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.