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Events for November 2022

Mosaic awarded $25K State Grant for Empowering Youth Performing Arts

Mosaic awarded $25K State Grant for Empowering Youth Performing Arts 1200 959 mosaic

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit has been awarded a grant of $25,000 from the State of Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC). The grant was awarded through the MACC peer review process and was one of 639 applications to compete for MACC fiscal year 2023 funding.

This grant helps Mosaic further its mission of empowering young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training. In the past year, the youth ensemble has entertained over 36,000 audience members, and every young artist at Mosaic has enrolled in a college or university after their high school graduation. This contribution from the state will allow us to continue transforming and inspiring the Detroit community with our creation of engaging theatrical and musical art.

As an organization receiving a MACC grant award, we are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. This special honor would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, including the Lewis Prize for Music, Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, Jacob Family Foundation, Gucci Changemakers, and the McGregor Fund.

Mosaic also wishes to thank Governor Whitmer, the MACC, and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for investing in our vision to cultivate excellence on and off the stage for Detroit-area youth.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is one of Southeast Michigan’s most highly regarded cultural treasures. Our critically acclaimed student-driven performances and national and international tours have brought worldwide attention to Detroit as a center for arts and culture while shining a spotlight on the area’s talented young people and creating new and diverse audiences for the performing arts.

Founded by Rick Sperling in 1992 to address gaps in Metro Detroit arts education, Mosaic served 25 young artists in its inaugural year. Today, hundreds of youth from more than 50 Metro Detroit schools participate in Mosaic’s First, Second and Main Stage programs every year. These innovative programs provide expert training, mentoring and opportunity to the area’s young actors, singers, and stage technicians, while fostering a culture of high expectations, active participation and acceptance that serves them beyond the stage.

The MACC peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MACC website at www.michigan.gov/arts.

Say “hello” to Crain’s Detroit newest 40 Under Forty class member!

Say “hello” to Crain’s Detroit newest 40 Under Forty class member! 1080 1080 mosaic

Our very own DeLashea Strawder has been nominated as a Crain’s Detroit 40 UNDER 40. Congratulations on a successful 2022 program year, job well done!

  • Engaged over 650 youth and young adults in transformative arts & leadership experiences in over 35 locations across 20 metro-Detroit communities
  • Increased arts access through the launch of pilot transportation program funded by The Lewis Prize for Music and the Dresner Foundation
  • Collaborated on global Transatlantic Tapestry album featuring Mosaic and Coventry Youth Exchange vocalists and musicians
  • 100% matriculation to college for Class of 2022 Mosaic graduates
  • 78% college persistence rate for Class of 2019 thru 2021 Mosaic graduates

Read more about DeLashea and this incredible honor here.

Mosaic Awarded the Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund

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Mosaic is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund! As a non-profit striving for social change through our diverse collection of performing arts programs, Mosaic will receive a $50,000 grant to create new programs and scale existing initiatives.

We are beyond grateful to be one of only 12 programs to receive this prestigious honor from a pool of over 200 applicants across the country. It’s a true honor to be recognized as a leading organization that uses its inclusive art to fight for personal and systemic change.

Gucci’s generous grant will allow Mosaic’s young artists to flourish in an environment that can fully realize their dreams. This unique opportunity allows our youth to engage in volunteer activities with Gucci employees, participate in town hall conversations with company leadership, and have a voice with the Gucci’s North America Brand and Cultural Engagement team. As a new member in the Changemakers Community, we will have the resources to truly empower the Detroit-area youth both on stage and in life.

To read more about this honor click HERE.

DeLashea Strawder Talks About Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit’s Latest Show, Mwindo

DeLashea Strawder Talks About Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit’s Latest Show, Mwindo 1200 800 mosaic

Check out this video from My TV 20 Detroit of our very own DeLashea talking about our latest show, Mwindo! Head to our events page for more information on tickets.

Nonprofit Core Values, Envisioned Futures, and Leading Forward, Featuring Delashea Strawder on The Nonprofit MBA Podcast

Nonprofit Core Values, Envisioned Futures, and Leading Forward, Featuring Delashea Strawder on The Nonprofit MBA Podcast 1200 800 mosaic

In today’s podcast, Delashea Strawder from Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions, a leading provider of nonprofits financing in the form of a line of credit, discuss the importance of core values for nonprofits. Every nonprofit craving sustainable growth and progression should ensure that it has some guiding principles that undergird its decision to remain focused on its target goals. Nonprofits’ core values are road maps that facilitate the execution of nonprofits short and long-term projects.

Read an Executive Summary or Listen to the Podcast HERE: Nonprofit Core Values, Envisioned Futures, and Leading Forward

About Delashea Strawder from Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit

A champion of arts and culture and its inherent ability to motivate, empower and mobilize, DeLashea Strawder celebrates every opportunity to inspire individuals and communities to embrace the arts as vehicles for positive change. She is the Executive & Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit, a creative youth development organization that uses the arts to mentor, empower, and support youth to thrive. As an artist and arts administrator working at the intersection of education, arts & culture, and social justice Strawder knows firsthand how music and theater can foster engagement, transform communities, increase opportunity, and promote equity.

About Stephen Halasnik, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast, and Financing Solutions

Stephen Halasnik is the Cofounder of  Financing Solutions which is the leading provider of lines of credit for nonprofits and church financing. The credit line program for nonprofits & churches is fast, easy, inexpensive, and costs nothing to set up making it great when cash flow is temporarily down. Mr. Halasnik is also the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The podcast brings on experts to talk about fundraising, nonprofit grants, executive director leadership, nonprofit boards, and other important topics. You can learn more about the nonprofit line of credit program here or call 862-207-4118.

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.