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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!

MOSAIC’S ANNUAL MEETING! 751 342 mosaic

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!

MOSAIC SINGERS PERFORM IN DC! 568 346 mosaic

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!