For Immediate Release
Paige Barnett
Friends of Berston

Kay Smith
Flint Water Festival (for RICH Kids, Inc.)
Impact Benefits City, Businesses, and Global Citizens
FLINT, Mich. (August 5, 2021) — Friends of Berston, Flint Institute of Music, and RICH Kids Inc. are proud to present the impact of the Sixth-Annual Flint Water Festival (FWF) in the City of Flint and abroad. FWF transformed the city into a global mecca for water awareness and reinforced Flint’s well-deserved reputation as a resilient, innovative, and connected community. In addition to contributing to Flint’s automotive cachet, FWF served as a vehicle of change by injecting thousands of dollars into the local economy, finding common ground in 66 countries, and inspiring over 4 million people with edutainment.

Extending its reach beyond Flint, FWF received notable media coverage from Business Insider, MSN, Reddit, ABC12, NBC25, CBS5, and many more. The three-day festival took place at Flint’s historic Berston Field House July 2-4, 2021. It enriched and engaged over 12,000 primarily North Flint residents with a fun, safe, and friendly environment. FWF also hosted the official fireworks display on-site for the City of Flint, sponsored by Huntington Bank. Mayor Sheldon Neeley, State Representative Cynthia Neeley, Michigan State Police Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Flint Police Department, Hagerman Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, WeAre Foundation, local
businesses and tourists showed their support for the important cause.

“It has become an integral part in changing the city’s global reputation from poor water quality to a leading destination for water education, technology, arts, fitness, and innovation,” said Kay Smith, founder of FWF. The popular free-to-the-public event started as an initiative for Flint; however, FWF has evolved into a world fair for water.

FWF also extended its reach via auction items, including an NBA Orlando Magic 2019-20 team autographed woodgrain basketball; and Toronto-based artist Krista Kim curated water-inspired non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from international and local artists through the augmented reality platform SuperWorld App. Also lending a hand virtually was Grammy-nominated singer Tiff Joy and the Broadway cast of “Jagged Little Pill” sponsored by Broadway Green Alliance.

The entire weekend included: a live performance by the headliner, Grammy-nominated funk band Heatwave sponsored by Friends of Berston; America’s Got Talent 2015 choir, Larry Callahan and Selected of God, and Roger Jones Band, both sponsored by Flint Institute of Music; and water giveaways sponsored by JUST Water, Liquid Death, and National Clean Water Collective.

All in all, FWF featured performing arts, a daily carnival, water distribution, education, and fundraising specific to its in-home pipe replacement program to help low-income homeowners affected by the water crisis.

From the iconic TIME Magazine cover, Sincere Smith was selected as the first recipient of the FWF in-home pipe replacement program. Sincere’s mom proudly stated, “OMG, this is so awesome, and we are appreciative as this is an important step in being able to successfully drink the water.”
About the cause
In the beginning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the city of Flint to replace 18,000 lead and galvanized service lines (i.e., underground). Six years later, research suggests that about 90 percent of the project is complete, and fewer than 1,000 service lines are left to be checked. The festival raises funds to replace pipes inside the 18,000 homes. The average cost to fix the pipes per home is approximately $5,000. Every day people can become a part of the solution by sponsoring the charity's in-home pipe replacement program to help low-income homeowners.

About the charity
RICH Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization leveling the playing field for all. The Flint Water Festival is an annual charity event dedicated to raising funds and awareness to provide safe water for communities affected by the water crisis in Flint and abroad. The festival gives residents free water and a creative platform to improve their social, emotional, and physical development. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes RICH Kids Inc. as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity. The Federal Tax ID# is 26-4045237. Gifts to RICH Kids Inc. are tax-deductible in the U.S.

For more information, please view the recap report, highlight reel, or visit
"This program and/or service is funded in whole or in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage funds. Your tax dollars are at work."