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Press Release

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…

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Named One of Eight Finalists for the Lewis Prize for Music

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MOSAIC YOUTH THEATRE OF DETROIT NAMED ONE OF EIGHT FINALISTS FOR THE LEWIS PRIZE FOR MUSIC
Three $500,000 Accelerator Awards Will Be Given To Leaders of Youth Music Programs Creating Change

The Lewis Prize for Music – a philanthropic music arts organization advancing systems change through creative youth development – has selected Detroit’s own DeLashea Strawder of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit as a finalist for the second annual Accelerator Awards.

Founded in 2018 by philanthropist Daniel R. Lewis, The Lewis Prize for Music believes young people with access to high-quality music learning, performance and creation opportunities will mature into thriving individuals. Inequitable systems often fail to prioritize music learning in young people’s lives. As a result, too many young people are not supported to express themselves creatively. This stifles young people’s potential to become powerful citizens, who through musical pursuits learn to contribute positively to their communities.

By supporting music leaders across the country to continue their great work, The Lewis Prize for Music hopes to inspire other partners to work together to ensure every young person has the opportunity to access transformative music learning, performance and creation. The Lewis Prize for Music has identified DeLashea Strawder of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit as one of those leaders.

“We are honored to be among this group of changemakers as a finalist for the Lewis Prize,” says President and Artistic Director DeLashea Strawder. “To have the work we are doing through our creative youth development music programming recognized by The Lewis Prize team, alongside these exemplary organizations is truly humbling.”

Founded by Rick Sperling in 1992 to address gaps in Metro Detroit arts education, Mosaic seeks to empower young people to create positive changes in their lives and communities by helping them develop patterns of cooperation, disciplined work habits and effective problem-solving skills through the creation of high-quality, professional-level performances of theatre and music. And by highlighting the immense talent of young Detroiters, Mosaic helps to create positive peer role models and young people who can view a more positive future for themselves and for their community. Mosaic’s programs, including apprenticeships in theatre tech, school residency programs, youth ensembles, summer programs, and a playwriting competition, are made possible by grant funds, donations, and considerable community support from organizations such as Find Your Light Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Max & Marjorie Fisher Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, Jamie and Denise Jacob Family Foundation, Seller Lehrer Family Foundation, Detroit Public School Community District, The Kresge Foundation, and The McGregor Foundation.

“We celebrate the young artist’s courage to create and are delighted to have their courage and determination illuminated, says Strawder.  “Congratulations to all of the other finalists. We are brimming with hope as we are reminded of the many musicians and teaching artists who walk alongside youth across the country; ensuring that they have equitable access to transformative musical experiences that expand their world view and help them to thrive.”

Awardees for The Lewis Prize for Music, which is split into three categories and includes both long-term and single-year support, will be formally announced on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Receives Special Tribute from Oakland County Officials

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Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Receives Special Tribute from Oakland County Officials
Awards were presented in recognition of organizations’ efforts during COVID-19

(Detroit) October 7, 2020 – Oakland County officials honored Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and its leaders with a special tribute for their work.  Mosaic Board Chair, Cornell Batie and DeLashea Strawder, Mosiac’s Executive and Artistic Director were recognized for the organization’s efforts to support youth and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are so pleased for this recognition,” says Batie.  “Mosaic will continue to thoughtfully consider all the possibilities for how we could continue to serve young artists through our youth ensembles and school residency programs while prioritizing health and safety.”

Lathrup Village’s Mayor Kelly Garrett, Oakland County Commissioner Nancy L. Quarles, State Representative Kyra Harris Bolden, Councilman & Legislative Director Jason Hoskin presented awards to Batie and Strawder on September 26th at Lathrup Village City Hall.

“After careful consideration, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and its leaders decided to move forward with virtual programming,” said DeLashea Strawder, Executive and Artistic Director. “It was so important to Mosaic to continue to maintain uninterrupted accessibility to art experiences for our young artists during these unprecedented times.”

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is committed to delivering dynamic experiences, complete with exceptional instruction, high expectations and distinctive virtual performance opportunities, empowering youth to maximize their potential as artists and as people.

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Performs “Hastings Street” Live on Plays In The House Teen Edition

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Performs “Hastings Street” Live on Plays In The House Teen Edition 1200 500 mosaic

 

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Performs “Hastings Street” Live on Plays In The House Teen Edition
Live-streamed reading will air on Sunday, September 13th at 2 p.m.

 

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit will perform “Hastings Street” on SiriusXM’s Plays in the House Teen Edition on Sunday, September 13th at 2pm EST.  Created by Executive Producers James Wesley and 1Seth Rudetsky, Associate Director Carollette Phillips and Technical Director Jonah Verdon, Plays in the House Teen Edition are live-streamed readings of plays for young people, performed by young people to support non-profits bringing theatre to young people.

“Mosaic is excited to feature our young artists and alumni in this special performance,” says DeLashea Strawder, President and Artistic Director of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. “Hastings Street captures the good and bad of one of the most exciting eras in Detroit,” says Strawder.

An original playwright by Barton Bund and Rick Sperling, founder of Mosaic, “Hastings Street” is a musical revisit of life in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood in the 1940s through the eyes of inner-city youth. Based on a real-life encounter between Langston Hughes and a group of Y-Gees (members of the Miller High School youth group), it was scripted from oral history and interviews with people who lived as teenagers in the Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods.

Matthew Webb, an Mosaic alum and current Yale Drama MFA student, will be playing Langston Hughes. The live reading will be directed by Mosaic Alumna Carollette Phillips with musical direction by Strawder. The live broadcast is followed by a Q & A with the playwright which will be hosted by Angela Birchett, Broadway actress and recent star of the Lifetime movie “The Clark Sisters”.

Hosted by Juli Rudestsky Wesley, Plays in the House Teen Edition airs each week on Sundays at 2pm (EST) and currently has over 26,000 YouTube subscribers. Live shows have averaged more than 2500-3000 viewers and continue to raise much need funding for youth theatre and arts organizations.

To view this live performance, visit https://www.starsinthehouse.com/plays-in-the-house-teen-edition.

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Announces New Virtual Performance On SiriusXM Radio

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Announces New Virtual Performance On SiriusXM Radio 1200 500 mosaic

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Announces New Virtual Performance On SiriusXM Radio
Live-streamed reading will air on Sunday, September 13th at 2 p.m.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit will perform “Hastings Street” on SiriusXM’s Plays in the House Teen Edition on Sunday, September 13th at 2pm EST.  Created by Executive Producers James Wesley and Seth Rudetsky, Associate Director Carollette Phillips and Technical Director Jonah Verdon, Plays in the House Teen Edition are live-streamed readings of plays for young people, performed by young people to support non-profits bringing theatre to young people.

“Mosaic is excited to feature our young artists and alumni in this special performance,” says DeLashea Strawder, President and Artistic Director of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. “Hastings Street captures the good and bad of one of the most exciting eras in Detroit,” says Strawder.

An original playwright by Barton Bund and Rick Sperling, founder of Mosaic, “Hastings Street” is a musical revisit of life in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood in the 1940s through the eyes of inner-city youth. Based on a real-life encounter between Langston Hughes and a group of Y-Gees (members of the Miller High School youth group), it was scripted from oral history and interviews with people who lived as teenagers in the Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods.

Matthew Webb, an Mosaic alum and current Yale Drama MFA student, will be playing Langston Hughes. The live reading will be directed by Mosaic Alumna Carollette Phillips with musical direction by Strawder. The live broadcast is followed by a Q & A with the playwright which will be hosted by Angela Birchett, Broadway actress and recent star of the Lifetime movie “The Clark Sisters”.

Hosted by Juli Rudestsky Wesley, Plays in the House Teen Edition airs each week on Sundays at 2pm (EST) and currently has over 26,000 YouTube subscribers. Live shows have averaged more than 2500-3000 viewers and continue to raise much need funding for youth theatre and arts organizations.

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Launches New Theater Competition for Detroit Area Youth

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Launches New Theater Competition for Detroit Area Youth 1200 500 mosaic

Mosaic Youth Theatre Detroit Launches New Theater Competition for Detroit Area Youth
New Voices: Detroit 2020 will bring playwriting and musicals of youth to life.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is launching its inaugural youth Playwriting and musical composition juried competition called New Voices: Detroit 2020. This competition gives young artists in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck the opportunity to see their plays and musical compositions brought to life.

“We’ve all been impacted by great stories that move us, connect us, cause us to question, inspire us and help to promote positive change,” says DeLashea Strawder, President and Artistic Director. “With New Voices: Detroit, we aim to empower young people with the tools to boldly share their stories and amplify their voices.”

Through generous funding from the Knight Foundation and Ford Motor Company Fund, New Voices: Detroit allow aspiring storytellers access to meaningful mentoring with industry professionals early in their professional journey. In its first round, high school students who live in or attend school in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck are invited to submit a one-act play or concept. Five submissions will be chosen to be produced by Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit and performed at the virtual New Voices: Detroit festival on October 25, 2020.

In addition to being assigned a professional mentor/coach who will assist the young dramatists in developing their work of art, each finalist will receive $500 cash prize. All entries must be electronically submitted to NewVoicesDetroit@mosaicdetroit.org by August 28, 2020.

For more information about eligibility, format and deadlines, visit www.mosaicdetroit.org/newvoicesdetroit.

Mosaic’s 2019-2020 Season Celebrates History and Ventures into Fantasy

Mosaic’s 2019-2020 Season Celebrates History and Ventures into Fantasy 1200 500 mosaic
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Byrd
313.872.6910 ext 4024
jbyrd@mosaicdetroit.org

Mosaic’s 2019-2020 Season Celebrates History and Ventures into Fantasy

DETROIT, MI (July 30, 2019) – Mosaic’s upcoming season rolls seamlessly, yet intentionally, from reality to fantasy, reimagining history and touching compelling, contemporary themes. We explore power – through words, redemption, racism and self-discovery.  The season opens September 27, 2019 and the final bows take place on May 12, 2020.

It’s LIT kicks off an exciting list of shows. The production celebrates the power and artistry of authors of color whose stories have amplified their diverse experience. Prior to the September 28 show, Mosaic will host a community conversation featuring thought-leaders in literacy to discuss unleashing youth’s creativity through the arts and the effects of our communities.

Keeping up its show holiday tradition, Mosaic’s season continues with the introduction of A Christmas Carol from December 13-15, 2019 at the Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit Film Theatre. The play is a festive tale of redemption and compassion, taking place over the course of one ghostly Christmas Night, when cold-hearted businessman Ebenezer Scrooge learns to pity himself and to love his neighbor. A Christmas Carol celebrates holiday traditions and the unique story of discovering the inner joy of life.

Remembering history and shinning a light on Civil Rights, racism, and segregation, the season continues with Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963. This production takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20, 2020. This production imagines Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia D. Morris Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins before the terrible event on September 15, 1963—the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Through story and song, the play shines a light on the four girls’ dreams, their times with family and friends, and the trials and tribulations they faced as children living in a divided and segregationist city. A full chorus sets the tone with spirituals and anthems of the Civil Rights Movement.

Mosaic’s next production is the singer’s concert, Lift Every Voice, celebrating the rich history of black music from Africa and the Caribbean to present day America through spirituals, ragtime, blues, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, soul, hip-hop and other genres. The concert uplifts the contributions and innovations that mark the music and history of African Americans.

As the season comes to an end we encounter the familiar and fantastical in this world of curiosity and wonder, coming face to face with wild characters, obstacles, and oddities on a journey of self-discovery in Adventures in Wonderland. Performed by Mosaic’s Main Stage Ensemble, this contemporary re-telling of Carroll’s beloved stories – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass – features original music and takes audiences on a whimsical journey challenging them to ponder, “Who are you?”  May 8-10 and 16-17, 2020

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Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an out-of-school creative youth development organization. Through rigorous theatre and vocal training, Mosaic’s arts education, college prep, and workforce readiness programming helps young people ages 7-19 develop the critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success on stage and in life.

The organization maintains a 100% college acceptance rate with its alumni attending colleges across Michigan and around the country, institutions such as The Julliard School, and going on to become Kresge Fellows, Broadway stars, Emmy and Tony Award nominees, and good global citizens scattered throughout the business community. To learn more about Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, visit us online at www.mosaicdetroit.org.

NOW THAT I CAN DANCE – MOTOWN 1962

NOW THAT I CAN DANCE – MOTOWN 1962 1200 500 mosaic
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Lee
248.931.2443-cell
mleibow412@aol.com

NOW THAT I CAN DANCE – MOTOWN 1962
Mosaic brings back hit musical about the Marvelettes & Motown’s early days

Two weekends only, August 9-18, at the DIA

Before the Supremes or the Temptations had their first hit, the Marvelettes had Motown’s first #1 song. Who were these teenagers from Inkster who changed the course of musical history?
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, in cooperation with the Motown Museum, is pleased to announce the return of Now That I Can Dance – Motown 1962 in celebration of Motown’s 60th anniversary, for two weekends at the Detroit Institute of Arts, August 9-19, 2019. This production, based on oral histories from Motown pioneers, is the most popular show in Mosaic’s 27 year history.
Now That I Can Dance – Motown 1962 tells the little-known story of the Marvelettes and the origin of Motown’s first #1 record on the pop charts, Please Mister Postman. Along the way it shares the many untold stories of Motown’s early days when Mary Wells was Motown’s female star, the Contours were Motown’s guy group, 11-year-old Stevie Wonder was running
around Hitsville playing pranks, and Marvin Gaye was a drummer for the Miracles dreaming of becoming the black Frank Sinatra. In addition to the music of the Marvelettes, the play features the early hits of the Miracles, Vandellas, Contours, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and the Supremes.

Now That I Can Dance is directed by Mosaic founder Rick Sperling in his last production before retiring as Founding Artistic Director. As part of MAP (Mosaic Alumni Partnership) the cast is made up of current Mosaic members, Mosaic alumni and members of the community.

Fact Sheet

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, in cooperation with the Motown Museum and MAP,

presents NOW THAT I CAN DANCE – MOTOWN 1962

Written and Directed by Rick Sperling with in-kind support from Katherine “Kat” Anderson Schaffner of the Marvelettes, and Rosalind Ashford Holmes and Annette Helton of the original Vandellas

Shows:

Friday August 9th and 16th at 8:00pm

Saturday August 10th and 17th at 8:00pm

Sunday August 11th and 18th at 4:00pm

All performances take place at the main auditorium of the Detroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 (use John R Entrance)

Tickets available at www.mosaicdetroit.org/tickets 

General Admission tickets for the first weekend are “Buy one, get one free”

For Group Sales call (313) 872-6910 ext. 4006

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an award-winning national model for arts education and creative youth development. Mosaic’s mission is to empower young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of theatrical and musical art that engages, transforms and inspires. The organization has toured their critically-acclaimed all-teen performances to Europe, Asia, Africa, 25 states throughout the U.S., the White House and The Kennedy Center. Mosaic is proud to report that 95 percent of its alumni go on to college. To learn more about Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, visit us online at www.mosaicdetroit.org.

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