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Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Receives Donation from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Receives Donation from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett 1200 800 mosaic

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is humbly grateful to receive a transformational donation from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. This gift will help Mosaic nurture and equip young artists to be leaders and life-long learners for years to come.

“We are incredibly honored and humbled to receive such a gracious gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. To say this was a surprise would be the understatement of the year,” says DeLashea Strawder, Executive and Artistic Director. “This donation will help us pursue our strategic vision with greater fortitude in order to serve our community and develop young leaders through performing arts programming.”

“The work of Mosaic does not change because of this gift. We’ve been given a unique opportunity to be stewards and make an even bigger impact with our community because of it,” says Strawder.

This donation does not eliminate the need for support moving forward. In many ways, this gift helps catapult the pursuit of Mosaic’s vision to engage our community in even more profound ways through its strategic plan.

The pillars of Mosaic’s strategic vision include:

  • Expanding the Mosaic Family
    For nearly 30 years, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit has been able to serve its community at a local level and represent our community at a global level, with performances across the United States and various countries. Youth participants from 3rd through 12th grade learn life lessons through training in the performing arts. Some alumni decide to pursue careers in performing arts on Broadway or in Hollywood, while some take the lessons learned at Mosaic and apply them to business or other career paths. This gift will allow us to expand our program opportunities and increase the number of youth served.
  • Increasing Organizational Capacity
    Mosaic intends to use a portion of the donated funds to identify opportunities where greater capacity can help the organization serve its community and mission.

Mosaic values the opportunity to serve its community. Throughout the pandemic, Mosaic has been able to serve its community through virtual-based programming and performances. As the world opens again to public events, we are excited to return to the stage and conduct performances that delight, inspire, and cause our audience to think in new ways.

In keeping with the intent of the donor, Mosaic is choosing not to disclose the amount of this donation. For more information about Mosaic and its programming, please visit mosaicdetroit.org.

Read more from MacKenzie Scott about her donation here. 

Live From The BOOST Conference: Cultivating Thriving Youth And Organizations With DeLashea Strawder And Dalouge Smith

Live From The BOOST Conference: Cultivating Thriving Youth And Organizations With DeLashea Strawder And Dalouge Smith 1000 599 mosaic

The Why Change? Podcast is coming to you live from the BOOST Conference! Jeff M. Poulin chats with DeLashea Strawder – the Executive and Artistic Director of Mosaic Youth Theatre and recent Recipient of the 2021 Lewis Prize For Music – about innovative arts-based youth work in the BOOST podcast lounge. He also chats with Dalouge Smith, CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music about new models of philanthropy in music for social change programs.

DeLashea Strawder, Executive and Artistic Director, Mosaic Youth Theatre

DeLashea Strawder, Executive and Artistic Director, Mosaic Youth Theatre 1200 718 mosaic

By now, we know what creative arts can offer to young people’s lives, and taking center stage is Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. Its varied programming is meant to fuel artistic development, but also self-expression. DeLashea Strawder, Mosaic executive and artistic director, says, “We are a creative youth development organization supporting young people in the Detroit area, helping them to thrive, empowering them with the tools that they need to activate their voices to excel on stage and in life.”

Mosaic Youth Theatre hosts tiered, age-tailored programs of increasing intensity allowing young people to cultivate creative skills and, Strawder says, “really hone in on the story they want to tell and synthesize as they grow older.” The popular Youth Ensembles are year-long programs for which auditions are held once or twice a year. “As you participate in the program, your leadership training, your college and career pathways, and your artistic skills development continues to grow with you,” she says.

Read More…

An Update from Mosaic

An Update from Mosaic 750 473 mosaic

In light of recent developments related to the COVID-19 coronavirus and associated school closures, we continue to explore ways to support the health and wellness of young artists, team members, and the greater Detroit community. We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing information from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and local agencies alongside continued conversations with young artists, team members, families, and partners. As we honor the fact that this matter will continue to evolve we have come to the necessary though difficult decision to suspend all programming through April 5, 2020 and have our team work remotely through March 30, 2020.

In prioritizing safety, well being, health and leaning in to the power of community we are  working to establish creative ways to virtually support our young artists to keep them engaged and inspired as they practice social distancing. To that end I’m happy to share some of the ways we are doing just that:

  • online coaching sessions for rising seniors to get a jumpstart on college audition prep for Fall 2020;
  • online songwriting, table, and character work sessions
  • connecting youth and families to basic needs, academic and emotional support resources across Metro-Detroit.

We remain in conversation with the greater youth serving and arts & culture community community, to explore how we might be able to participate in the efforts to support youth and teaching artists.

We will continue to monitor the CDC and legislative directives, keeping youth, team members and partners informed of any and all changes.

Mosaic host Community Conversation to channel the importance of youth and people of color telling their own stories.

Mosaic host Community Conversation to channel the importance of youth and people of color telling their own stories. 1200 670 mosaic

On September 28, 2019, Mosaic will host a community conversation panel to coincide with our September Black Box production, It’s LIT: Celebrating Authors of Color.  Led by some of Detroit’s own authors of color,  Rochelle Riley, Jonathan J. Johnson, and Morgan Breon, audiences will engage in a powerful conversation that centers individuals as experts of their experience. The conversation is sought to empower individuals to give voice to their stories to help to change the way in which narratives are shaped and shared.

At a time when trends such as changing demographics and technological innovation are remaking the world at lightning speed, young people and other underrepresented groups’ ability to craft their own narratives and speak their truth will be key to helping society thrive. Mosaic’s is honored to bring together community members for a conversation on the beauty and impact of storytelling and the ways that the arts have created new opportunities to share a different perspective on the narratives of youth and people of color.  

It’s Lit will run from September 27-29th, the community conversation will be held on September 28 from 6:00-7:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.mosaicdetroit.org/tickets

Intern Spotlight: Samuel Fairley

Intern Spotlight: Samuel Fairley 6000 4500 mosaic

This summer Mosaic has partnered with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to create youth-based summer jobs. Young artists from across the entire Metro Detroit area wanting to get a chance to work with Mosaic applied. The young artists chose from a list of jobs and selected which job they wanted to apply for. After being accepted, they went through a three-day training and orientation program to prepare them for the hard work ahead. Every week we will feature an intern to get insight into their internship, their learning curve, and their experience.

Samuel Fairley is 17 years old and is going into his senior year of high school. He is a Main Stage singer with Mosaic. Mosaic’s Main Stage program immerses young artists, ages 12-18 through a year-long performance-based training program. These same young artists act as ambassadors for Mosaic and the city of Detroit. He has been singing for Mosaic for three years. When he graduates he hopes to Double major in Music Education and Communication. Our communications intern, Alise Sellers sat down with Sam to get insight on his internship and what he’s learned so far.

"I like Mosaic because it gives me a space to express myself through the arts."

Sam’s Favorites:

Favorite song: Extra by Lucky Daye

Favorite show: Grey’s Anatomy

Favorite movie: The Hunger Games series 

Favorite food: Potatoes

Who is your role model: Gregory Porter because he does both classical and contemporary music which is something I want to do. Also, he doesn’t let the industry influence who he is. He knows who he is and he isn’t afraid to show it.

 

Learn about Mosaic’s programs and their impact, experience a Mosaic rehearsal, tour our space, engage with community leaders, and enjoy an inspiring message from our keynote speaker at our upcoming Annual Meeting!

 

Intern Spotlight: Zoe Frazier

Intern Spotlight: Zoe Frazier 768 495 mosaic

This summer Mosaic has partnered with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to create youth-based summer jobs. Young artists from across the entire Metro Detroit area wanting to get a chance to work with Mosaic applied. The young artists chose from a list of jobs and selected which job they wanted to apply for. After being accepted, they went through a three-day training and orientation program to prepare them for the hard work ahead. Every week we will feature an intern to get insight into their internship, their learning curve, and their experience.

Zoe Frazier is 17 years old and is going into her senior year of high school. She is a Main Stage singer with Mosaic. Mosaic’s Main Stage program immerses young artists, ages 12-18 through a year-long performance-based training program. These same young artists act as ambassadors for Mosaic and the city of Detroit. She has been singing for Mosaic for 4 years; performing is her passion. When she graduates she hopes to study music and vocal performance. Our communications intern, Alise Sellers sat down with Zoe to get insight on her internship and what she’s learned so far. 

"I love how music can help express what someone is feeling whether you're singing 
or just listening, you feel something"

Zoe’s Favorites:

Favorite song: No One By Alicia Keys 

Favorite show: Supernatural 

Favorite movie: the Princess and The Frog

Favorite food: Crab legs…no scratch that I love seafood in general. 

Who is your role model: My Mom and Aretha Franklin. They both inspire me to be exceptional, strong, and unapologetically me. 

Stay tuned for more Intern spotlights!

 

Learn about Mosaic’s programs and their impact, experience a Mosaic rehearsal, tour our space, engage with community leaders, and enjoy an inspiring message from our keynote speaker at our upcoming Annual Meeting!

 

Intern Spotlight: Alise Lanay Sellers

Intern Spotlight: Alise Lanay Sellers 2320 2320 mosaic

This summer Mosaic has partnered with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to create youth-based summer jobs. Young artists from across the entire Metro Detroit area wanting to get a chance to work with Mosaic applied. The young artists chose from a list of jobs and selected which job they wanted to apply for. After being accepted, they went through a three-day training and orientation program to prepare them for the hard work ahead. Every week we will feature an intern to get insight into their internship, their learning curve, and their experience.

Alise Lanay Sellers is 17 years old and is going into her senior year of high school. She is a Main Stage singer with Mosaic. Mosaic’s Main Stage program immerses young artists, 12-18 through a year-long performance-based training program. These same young artists act as ambassadors for Mosaic and the city of Detroit. She has been singing for Mosaic for 5 years and even though she loves performing she has an even bigger passion for helping other; when she goes to college she plans to major in social work and minor in African American Studies.

"Mosaic has taught me professionalism and helped me
discover my passion in life. My passion is helping people."

Jessica Byrd (JB): What is your job title?

Alise Lanay Sellers (ALS): I am a communications intern.

JB: What does your job entail?

ALS: I am basically working with Jessia Byrd, who is the communication manager and manages our social media. Jessica works with marketing Mosaic to the community. In short, I am learning marketing, social media, and communication strategies.

JB: You got to choose the job you were interviewed for. Why did you choose the one you chose?

ALS: Okay, so long story short, I ran the Mosaic Instagram while we were performing with Josh Groban and while we were on tour in New York, and I really had a lot of fun. So I guess you could say I wanted to explore communications further.

JB: How do you think your first week went?

ALS: Personally, I think it went well. I’m having a lot of fun and learning a lot.

JB: Is this your first job?

ALS: No, this not my first job.

JB: What’s your favorite part of your job?

ALS: My favorite part of my job is being able to be creative.

JB:  If you could go back in time and choose a different position would you?

ALS: No, I wouldn’t. Not just because I enjoy my job, but also because I believe everything happens for a reason. I’m always where I’m supposed to be when I’m supposed to be there.

JB: How do you think your internship will help you with your further career plans?

ALS: I’m not sure how this internship will help me with my further career plans, but I am learning a lot about social media management, writing, marketing, and communications. All these skills will be tangible in any career I choose in the future.

JB: What are some of your hobbies?

ALS: I enjoy writing. I have a little journal where I write poems and short stories.  It’s really cathartic for me.

JB: Would you apply to work with Mosaic again?

ALS: Yes, I would.

Alise’s Favorites:

Favorite song: At the moment, its Issues/ Hold on by Teyana Taylor, but that could change. It changes every two weeks; I love music.

Favorite show: The Office

Favorite movie: Lion King 2

Favorite food: Nachos

Who is your role model: My parents. We may get on each other’s last nerve, but they are two of the most hard-working people I know. I aspire to be more like them.

Stay tuned for more Intern spotlights!

 

Mosaic is always eager to take our talents to communities, conferences, and local and national stages. Want to learn more about bringing Mosaic to you? Learn more here!

Mosaic Singers tour with Josh Groban!

Mosaic Singers tour with Josh Groban! 1242 702 mosaic

Mosaic singers graced the stage with GRAMMY Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban. For three days, Mosaic singers traveled and toured with Josh Groban for his Bridges over Water Tour. Singers toured to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Interlochen, Michigan.

Groban, who also has a foundation called, Find Your Light, is a great supporter of Mosaic Youth Theatre. Groban’s Find Your Light Foundation helps enrich the lives of young people through arts, education, and cultural awareness. Last year, The Find your Light Foundation donated $75,000 to Mosaic to expand programs in arts, theatre, technical musical training, creative youth development, backstage, summer camps, and summer camp intensive programs for the youth. This year, we were excited to be invited to join Josh Groban as his vocal ensemble on tour with three cities. It’s an experience our young artists will cherish and remember forever.

“Funders and fans are our best friends because they actively support our programming that’s so needed by young people in our community,” said Stefanie Worth, Mosaic’s Executive Director. “We appreciate the faith that funders, such as The Find Your Light Foundation, have shown in Mosaic’s work. Their funding helps us take our college readiness, summer camp, workforce, and creative youth development work off paper plans and into the lives of hundreds of young artists over the next year.”

Mosaic is thankful for the opportunity to be on stage with Groban. Groban is a real artist who embodies art, music, and theatre. Besides Groban’s well-known talent, he’s also an advocate for supporting youth organizations who dedicate their time and commitment to finding their voice and using it to shine their light creatively!

Watch the performances here!

 

 

Mosaic is always eager to take our talents to communities, conferences, and local and national stages. Want to learn more about bringing Mosaic to you? Learn more here!

Mosaic is my safe place!!!

Mosaic is my safe place!!! 3024 3024 mosaic

Mosaic is known for our high energy performances and creative youth development programs; however, our impact extends beyond the stage. This season, Mosaic reached over 4,000 students through our student matinees, and all 23 of the senior young artists class of 2019 have been accepted into college. Mosaic continues to serve communities, and our programs strives for excellence on and off the stage.  As we’re approaching auditions, we’re talking to our young artists to dig deep and understand why Mosaic is called home to many!

John Sanford, Main Stage actor, has been part of Mosaic for four years. Mosaic’s Main Stage Program immerses young artists, ages 12-18, in the Mosaic Model of Youth Development through the Arts. Young Artists are ambassadors for the city of Detroit and their generation. Through various partnerships, performances, leadership initiatives, and touring opportunities, youth engage in multiple experiences to deepen their understanding of core concepts of the Mosaic Model: Expectations, Environment & Empowerment and apply them in real time to their daily lives

John, a junior at Cass Technical High School, credits Mosaic for helping him become a well-rounded individual. John’s love for Mosaic goes beyond the stage. What he loves most is the community he’s built from being a part of the program!

The best part of Mosaic for me is the people. The performing is awesome, and the scripts and shows are great, but what I love most is the friends and family here. You don’t find this everywhere! remarks Sanford.

In a one-on-one interview with our communications manager, Jessica Byrd, John shares his lessons and love for Mosaic Youth Theatre.

Interview

JB: What is the greatest thing you’ve learned from being part of Mosaic?

JS: The greatest thing I’ve learned is that nothing is easy, everything comes with a lot of hard work. I’ve also learned that it’s best to keep the people that support you the most behind you.

JB: How has Mosaic helped you in endeavors outside of the program?

JS: Mosaic has helped me see all sides of things in life period. For example, if I fail a test in school, I have to understand the right and wrong side to improve without shutting down. Mosaic has genuinely helped me to become a better person overall. Since I’ve been in Mosaic, I’ve done a complete 160 from what I used to be. It feels awesome, and I can’t give credit to anything but Mosaic for the change.

JB: What inspired you to be apart of Mosaic?

JS: I used to sing in a church choir, and one of my choir members, Jack Williams mentioned Mosaic to me, and I decided to audition. After I heard about Mosaic from church, some of the friends who went to the same school as me were already in the program and they loved it.

JB: What would you say to someone who may be afraid to audition or may consider themselves shy. What type of encouragement would you offer?

JS: Do it!!! Mosaic will be one of the best decisions you make. It’s going to change your life completely. Coming to Mosaic is so awesome, walking through the doors of Mosaic feels so good, it’s a feeling I can’t explain. Make the right decision and come here. If you love theatre or music or see yourself performing, this will be the place for you. Mosaic will be the place that makes you grow!

Snippet of John’s monologue in Laramie.

JB: What word of advice would you give to someone coming to auditions?

JS: Come prepared for anything. Don’t come with a fake persona, come as yourself, because that’s one thing Mosaic can detect. Mosaic wants people who are genuinely themselves. Come ready, loose, and limbered!

JB: What’s one word to describe Mosaic?

JS: I’ll use two; extravagant and extraordinary!

Auditions:

We’re eager to meet more young artists like John! Now is your time to join our ensembles and experience excellence on and off the stage. All ages 11-17 are welcomed to audition.

Auditions are held June 12-13 & June 15. Click here to register for auditions!

#JoinMosaic