. Communities First Inc. celebrated this announcement with a Prosperity Day on Dec.1 at the Masonic Temple that included about 40 local leaders and Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. Representatives from nonprofits, higher education, local businesses and neighborhood groups shared their mission, outlined current work and laid the foundation for future partnerships.
“The projects in Cadillac and Flint will help these vibrant communities continue to grow and prosper, and the Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to support their efforts with these Prosperity Awards,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “The foundation believes in a triple bottom line approach that focuses on people, the planet, and our state’s prosperity. These awards serve an important role in helping make wonderful ideas that will strengthen our state come to life, and we look forward to helping Michigan continue to grow.”