• Phone: 313.872.6910

Press Release

BET+ series ‘Diarra from Detroit’ comes from a creator who’s ‘a daughter of the city’

BET+ series ‘Diarra from Detroit’ comes from a creator who’s ‘a daughter of the city’ 1320 854 mosaic

“Diarra from Detroit,” which premieres Thursday on BET+, is a quirky, contemporary series about a woman in the Motor City who’s going through a divorce and becomes obsessed with the dating-app match who disappears after one perfect date.

So why was it partly inspired by old, conventional mysteries like “Matlock,” “Columbo” and “Murder, She Wrote”? Because that’s what Diarra Kilpatrick, the star and creator of the new streaming series, used to watch with her grandmother as a child in the D.

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.

Noel Night draws thousands to Detroit’s Cultural Center

Noel Night draws thousands to Detroit’s Cultural Center 1320 880 mosaic

The Mosaic Youth Theatre Singers perform during Noel Night at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 in Detroit.

The Mosaic Youth Theatre Singers perform during Noel Night at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 in Detroit.

Reverberating Through the Community: Mosaic Youth Theatre Performs for Hundreds of Children in 2023

Reverberating Through the Community: Mosaic Youth Theatre Performs for Hundreds of Children in 2023 1200 800 mosaic

There’s nothing like experiencing something great for the first time. Finally hitting that high note, getting the lead role in a play, or experiencing the thrill of your very first live performance. These experiences create a ripple effect that can impact the course of a child’s life. Mosaic Youth Theatre proudly provides an opportunity for the children of Detroit to experience many exciting “firsts,” including first visits to the DIA, first theatre performances, and perhaps another exciting first—becoming a young artist themselves.

Through in-school performances, community performances, and school field trips, Mosaic reaches hundreds of schoolchildren in Detroit and beyond each year. During these performances, children see themselves on stage and realize that there is a world of exciting opportunities open to them.

Donations that come in for Giving Tuesday help Mosaic continue its legacy of providing opportunities to experience and participate in the theatre at many levels. Each year, a new wave of young artists come through Mosaic to learn and hone their skills as actors, singers, writers, set designers, technicians, and more. Through partnerships with schools and local institutions, Mosaic’s young artists get a chance to share their passions with the incoming younger generation of artists. Mosaic has created a pipeline of talent in the Metro-Detroit area that shows no signs of slowing, so long as the non-profit can continue to get community support.

Those interested in supporting Mosaic can do so through a monetary donation. Mosaic’s Giving Tuesday campaign is now live.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Welcomes Five New Board Members and New Board Leadership

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit Welcomes Five New Board Members and New Board Leadership 1200 800 mosaic

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit (Mosaic) , announced today the appointment of five new board members and a new chair and vice chair who will help support the nonprofits work to create pathways to equity and opportunity for youth through the arts.

“We’re excited to partner with these five new board members who bring diverse expertise, deep commitment to Mosaic’s mission and new insights to enhance outcomes for Detroit area youth,” shared Governance Chair, Marietta Cleveland.

Terry Bonnette Named New Board Chair

Terry Bonnette, a seasoned partner at Nemeth Law, PC, with extensive experience in labor and employment law, has assumed the role of Board Chair. Mr. Bonnette is a renowned expert in his field and a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law topics. He previously served as Mosaic’s Vice Chair and brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to his new position.

Mark Denis Appointed as Vice Chair

Mark Denis, a respected member of the Mosaic Board since 2022, has been named Vice Chair. With over 30 years of experience in finance and strategic planning, including 14 years at General Motors, Mark is passionate about giving back to the community. He has a long-standing commitment to not-for-profit organizations, including serving on the Board of COTS Detroit for over 18 years.

Bonnette and Denis join existing officers, including Wisam Qasem-Fakhoury, CFO at Access, who returns to a second term as Board Treasurer, and Diane Borgus Green, M.A., NCC, who also returns to a second term as board secretary.

New Board Members Join the Team

“Each member brings a wealth of unique experiences and skills that strengthen our ongoing commitment to cultivating capacity, creativity and community with young people. By fostering these thoughtful partnerships and connections with experts in education, business, finance, and health & human services, we’re not just working to support youth and our community – we’re building an invaluable network that will empower them to thrive now and in the future,” commented DeLashea Starwder, Mosaic’s Executive & Artistic Director.

Mosaic is thrilled to welcome five new board members who bring diverse skills and backgrounds to the organization:

Dr. Rita Fields – Dr. Fields is the dual CEO of both 313 Industries, Inc. and Copper Phoenix Consulting, LLC, and she brings a wealth of experience in business and community leadership.

Dr. Denise Jacob – With a strong background in community engagement, Dr. Jacob will contribute her expertise to Mosaic’s efforts in creating a more inclusive society.

Lois McEntyre – Lois McEntyre, the general manager of customer success operations at Intuit, offers valuable corporate insight to the board.

Melissa Thomas – Melissa Thomas, Manager of Special Events at Eastern Market Partnership, brings event planning and community engagement skills to the organization.

Yvette Drayton – Yvette Drayton, Financial Coordinator at We The People Michigan, will provide her financial acumen to support Mosaic’s mission.

Mosaic is excited about the fresh perspectives and expertise that these new leaders bring to the organization and looks forward to their contributions as Mosaic continues to expand pathways to equity and opportunity through the arts.

Meet the 2023 New Voices: Detroit Finalists

Meet the 2023 New Voices: Detroit Finalists 1200 800 mosaic

Nahla Knight
New Voices Detroit Youth Playwright

Nahla Knight is a student at Fraser High School with an interest in all aspects of theatre (including dance, production, and writing). Nahla has completed the Silver Award in Girl Scouts and is an award-winning dancer currently working on a self-made routine.

Jaidyn Ray
New Voices Detroit Youth Composer

Jaidyn Ray is a young artist who has a passion for songwriting and writing. Jaidyn looks forward to the opportunity to hear their original songs performed live and would like to explore the possibly of becoming a singer themselves.

Brianna Couch
New Voices Detroit Youth Composer

Brianna Couch aka BRIIENICOLE is an award-winning songwriter from the Detroit School of Arts. Brianna was accepted into Berklee College of Music’s “Black, Brown, and Bound” program and is working on a premiere EP titled Emotional Intelligence. Brianna has released two singles that are available on all streaming platforms.

Jadyn North
New Voices Detroit Youth Composer

Jadyn North is a student at Cass Tech with hopes to make it to Broadway someday. If not Broadway, Jadyn hopes to apply the skills that were acquired through New Voices to thrive at a career in music production.

Sherida Henneghan
New Voices Detroit Youth Playwright

Sherida Henneghan is a prolific writer with an entrepreneurial spirit. As a student at Denby High School, Sherida has written three plays and more than 60 poems. Through New Voices, Sherida will work on skills in writing and acting, with a career goal of becoming the next Tyler Perry!

Priscilla Massey
New Voices Detroit Youth Playwright

Prescilla Masset is a writer who is interested in developing confidence and comfortability with the craft. In New Voices, Prescilla hopes to expand beyond writing and work on skills in acting and producing as well. Additionally, Prescilla was recently featured on a podcast and won a city-wide honor.

Simone Thompson
New Voices Detroit Youth Playwright

Simone Thompson is a songwriter, poet, and book author. Simone is currently focused on writing improvement, time management, and bringing words to life.

Justin Cameron Washington
New Voices Detroit Youth Playwright

Justin Washington is a student at Rochester High School who has won multiple awards for playwriting. Justin’s award-winning play No Prospering Weapons will premiere at The Kennedy Center this fall. Justin was also the winner of the 2022 New Voices Audience Choice Award.

Reagan Stroud
New Voices Detroit Youth Playwright

Reagan Stroud is a student at Detroit School of Arts with interests in writing, acting, and producing. Reagan has two book projects out titled “Hall of Fame,” and “The Girl Who Shared the World.” Through New Voices, Reagan is hoping to grow as a writer and begin a journey into acting.

Nicholas Smith
New Voices Detroit Youth Composer

Nick Smith is a student at MLK Jr. Senior High School in Detroit who is interested in producing music (and has already released 5 solo projects and 7 collaborative mixtapes). In addition to producing, Nick also has a passion for rapping.

Demi Ruffin
New Voices Detroit Youth Composer

Demi Ruffin is an incoming freshman at Howard University with an interest in music composition. Demi aspires to be an Orthopedic Surgeon and played on the 2022 Detroit Public School League championship team in Volleyball for Detroit Renaissance.

The Lewis Prize for Music and Accelerator Awardees Present “Accelerating Change: Creative Youth Development Across the United States” Video Series

The Lewis Prize for Music and Accelerator Awardees Present “Accelerating Change: Creative Youth Development Across the United States” Video Series 1200 800 mosaic

The Lewis Prize for Music in partnership with Accelerator Awardees, Hyde Square Task Force, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Beyond the Bars, and Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is proud to launch the 2023 video series “Accelerating Change: Creative Youth Development Across the United States” to shine a light on the vital work of Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations in their local communities. CYD represents longstanding practices of empowering young people as thriving leaders in communities across the country.

Four award-winning organizations have created their own unique videos that showcase the experiences of young people in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Saint Louis. Through these films, we have a chance to hear directly from the young people themselves, as well as the supportive adults in their lives, about how music and community have transformed their lives.

These newly released videos are a continuation of the Accelerating Change collection, which was first launched in 2021. Watch and witness firsthand the remarkable impact of Creative Youth Development in the Accelerating Change 2023 Video Series!

Detroit-Area Youth Write Their Own Future

Detroit-Area Youth Write Their Own Future 1200 800 mosaic

The 4th Annual New Voices: Detroit Festival on August 12 Showcases 
Short Plays and Songs from Next Generation Storytellers in 8th through 12th Grade

Detroit – Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit proudly presents the 4th Annual New Voices: Detroit Festival on August 12. This exciting event features original plays and compositions written by talented Detroit-area teens in grades 8-12.

Paired with industry professionals, young artists hone their skills, creating new works that will be showcased at prominent Detroit arts & culture venues. This year, Mosaic collaborates with Detroit Public Theatre to host the festival, scheduled for August 12 at 6pm.

“New Voices: Detroit goes beyond supporting young talents; it inspires the community and fosters vital conversations,” said DeLashea Strawder, Executive and Artistic Director of Mosaic. Participants develop artistic and life skills, enriching their communities with relevant arts experiences. The festival also plays a pivotal role in expanding diverse next-generation playwrights and composers for all audiences.

Metro-Detroit youth submitted their ideas this spring for a chance to join the paid summer intensive. Finalists, chosen earlier this summer, have worked diligently with coaches throughout July, fine-tuning their work before the August 12 premiere.

A video featuring last year’s New Voices finalists can be found on YouTube. For tickets and additional details on Mosaic’s New Voices: Detroit Festival visit www.mosaicdetroit.org.

Talented Detroit Youth Play, Perform and Thrive at Mosaic’s Summer Camp

Talented Detroit Youth Play, Perform and Thrive at Mosaic’s Summer Camp 1200 800 mosaic

Detroit – Summer is the perfect time to sharpen your musical theatre, acting, and dance skills if you’re lucky enough to secure a spot at Mosaic Summer Camp. Each summer, the Detroit-based youth development organization, Mosaic, welcomes kids from 3rd to 8th grade for two-week-long summer camp sessions, with each session ending in a powerful final performance.

Each day at camp, the campers enjoy theatre and music games, craft projects, dance breaks, mindfulness moments, and rehearsals and preparation for the end-of-camp performance.

Slots for the Mosaic Summer Camp fill up quickly and thanks to the generosity of Mosaic’s financial partners Kiwanis, M&M Fisher Foundation, the Bruce J. Heim Foundation, and the Jeffrey Seller Foundation, scholarships are available to cover up to 100% of the camp’s cost.

Summer Camp is just one of many youth theatre programs offered at Mosaic. Following summer camp, the organization pivots to its New Voices: Detroit program. This program is for students in 8-12th grade and pairs authors of winning submissions with professional coaches to help develop a play or song for the stage. The culmination of this program is a live performance on Aug. 12 at 6pm at the Detroit Public Theatre. Finalists have been chosen for this year’s event and have already begun working hard on their performances.

These summer programs, along with the rest of Mosaic’s 6,500 hours of annual youth theatre programming, leaves a truly powerful impact on the community. To-date, 97% of Mosaic’s youth ensemble members have been accepted into a college, and most of its students graduate with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Additionally, nearly all the youth ensemble members report believing they are capable of achieving their goals.

Students interested in getting involved in the arts can try out during Mosaic’s next auditions beginning in mid-August. Details on the process are available on Mosaic’s social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Mad Props

Mad Props 1200 800 mosaic

Everyone remembers the handkerchief in Othello and it’s hard to picture Linus without that blanket. Props can add a lot to creating the world of the story that gets told on stage. Check out what Michelle LeRoy, props designer, for Alice & the New Wonderful, had to say about creating the props for the show.

Q: How did you approach designing the props for “Alice & the New Wonderful” in order to bring both the fantastical world of Wonderland and the real world to life on stage?

A: For me reading through the script a couple of times, seeing the inspiration from the director, and then meeting with all the other designers helps to inspire the direction. Once I knew the aesthetic of the Heights vs the Barrens (real world vs “Wonderland”) informed the choices of color and design. For me, everything, even the slightly fantastical stuff, was still grounded in reality.

Q: Can you talk about any specific props that you’re particularly proud of creating for the production and what role they play in the story of the play?

A: I’m particularly proud of the student’s desks. I don’t want to say too much and give away anything. It was one of those moments where knowing the director wanted some wow moments and getting a note about having a ballpark-esque vendor tray for desks. I just combined the two. I’m also particularly proud of the detailing work Livia, the young technician assigned to props, created on many of the pieces. So look out for things like the Watermelon, detailing on the painter’s backpacks, and the radish salad to name a few.

Q: How did you work with the actors and other members of the production team to ensure that the props were used effectively in conveying the two worlds of Alice?

A: For one there is a lot of cross-over between set, costumes, and props. For example, while the bed is a set piece the bedding was something I worked with the Set Designer on. The mannequins in Maddie’s shop were a total collaboration with the costume designer to make the shop and the costumes cohesive. I also took color inspiration from the projection design. I also sought out inspiration from the young technicians. This show is their world and their voice is invaluable. Props designing has to be collaborative to make it cohesive.

Q: What advice would you give to young people who are interested in pursuing a career in props design, and how did you get started in this field yourself?

A: I have designed props off and on during my career. Most of my 23 years have been as a Stage Manager. It was college that exposed me to all the different aspects of design, directing, performing, and stage managing. For me, that’s what led to my success as a stage manager and my ability to design props. For those that are interested in pursuing props as a career, I would tell them to start making. Maybe make an accessory for a Halloween costume or a decoration for your room, think about the world you want it to live in, who is using it, what would you make it out of, and how would you make it. Continue to learn everything from crafting skills, how to build and use tools, collaborative skills, finding how-to’s on YouTube, taking design classes, learning about new materials, learning about new technology, finding ways of working with props designers at local theatres, learn how to design for other departments of theatre/film, find mentors, and make your own way.