Aiesha Lewis, an educator at Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium, helps children with an activity during one of her December Sprout Worldwide events. (Sprout Worldwide | Courtesy photo)

Flint, MI—Aiesha Lewis, an educator at Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium, is bringing two free, family-friendly events to downtown Flint’s Ferris Wheel building this month.

The event series on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30 will be centered around painting and playing games.

Lewis is calling the Jan. 23 paint party, “Affirming You 2022,” and participants will be provided a canvas and supplies to create inspirational artwork whenever they stop by between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m.

“The next one will be a game night,” Lewis said, referring to the Jan. 30 event, at which all-ages card and board games will be offered. Plus, Lewis said, smiling, “a giant projector with Smash Bros.”

Lewis said the goal of hosting the series is to replace some of the social and developmental loss young people and their families have been experiencing during COVID-19.

“I have a son. And he’s like, ‘I hate this. I hate virtual learning,’” she said from the office area at Longway Planetarium. “Because it’s not fun. He can’t see his friends. He can’t be hands-on. So to be able to give families and their children the ability to be hands-on—to actually engage in something—is my goal.”

Lewis is the founder of Sprout Worldwide, an organization devoted to helping Flint’s youth and artists grow to their full potential. She said in all her work, she wants to make sure children are having fun while learning.

“There’s always going to be that element to it,” Lewis said. “Just to give children the opportunity to have those fine motor skills, and to have that creativity, and just to have that decision making that they don’t get every single day.”

Sprout Worldwide’s “Affirming You 2022 Paint Party” and “Family Game Night” events are from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. each remaining Sunday in January. They are free for all ages, and masks are required. 

Sprout Worldwide’s event series is being managed through The What’s Up Downtown Project as part of the Greater Flint Arts Council’s Parade of Festivals program.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....