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Mosaic’s original production spotlights how music bridges the gap between language, culture and heritage!

Mosaic’s original production spotlights how music bridges the gap between language, culture and heritage! 800 800 mosaic

Mosaic‘s singing and acting companies are in full swing preparing for Mosaic’s original play, Detroit to Dakar. Detroit to Dakar is the compelling story of the re-enactment of Mosaic’s young artist traveling from Detroit to Dakar in 2003. The story highlights the synergy of music while celebrating the differences between American culture and African heritage.

“Detroit to Dakar is a story of journeys. Besides the thousands of miles these young artists traveled to get to Africa, the greater distance they traveled was within themselves. To dig deep into what it means to have African heritage and be an American, to be the descendants of people captured from Africa and enslaved in America, to feel very much like foreigners in Africa and outsiders in America – and to somehow make sense of all of this as many of them prepared to leave for their next journey, college,” remarks Rick Sperling, Mosaic’s founder and Director of Detroit to Dakar. “It is also about the journey that Mosaic has made over the past 27 years. When we started in 1992, there were 28 zealous young people who did everything – acting, singing, songwriting, playwriting and tech. Our first set was literally held together by duct tape”, Rick recalls, sharing the sentiments of what was once a dream.

Detroit to Dakar bridges the symbolism of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and the accessibility of arts and theatre for metro youth. The story documents Mosaic Young Artists’ journey from an exchange with the John K. Kennedy Association of Dakar – an organization dedicated to create and encourage cultural participation and the arts in youth. Stories of youth intellect and human dependence explore intimate transformations while navigating Young Artist’s journey of the world today. Cultural exposure is integral to everyone! Together, we learn how to become active participants in our communities and contributors to history. We’re excited to share this story, our Young Artists experiences, and create a unique sense of vulnerability for inner transformation.

Tickets can be purchased here!

Click below to see behind the scenes rehearsals and shared experiences from Young Artists, and Alumni.

Join us as we countdown till Opening Night on May 11, 2019.

Jeffery Seller, producer of ‘Hamilton’, and Mosaic’s $1 million funder, visits for the first time

Jeffery Seller, producer of ‘Hamilton’, and Mosaic’s $1 million funder, visits for the first time 0 0 mosaic

The last two days have been inspiring for our Young Artists at Mosaic. On March 26, 2019, Detroit native, American theatrical producer and new funder of Mosaic, Jeffery Seller, stopped by Mosaic headquarters for an exclusive panel discussion with our Main Stage performers.

Our Young Artists prepared for weeks to meet the producer of ‘Hamiton’. Earlier this year, Seller invested $1 million in Mosaic summer camp and middle school programs to be disbursed for over the next five years.  We were truly grateful and honored for this opportunity to meet Seller and perform our Living Brochure and two pieces from our Spring Concert “This is Me” and “You Are not Alone”.

Seller’s words about Mosaic will forever leave a footprint on our hard work and dedication, “Your work is phenomenal; your rigor is phenomenal; your focus is phenomenal,” he said, adding, “It’s rewarding for me to spend an hour with you because you bring the hope that your generation will make so many wonderful things possible.”

Before our performance, Seller joined Mosaic’s Main Stage singers, actors, and technicians for an interactive discussion about what it takes to be successful. Young Artists asked questions concerning fear, artistic creation, failure, work ethic, and determination. Our Young Artists were very enthused to hear meaningful words of wisdom from Seller.

On Fear: “I had no idea how I was going to get from 2020 Eastwood to New York to a life on Broadway. We were relatively poor. I was afforded the opportunity to attend the University of Michigan with a Pell Grant. Sometimes, we don’t know how we’re going to get there; we have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going,” Seller told our Young Artists.

On Success: “Don’t get focused on what’s going to happen down the road. Ask yourself, What am I going to achieve this year, then it becomes doable. Make a one year plan and team it up with a four-year plan but be flexible,” Seller remarked.

On Failure: “There have been many times I feel I failed. When my shows fail, I don’t say they failed because it rained, or any other excuse. I say they failed because not enough people liked it, then I ask myself how we can do better. We as the artist have to be brave enough to ask how we can do better.”

Young Artists had more questions than we had time, which speaks to the drive and determination of our artists and participants. Seller’s love for the arts, theatre, and for the youth became very evident. In the same light, his passion for ‘making’ stories and plays that are an integral part of society is just as evident. “What I produce is a representation of my values and the stories that move me and others,” Seller remarked.  “Making something was more about the positive experience than it was escaping something oppressing,” he added.

His advice to our Young Artists; “Make what you love and put all your integrity into it and find out how the world will respond.’’ Seller continued by speaking to the importance and need for Mosaic Youth Theatre. “Mosaic is your safe haven to make stuff. By coming here, you’re laying the bricks for your life it’s not about having a hard time or easy time, it’s about doing the work” Seller remarked.

Our Young Artists were over the moon! This experience will forever mean something special to their artistic craft and the development of their lives.

The next day, on March 27, 2019, a group of Main Stage performers attended an exclusive student reception with Jeffery Seller hosted by the Detroit Economic Club. Participating was a great honor for Mosaic Youth Theatre, thanks to our sponsor, Detroit Public Television.

Young Artists were given another opportunity to ask questions, meet fellow creative youth theatre students, and attend the main luncheon, which included a conversation with Jeffery Seller, moderated by Devin Scillian, News Anchor for WDIV-TV Local 4. Attending Young Artists were exposed to over 100 prominent individuals in the Metro Detroit area and Mosaic was recognized as a recipient of Jeffery Seller’s generosity for his contribution to Mosaic Youth Theatre.

(photo Courtesy of Detroit Economic Club)

“Opportunities to dialogue with thought leaders in the arts and culture and adjacent sectors both increases young artists’ sense of agency and exposes young artists to a variety of careers in which their innate creativity can advance their communities and careers,” remarked DeLashea Strawder, Artistic Director, Mosaic Youth Theatre.

See our upcoming events 

MEET STEFANIE WORTH!

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Stefanie brings a strong multi-sector perspective and two decades of experience navigating Detroit’s nonprofit sector to her new position. From her days as an award-winning newspaper reporter, an internet pioneer, Detroit City Council staffer, and brand marketing leader, her roles have been threaded by innovative approaches to community collaboration. She has spent the last several years leading health philanthropy and outreach on behalf of regional and national health organizations, where her work continued to garner recognition. We are very excited to have Stefanie join our team as our new Executive Director!

Get Started With Mosaic!

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Want to be on the Mosaic Stage? Start your Mosaic Journey Today!

See yourself onstage in Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit! Here are two ways to get your Mosaic journey started:

Join a Mosaic First Stage Program!

Mosaic’s First Stage Programs introduce Young Artists, grades 5-10, to Mosaic’s brand of high energy, empowering, and inspiring performing arts training. Cast members of Mosaic First Stage learn the basics of performance including articulation, projection, and movement all through high-energy games, monologues and scenes. The program culminates with a showcase for family and friends on the big stage! Best of all, Mosaic First Stage Programs are free!

Register for one of Mosaic’s exciting First Stage Programs Today!

January 25th – April 4th, 2015

Mondays & Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00 PM

at Matrix Human Services
13560 McNichols E.
Detroit, MI 48205

Want to see what we’re about first? Come to our First Stage Osborn open house on Wednesday, January 13th and Wednesday, January 20th!

January 26th – April 4th, 2015

Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 PM

at Don Bosco YouthVille
7375 Woodward
Detroit, MI 48202

Want to see what we’re about first? Come to our First Stage Northend open house on Thursday, January 14th and Tuesday, January 19th.

ENTER THE #WOODWARD WONDERLAND PHOTO CONTEST!

ENTER THE #WOODWARD WONDERLAND PHOTO CONTEST! 500 333 mosaic

Hey, Mosaic Family!

Ever dreamed of being on the big screen? Now YOU can have a chance to be a part of our favorite holiday tradition, Woodward Wonderland!!

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Use the hashtag ‪#‎WoodwardWonderland‬ to tag your favorite holiday pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and they might make it into the show! Do you have pictures of you or family members shopping at Hudson’s? Pictures of you enjoying the Thanksgiving Day Parade? Do you love ice skating in Campus Martius Park? Share with us your favorite holiday moments spent with family and friends in Detroit. Make sure you tag those photos with #WoodwardWonderland! Scan and send in your vintage pics too!

Pictures using the hashtag #WoodwardWonderland will be entered to be used in the production of Woodward Wonderland. And make sure you come see the show December 11-13 at the DIA to see if your pictures make it into the show. Contest ends December 5th.

Need Tickets? Visit mosaicdetroit.org/tickets starting this Saturday, Nov.14!

2015-16 Main Stage Season Information

2015-16 Main Stage Season Information 1024 1024 mosaic

You’ve all been waiting to hear more about our new season, and here it is! 2015-16 is our Season with Soul, with three amazing, soulful Main Stage performances to choose from! Stay tuned for ticket information as we approach the dates!

WOODWARD Wonderland
A Detroit Holiday Celebration
December 10-13 at Detroit Institute of Arts
One of metro Detroit’s favorite holiday traditions, WOODWARD Wonderland celebrates everything magical about winter in the Motor City, yesterday and today – from the story of the Chilly Willie float’s unforgettable escape from the Thanksgiving Parade, ice skating in Campus Martius, Motown Christmas songs, and the 12th Floor of J.L. Hudson’s. This distinctively Detroit holiday show is perfect for the whole family.

DANCE to the MUSIC
Mosaic Singers in Concert
March 4-6 at Music Hall Center for Performing Arts
Having opened for legendary artists Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, and Al Green — and having performed just this year with Josh Groban and Foreigner — the Mosaic Singers are a metro Detroit musical sensation. This March, do not miss Mosaic Singers as they return to Music Hall for DANCE to the MUSIC: Mosaic Singers in Concert, a two-part program featuring Spirtuala, Vocal Jazz, and World Music followed by a tribute to the best of Dance Music from the 1960s to the present.

A Midsummer SOULstice
Soul casts its spell on a Midsummer Dream
May 12-22 at Detroit Institute of Arts
A mash-up of Soul hits from the 60s and 70s and one of the funniest plays ever written, A Midsummer SOULstice is a non-stop, hilarious musical romp through the woods on the longest day of the year. A Midsummer SOULstice continues Mosaic’s 22-year tradition of dynamic re-imaginings of classics, which most recently resulted in a partnership with the nation’s preeminent theatre company, NYC’s The Public Theater, on a musical version of The Tempest. Join us as Mosaic uses the SOUL-ful sound of Detroit to transform another classic comedy for today’s audiences.

COME JOIN THE GIANT D SING-ALONG AT THE DIA!

COME JOIN THE GIANT D SING-ALONG AT THE DIA! 756 342 mosaic

A special message courtesy of our friend Allee Willis, the award-winning songwriter who we collaborated with on “The D” two years ago!

ATTENTION ALL DETROITERS!

As many of you know and participated in, in September and November 2013 I came back to my home and favorite town, Detroit, to record “The D,” the official-unofficial theme song to accompany the reinvention of the city, as well as to shoot the feature-length documentary “Allee Willis loves Detroit,” about human spirit as seen through the people of Detroit as well as how my life and career parallel their trials and triumphs. NOW, on Monday, October 26 at 1 PM at the DIA, you have one more chance to join in one of the most unique collaborations between an artist and a city that has ever taken place!

The 2013 singalongs were recorded at 50 locations all over the city. More people than have ever joined the original artist on a record before – over 6,000 Detroiters – came together in one expression of pride, joy, and funkiness to let the world know that the Soul has never left the Motor City! They were joined by a plethora of world-renowned Detroit born or raised celebrities. For the film, over 20 Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize winning and nominated non-Detroit celebs joined too, all of whom or whose work represents triumphing over struggle despite impossible odds.

Now is your chance to not only join us but to also have one of the wildest afternoons of your life at the biggest (and last) sing-along of them all at the DIA in front of the Diego Rivera Detroit Industry Murals on Monday, October 26 at 1 PM!  We will teach you the song there and you will be out by 3 PM at the latest.

The message of “The D”/”Allee Willis Loves Detroit” is the motto I live by – “From the ashes come the miracles” and that against the greatest of obstacles the greatest of things can happen if you only have the imagination, creativity, and guts to try. All of which is happening in Detroit now!

As opposed to other songs and documentaries done on Detroit, this one features no broken windows! And 100% of all profits from the release of the record, video, film, and potential docu-series come back to Detroit, specifically The Heidelberg Project and The Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.

You can see who in Detroit has participated so far here.
You can see which celebs we’ve recorded and filmed so far here.
To see press on the project, go here.
To see our work progress since the project began, go here.
To see everything Allee Detroit, go here.

So I hope to see all of you as well as your friends, families, coworkers, anyone and everyone at Detroit’s crown arts jewel, the DIA, on Monday, October 26 at 1 PM. It’s also my big send-off before I go to New York where my musical, “The Color Purple,” the ultimate story of survival, opens on Broadway again starring the great Jennifer Hudson. So please forward this to all you know and LEMME SEE YOU THERE!

MOSAIC’S ANNUAL MEETING!

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Mosaic’s annual meeting is a way for all of our Friends and Family to reflect on seasons past while also looking toward a spectacular future. We welcomed Mosaic Friends, Family, and Community Members. We want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who made it such a huge success – over 100 people were in attendance, including our board members! Recognition Awards were also given to three organizations that have been invaluable in their support of our mission: Ford Motor Fund, Masco Corporation, and Teens 4 Arts. 

MOSAIC SINGERS PERFORM IN DC!

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MOSAIC SINGERS PERFORM FOR
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON THE ARTS IN WASHINGTON, DC!

Last Month, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit had the distinct honor of performing for the National Council on the Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in Washington, DC! The National Council on the Arts are individuals appointed by the President of the United States for their expertise and knowledge in the arts. They advise the Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts on policies, programs, grants, fundraising and leadership initiatives.

The Mosaic Visit!

Mosaic had the privilege of having Dr. Jane Chu, Chairman of the NEA, visit Mosaic while she was in the Detroit area speaking for the annual conference of the Association of Art Museum Directors at Cranbrook. Chairman Chu asked John Bracey, Executive Director of the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, to recommend and arrange a visit to a NEA grantee, and Mosaic was chosen! Chairman Chu, a few of her staff, and John Bracey were given a tour of Mosaic as well as a presentation providing historical background of both Mosaic and the University Prep Science & Math Elementary School (emphasizing the collaboration with UPSM Elementary as their arts organization in residence). The latter part of the visit encompassed a short and powerful performance by the Mosaic Singers and the Mosaic Acting Company, with a post meet and greet.

The Dream Invitation!

To our delight, Chairman Chu was extremely impressed with the performance during her Mosaic visit. A week later, her Chief of Staff called us to extend a personal invitation on Chairman Chu’s behalf for the Mosaic Singers to come to Washington D.C. to perform for the National Council on the Arts! A Dream Invitation for sure! The invitation included all expenses paid for 12 Mosaic young artists to perform for the Council – an invitation of this kind had never been extended before!

Aaron Dworkin, left, Emil Kang, Rick Sperling, and Chairman Chu

 

The Performance ~ Second to None!

On the ‘big day,’ June 26, 2015, the National Council on the Arts experience consisted of a short presentation about Mosaic followed by the young artists’ stellar performance, which entailed classical music, acapella renditions of standards and modern pop, and excerpts from the Public Theater’s musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”!

At the end of the performance, the young artists sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”; it was towards the end of this particular song that you could see members of the Council in tears. This is a reaction we see many times when the young artists perform this very moving song, but this time was EXTRA SPECIAL! The young artists did not realize it, but they were singing ”A Change is Gonna Come” at the same time that Council members were being informed that the Supreme Court had just ruled Same-Sex Marriage as legal – adding even more emotion to an already emotional experience! There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

A Tremendously Rewarding Experience!

The young artists received a standing ovation and nonstop applause, warranting another ‘stand and bow’ due to the overwhelming response! After the meeting was adjourned, Chairman Chu, each Council member, NEA staff members, and representatives of national arts advocacy organizations swarmed the young artists and founder Rick Sperling, enthusiastically congratulating them and bombarding them with questions about Mosaic’s programs and our “Mosaic Model for Youth Development through the Arts.” Additionally, representatives of arts organizations in Virginia, New Mexico, and Rhode Island expressed interest in Mosaic performing in their annual festivals. It was truly a transformative experience for everyone involved, especially our young artists — some of whom had never flown on a plane before this amazing trip.

The Mosaic young artists also visited the Air & Space Museum the day before the ‘big day,’ and the MLK Monument later during the ‘big day’!

 

Thank You for being a Mosaic Supporter ~ without you there is no us!

Make sure to read The Detroit News’ report on Chairman Chu’s initial visit to Mosaic!

MOSAIC ACTORS’ NEW YORK TOUR

MOSAIC ACTORS’ NEW YORK TOUR 300 300 mosaic

The Public Theater of New York hosts Mosaic:

A Transformative Experience!

 

Oskar Eustis, renowned Artistic Director of the Public Theater in New York, extended a personal invitation to Rick Sperling, President and Founding Artistic Director of Mosaic, and the Mosaic Main Stage actors for a weeklong visit to the Public Theater with full access to the shows, the staff, and even the rehearsals! This invitation was offered to Mosaic on the heels of Mr. Eustis’ visit to Detroit earlier this year for Mosaic’s pre-show performance and open forum of The Tempest!

On the first day of this awesome experience, the young actors got to see Fun Home, the Tony Award winner for Best Musical, and they also received an opportunity to talk with performers in the audience line. One performer in particular was Joel Perez, who remembered when he performed in Detroit with the national tour of In the Heights. Joel told the young artists what an impact Mosaic had on him; an experience that was talked about for months! Michael Cerveris, two-time Tony winner, generously spent 20 minutes between shows to share powerful insights and advice with the young artists! This day started and also ended on a high note with the exciting experience of seeing one of the top experimental theater companies, Elevator Repair Service, perform the play The Sound and the Fury. The young artists were guests of Oskar Eustis and received a talk-back with the cast after the show, with one of the actors saying, “I have heard about Mosaic — my in-laws live in Detroit and they rave about you guys!”

 

Left, Michael Cerveris and the young artists. Right, Jesse Tyler Ferguson with one of the actors.

On Mosaic’s second day of this Public Theater ~ NY Experience, the young actors had a talk-back with professional actor Kelly AuCoin(The Americans). Kelly had an extensive conversation with the young artists about “the life of an actor in New York.” This resonated with the young actors, as they were able to hear about the world of acting from a real-world perspective. Later in the evening, the young actors went to Central Park’s outdoor Delacorte Theater to see The Tempest with an amazing cast, featuring Jessie Tyler Ferguson(Modern Family) and Sam Waterson (Law & Order). With anticipation, the young actors waited by the stage door to meet them and were able to take pictures with professional actors who played the same roles they had played in Mosaic’s performance of Public Theater’s musical adaptation of The Tempest in Detroit! Some of the professional actors stayed a long time and were excited to talk to the young Mosaic actors. One of the actors, Nicholas Christopher, also remembered Mosaic from being on the In the Heights tour!

On the third day of their NY Experience, the young actors had the awesome opportunity to tour the NYU campus and have discussions with the admission folks about Tisch School of the Arts. The professor told the young actors that because they were in Mosaic, they had an advantage over others applying to Tisch and other schools around the country. “People know Mosaic and it really means something,” he said. After hearing what it takes for entry into one of the top schools in the nation (one with tough admissions criteria), the young actors went on to experience a theater movement master class with a NYU Tisch professor and a monologue workshop with professional acting coach Renae Baker, who has coached countless Broadway and television child/teen actors! The exhilarating day didn’t stop there; Mr. Eustis had the young actors as his special guests to see 39 STEPS Off-Broadway, a slapstick retelling of an Alfred Hitchcock film by only four actors. After the show, the young artists were once again afforded a talk with the lead actors, who shared great advice!

The fourth and final day was spent at the Public Theater! The young actors received a tour of the Public Theater building, saw where the sets were built, and talked with the production folks! They had a meeting in the Public Theater’s boardroom with one of the Public’s Casting Associates, who shared details on the casting process — how they find and choose actors. From there, the young actors had the incredible honor of being able to watch a professional theater rehearsal of Cymbeline, the next show to play in Central Park after The Tempest. They observed acclaimed actors Hamish Linklater and Lillie Rabe prepare to perform the lead roles!

Mosaic is so very proud of its Alumni, and what a delight is was to have the opportunity to spend time with one of our Alumni during this transformational experience! Celia Keenan-Bolger, three-time Tony Award nominee and Mosaic Alum, invited the young actors into her home, where they sat on her living room floor while she and her husband – also a Broadway actor – talked candidly about how she went from Detroit to Broadway! The Bolgers are new parents, but they did not hesitate to invite the young actors into their home and take the time (with baby in tow) to share their experience.

Mosaic spent the evening of this awesome day as guests of Mr. Eustis at the Tony-award-winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime; then they returned to the Public Theater to see an improvisational rap show called Freestyle Love Supreme at Joe’s Pub, The Public’s Cabaret space. The performers brought David Johnson onstage (it was his birthday), and they acted out — in rap and music — his day! After the show, the performers once again were excited to talk to the Mosaic young artists and give them advice. One performer, who was especially passionate about encouraging the young actors, was James Monroe Iglehart, a famous African-American musical theater star who won a Tony Award in 2014 for his role as the Genie in Aladdin.

 

Sharing with you another Unforgettable Experience!
Thank you for your continued support

of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit!

 

WITHOUT YOU THERE IS NO US!