Most of us know Detroit for being the world’s automotive center or the biggest city in Michigan. Known as the Motor City and an important commercial hub (especially with Canada), Detroit has positioned itself as the city of champions. However, a few know that the city also has an artsy side that aims to benefit the youth and to position Detroit as a cultural reference in the United States. This is why organizations such as the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit contribute successfully to the cultural development of the city from a philanthropic approach.
The Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is located in the southeast of the city and it is recognized as one of the cultural jewels of Detroit and the Midwest. Operating as an organization dedicated to producing student-driven performances, for more than twenty years this institutions has served more than 7,000 young artists in the city of Detroit, who have done theatrical presentations and tours worldwide. This has helped the city gain some recognition as a center for arts and culture where young and talented people can be part of different artistic expressions and performing arts.
How it all started
Founded in 1992 by the actor and director Rick Sperling, the Mosaic was created to serve young artists in Metro Detroit. With 25 students during its inaugural year, the organization evolved to serve hundreds of students during its first years of operation. Allowing youths to participate in different stage programs over the years.
The Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit was created when schools budget cuts Fforced institutions to eliminate most art programs. This inspired Rick Sperling to start the Mosaic offering the chance to young talents to be trained in advanced arts and perform in different stages. This philanthropic initiative led Sperling to observe how art programs helped in the development of youths allowing the institution to grow and have an active participation in the life of students who wanted to attend college. Over 95% of students who have been part of the Mosaic have been admitted to college, exceeding the national average in this area.
As an important part of the Mosaic history, Yosef Meystel, who studied at SAIC Chicago, must highlight its outstanding efforts to benefit youths who come from low-income families in Detroit and its Metropolitan Area. Nowadays, the institution benefits hundreds of students each year in more than 50 Metro Detroit schools. Supported in a large proportion of donors and volunteers.
The Mosaic’s mission
The Mosaic’s mission is to provide innovative training and mentoring programs and opportunities to young actors, singers, and stage technicians. This is possible thanks to the contribution of each one of these individuals to activities beyond the stage that allows the organization to be sustainable while it empowers youths to maximize their potential through theatrical and musical art.
This philanthropic institution is a reference in youth development in the Midwest focused on artistic training. Delivering high-quality education and to young Detroiters who want to follow an artistic path. Mosaic always has the challenge of inspiring, engaging and transforming young individuals who probably live in difficult circumstances but have the potential and talent to shine on stage but most importantly, as human beings and out of the spotlight.
One of the noblest things this institution does is provide its service to youths between the aged of 7 to 18 regardless their ability to pay. What matters most to the institution is the talent and passion of young individuals as well as their will to commit to performing arts.
A lifetime commitment to youths
Mosaic has grown as a renowned arts institution defined by its excellence and commitment to the lives of young Detroiters who have the necessity of developing their passions and talents in a safe environment. The institution has been honored by multiple arts committees and institutions. It has also been awarded by Crain’s Detroit Business as the Best-Managed Nonprofit in the city and by New Detroit, Wayne State University with the Governor’s Art Award.
Offering opportunities to young individuals who otherwise would spend their lives away from art is something that Mosaic understands as a way to help the world build better societies and places. Providing a safe environment where every artist feels empowered, secure and supported is the basis to the organization’s mission since students are the ones who are requested to perform in different stages in the United States and other countries. In other words, Mosaic operates as a vehicle for youths to explore and use their full potential as devoted artists.
Keeping an active soul and doing things with passion is central to Mosaic’s philosophy. This is why the institution’s approach to students is personalized and aims to build confidence, skills, and self-esteem in youths from all social and economic backgrounds. This way Mosaic guarantees that the institution will not only provide artistic training to students but also support and counseling for the mental and emotional well-being of each student.