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Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth: The Legacy of Past, Present, and Future Trailblazers

Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth: The Legacy of Past, Present, and Future Trailblazers 1200 800 mosaic

We know that Black history is more than just a small subset of history – it IS history. During Black History Month we’ve been sharing powerful stories of Black influence and creativity. We’re lucky to have nearly unlimited sources of inspiration within Mosaic—from our current Young Artist class to our legendary Mosaic alumni network.

As the month wraps up, we leave you with five powerful videos and a photo series representing Mosaic’s past, current, and future. Please enjoy the spoken word of three extraordinary current young artists, an interview with award-winning “Debating Destiny” creator James Anthony Tyler, as well as an enlightening conversation with Mosaic Alumni Brian Taylor. Further down, we share a trip we took with our Youth Ensemble to the Flint Repertory Theatre where they spent time with influential members of the theatrical community.

And while February has ended, be assured that the stories we share of Black influence, creative expression, power, and innovation will not stop when the month ends.

Mosaic Young Artist, Charisma, presents “Standby Lights,” a reflection of artistic Black trailblazers and their creation of masterpieces.

Mosaic Young Artist, Zora, presents “Rockstar,” a look at Black creators and their successes using new techniques and styles.

Mosaic Young Artist, Adiran, presents “Writing the Future,” a look at the Black community and those who have used their talents to inspire, create, and resonate.

Come behind the scenes with playwright James Anthony Tyler to discuss his new play, “Debating Destiny,” and how he used Mosaic’s Young Artists as inspiration for the plot and characters.

Watch our exclusive interview with Mosaic Alumni and professional actor, Brian Taylor, as he reflects on what it means to be a Black performer and storyteller as you progress through your career.

Early in February our Youth Ensemble headed to Flint and had the opportunity to meet and chat with playwright James Anthony Tyler and actor (and Mosaic alum!) Brian Taylor at the Flint Repertory Theatre. The pair were preparing for performances of Tyler’s play “Into the Side of the Hill.”

The experience took on special meaning for the group because they had also been working on play by James Anthony Tyler called “Debating Destiny.” The world premiere of the play is slated for March 1 and 2 in Detroit. The ability to meet and discuss the play you’re performing in with its writer is an experience our Ensemble members are sure to remember!

Elan Charitable Giving Program Expands to Include Mosaic Youth Theatre

Elan Charitable Giving Program Expands to Include Mosaic Youth Theatre 1200 800 mosaic

Detroit-Based Organization Receives Portion of the $375,000 Donation

The Elan Charitable Giving program today announced $375,000 in donations across 30 communities. Each $12,500 gift was given to a charity selected by an Elan Credit Card partner. In Michigan, Mosaic Youth Theatre in Detroit was selected as beneficiary.

“We’re delighted to expand our reach this year to the communities of 15 credit union and 15 community bank partners,” said John Owens, Elan Credit Card General Manager, “From food insecurity and housing to animal shelters and youth arts programming, the Elan Charitable Giving program continues to support the needs of our partner’s communities.”

The Public Service Credit Union in Romulus, Michigan, was named a 2024 Elan Charitable Giving credit card partner. Mosaic Youth Theatre was designated as the recipient of its $12,500 donation. The funds will help support the organization’s robust youth theatre programs.

Since the launch of the Elan Charitable Giving program in 2022, $1.7 million has been distributed to 122 charities. Elan employees have also volunteered 225 hours of their time to further the impact of these gifts. Additional volunteer events with selected partners and charities will take place in 2024.

About Mosaic Youth Theatre

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit empowers young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of engaging, transformative, and inspiring theatrical and musical art. An award-winning national model for youth arts excellence and creative youth development, Mosaic has toured critically-acclaimed all-teen performances worldwide. Its class of 2023 had a 100 percent high school graduation rate. Learn more at www.mosaicdetroit.org

About Elan Credit Card

Elan Credit Card partners with financial institutions to grow their business through our outsourced credit card program, mortgage solutions, and all-in-one merchant processing platform, talech®. Our dedication to our partners, growth philosophy, and investment in technology has made us a leader in the industry since 1968. Learn more about our innovative solutions for consumer and business accounts of all sizes. For more information, visit www.elanfinancialservices.com/credit-card.

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.

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