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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Music, Theater, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is a leader in youth development delivering rigorous, high quality performing arts education and connecting that education to a promising future for its young artists. 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.

Results: Mosaic has served (trained) more than 7,000 metropolitan Detroit area young artists since its inception. Honored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities with the Comning Up Taller award as on of the top 10 youth arts programs in the nation Named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain's Detroit Business in 2006 Recieved the prestigious Governor's Art Award and organizational excellence awards from New Detroit, DTE, Wayne State University and Detroit Youth Development Commision Performed by invitation for President Barack Obaman, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, 5 Governors and 4 Mayors.

Target demographics: Mosaic is a national model for arts education and youth development, providing accessible theaatre and music training for Metropolitan Detroit area young artists, ages 7 - 18, annually, regardless of economic ability to pay.

Geographic areas served: Detroit

Programs: Mosaic has pioneered a unique model of youth development, which is grounded in current research, theory and practice. The Mosaic Model includes three core elements which are hallmarks of positive youth development, engendering success throughout life and in many realms. Mosaic engages the youth of our community through the following current programs. Mosaic First Stage Programs (Ages 7-18): Mosaic First Stage programs provide entry level performing arts training to approximately 400 area youth annually. These workshops are presented in collaboration with community partners within the low income and underserved Northend, Osborn and Southwest Detroit neighborhoods. Mosaic Main Stage Training Programs (Ages 11-18): Main Stage is the core program of Mosaic, providing nine months of free, intensive education and training in acting and vocal music to young artists. This year, approximately 150 young artists were selected for the youth ensemble by audition and interview. Ensemble members work with professional actors, writers, musicians, and designers. Mosaic's critically acclaimed local perfomrances and tours promote a positive image of metropolitan Detroit area youth and provide a model of multicultural cooperation. Next Stage Touring Company (Ages 14-18): Approximately 12 senior members of Mosaic's Main Stage youth ensemble are selected each year by audition to perform in the Next Stage Company. These young artists recieve leadership training opportunites, act as peer mentors and leaders to Mosaic's less experienced young artists; and are paid for small group community performances.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

sherr

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best youth programs ever presented to the youth of Detroit and their families. My daughter is a great example and an alumni. Our family was blessed to have our daughter learn and grow in this positive environment. The teachers exemplified the best in music and education. We can't wait to see the results of all the hard work at Mosaic. We truly are looking forward to our daughter graduating with a degree in Musical Theater in 2017. Our daughter was a natural talent that blossomed under the care of Rick Sterling and an awesome staff and administration. . It was our pleasure to meet the outstanding Mrs Delashea Strawder one of the best Directors that inspires her students to have self-esteem, character and self-reliance. I am determined to do all I can to help this organization get the word out. Mosaic, "The Best and Nothing Less", a hidden gem in the city of Detroit that needs to be supported and highlighted by any means possible. I only wish this opportunity would have been available 40 years earlier my life may have turned out a lot different.

sherr

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best youth programs ever presented to the youth of Detroit and their families. My daughter is a great example and an alumni. Our family was blessed to have our daughter learn and grow in this positive environment. The teachers exemplified the best in music and education. We can't wait to see the results of all the hard work at Mosaic. We truly are looking forward to our daughter graduating with a degree in Musical Theater in 2017. Our daughter was a natural talent that blossomed under the care of Rick Sterling and an awesome staff and administration. . It was our pleasure to meet the outstanding Mrs Delashea Strawder one of the best Directors that inspires her students to have self-esteem, character and self-reliance. I am determined to do all I can to help this organization get the word out. Mosaic, "The Best and Nothing Less", a hidden gem in the city of Detroit that needs to be supported and highlighted by any means possible. I only wish this opportunity would have been available 40 years earlier my life may have turned out a lot different.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone should have a chance to follow their dreams I am so proud that my daughter has been given the opportunity to be a part of this organization. Mosaic allows young people to do things that they may not ever have the opportunity to do, like college tours and meeting professionals in the arts.
Mosaic as changed my daughter's life for the better for life. (Jenia is totally motivated to be her best thanks to Mosaic). Jenia has always had an appreciation for the arts, playing the viola, cheerleading and dance lessons were her stepping stone before auditioning for Mosaic. With so many interest and distractions Mosaic gave her a foundation, direction, and the best opportunity ever!
My husband and I are volunteers for just over a year I. Our busy schedules don’t stop us from doing what we can to help out. This is a worthwhile place to be a member, volunteer, and donor. Mosaic may not be for everyone’s but it has help my daughter find her passion.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Mosaic gives young people an opportunity to make good choices explore creativity and cherish diversity. Mosaic not only builds character but teaches their youth to strive for the best. Their performances are top notch and I can't wait for the next. I have introduced Mosaic to some of my friends all of whom were unaware of the quality and are making plans to incorporate Mosaic into future family plans.

1 Derek6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MY daughter Hannah is in Mosaic. We love to go to there shows even before she got into Mosaic. Rick and his staff do a great job with these kids. Every time i tell people who have never been to one of there shows they are a must see in Detroit. The people tell me they can not be that good, i tell them see it for them self. After seeing a show they called me and say i was right, and they are going to make it a family tradition to see every show that Mosaic puts on. That is what makes Mosaic one of the best NON PROFITS around. I can not wait until next season maybe i can find some others who have never been to a Mosaic show and show them what Detroit and young people are doing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son Leonard was in Mosaic for two years. It is a fantastic program. The Mosaic singers and actors are some of the most talented youth in the Metro Detroit area.
Mosaic gives young people the opportunity to develop their acting and singing talents through the help of a great staff.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Last spring, my family (2 teenage sons and husband) and I went to see the Mosaic Youth Theatre's performance of The Gospel at Colonus. The performance was wonderful and my sons, who generally only are interested in sporting events were amazed at the talent.

It makes me feel good to support Mosiac Youth Theatre because it provides incredible oppportunities to teenagers of all socio-economic backgrounds - as proven by the lead of the production who is now attending Yale.

The Mosiac Youth Theatre is a bright spot in the bleakness Detroit. Its talented teens are our future and deserve a platform on which to shine.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Mosaic youth theater is a real gem. I have been going to their performances for the past 5 years. I am in total awe of the quality of their singing and performing. I also like that 95%- 100 % of the members go onto college.
Their performances give me a renewed faith in our youth and they really make me feel good.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mosaic is amazing. I am currently a Young Artist participating in the company for the second year....and to be Brief, without mosaic i wouldnt have found out about all the different oppertunies for college and for the career paths i could take. Mosaic has taught me that i am unique and my own person, And that there are people who support me and Love me for being me. Mosaic is my home away from home when im there all im focused on is improving my artistic abilies and how much i love my mosaic family. I have grown so much in my art and as a person being in mosaic, i love it there because its like my little island in the middle of everything hectic i know i have somewhere to go and do what i love. I remember last year we did a show called the Gospel at Colonus and i can still feel that powerful, powerful energy we had during that show and how i realized that i love performing and when your performing with people you love it makes it all the more better. It doesnt get any better than that and that feeling you cant copy, imitate, or duplicate. Its special. I get emotional thinking about it....Anyways if you havent noticed already i love mosaic, and i couldnt ask for anything thing more.....Honestly.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

The energy and talent that exists is impressive. Young people need outlets like Mosaic to learn and show their talent. Every person I have taken to a perfomrance is always impressed.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I took my young nieces to see Woodward Wonderland. They enjoyed it so much one asked if she could sign up for an acting class, saying she wanted to do a show someday just like theirs! It made me a fav Auntie for the day and they asked to come back next year to see it again.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Mosaic Youth Theater provides theatrical opportunities for the youth in the Metro Detroit area. I have seen many young lives transformed from the theatrical experiences that they have had through the Mosaic Youth Theater.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

my husband and i attended the christmas show of mosaic and were impressed by the professionalism of the performers. It was obvious that they had put a lot of work into the production. they brought tears to my eyes quite a few times with the beauty of young people who have a dream . never did the performance drag or loose its' momentium. these young people are fantastic and i know that they will have bright futures ahead. i will never miss a show put on my mosaic i am so happy that there is something like this for the kids of detroit.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mosaic literally changed my life. I actually couldn't get enough of it! I entered the company as a singer, never expecting that I would act or be a stage technician, but I did. I never thought I could act, yet in my 4th year, I played Benjamin Williams in 'Sing Jubilee' and my 5th year, I was a backstage technician for 'Crossing 8 Mile'. Mosaic gave me opportunities to really explore and 'pull out' gifts and talents that I didn't even know I had. The first time I flew on an airplane was with Mosaic! It shows you who you really are! They push you outside of your comfort zone and challenge and push you until you're tired and that's when they push you all the more. I'm more than thankful for my Mosaic experience and I consider them family! And, I am proud to call myself a Mosaic alum!

Review from Guidestar

Gregory S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mosaic Alum (97-2001)
Mosaic was a life changing experience, I've made life long friends and it taught me many life lessons that I carry with me today. Mosaic empowers young people to reach for their full potential which can be carried over to adulthood. I learned that there isn't room for mediocrity and whenever I'm committed to something be it a job, a performance, or school I should always give my all. I will never forget my mosaic experience, it's a Gem in the city of Detroit. Mosaic isn't just a typical theater program, but a life changing experience.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Mosaic alum (96-98). Mosaic helped me to develop focus, a greater work ethic, and self esteem that I desperately needed at that time. I credit my Mosaic experience with my success as an adult. I was not a troubled youth by any means, but I don't think I realized my full potential until I joined Mosaic. I don't work in the performing arts, but I still use the skills and traits that I learned in Mosaic to help me to be successful in my corporate job. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I always remind myself to "focus up" and to accept "only the best, nothing less" from myself.
Mosaic is a wonderful organization that has done so much for so many kids from different backgrounds. I cherish the memories and lifelong friendships that I made over those two years.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

We went to the winter Woodward Wonderland performance, and it was a lot of fun. It was fast paced and well done. The best part if how obvious it is that Mosaic gives the kids confidence. It seems like a really successful program.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Mosaic since it was founded. I have attended all of their productions over the years and have brought and encouraged friends and associates to do the same.

The quality of their work compares favorably to professional actors and singers.

The members are supportive of one another and provide a positive peer environment that will contribute to their future academic and professional lives

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended a number of events and performances given by Mosaic, players, singers,ect. The level of professional development that young people gain thru their experience with Mosaic is remarkable. It clearly affects their whole life

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen Mosaic Youth Theatre perform on numerous occasions. Their qest, talent and ability to move an audience is unparalleled. It is a pleasure to see them, whether singing, dancing or acting. These youg people project confidence and excellence. I have taken many friends to wathc their performances over the years. They have dealt with sensitive subjects, historical subjects and homegrown subjects such as Motown; no matter what they are consistently a class act!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a choral director, choral arranger and composer of vocal music. I have worked in the field for 30 years. I am a huge fan of MOSAIC. They did not ask me to write this and i don't know anyone from MOSAIC personally. I am always impressed when I see them. Here's is some of what they have going for them: energy, enthusiasm, professionalism, creativity, respect for Detroit's musical heritage, teamwork, variety of repertoire and discipline.

The last performance I saw was on a sunny day in Royal Oak during a fair this past summer. They were an absolute delight. The kids smile when they sing and you can tell they mean it. They collaborated with a couple of dancers, adding visual variety to their show. They always seem to be trying new things.

I have seen them in concert, as well, and I saw them perform musical theater. They are always great - there is an integrity and dignity about the way they perform that is deeply moving.

As I mentioned, I am a professional in the field, but when I go to hear them, I am a fan.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For more than fifteen years I have been involved with Mosaic as either a board or committee member. I have enjoyed this volunteer activity quite immensely as I have watched Mosaic grow from "the little theater company that could" to one of the region's best run non-profits. Kudos to Rick and his staff for knowing how to grow the organization without losing site of its mission, which is to help our youth reach their potential and be productive members of society.

Review from Guidestar

Marshalle M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit is an outstanding organization that truly has a valuable program that makes a difference the lives of young people personally, professionally and academically. The Mosaic Youth Theater has had an impact on my organization’s work for over 10 years. The founder and Director, Rick Sperling is an active member of New Detroit's Cultural Exchange Network. The organization has lent their talent to help break down barriers in race relations by performing at our annual Concert of Colors, Multicultural Leadership Series graduation and more recently our youth summit, with a performance entitled "Speak for Yourself." Over 300 youth of different ethnicities were engaged to talk about racial stereotypes through this phenomenal performance. Not just a performance this show provided edutainment for the young people that attended.

Review from Guidestar

Cathy K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended several Mosaic shows over the years and am often disappointed when I have to miss one. I love their enthusiasm, their talent, and their devotion to the group. What a wonderful outlet for those students who love music and musical "theater". The group is made up of a wide range of ages, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic, and urban/suburban. What a wonderful venue for breaking down barriers.

Review from Guidestar

Jenna M.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I began volunteering for mosaic through friending them on Facebook. Working in the development bullpen with Nikki and the rest, as well as, in programs with Megan, gave me the courage and open eyes to see what I want to pursue full time.

Review from Guidestar

TheLei D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For my three children and one exchange student, participating in Mosaic has been a life changing experience. and really that is the best way to explain it - an experience.
My son, involved for 4 years, went from a self-conscious, talented introvert to a confident, talented, assertive, motivated individual. My daughter, involved for 3 years, gained training in technical theater that has given her a sense of accomplishment, and fostered, nurtured, and supported her leadership skills that have carried her into her graduate studies. My exchange daughter, of one year from Hong Kong, had experiences and friendships through Mosaic she may never have gotten otherwise. My youngest daughter has been exposed to Mosaic through her brother's joining into post high school volunteering. Her own personal 3 years included office and summer internships. The years of supporting my children’s' involvement has led to my own personal relationship with Mosaic youth Theater of Detroit. While focusing on each person's talent, helping them explore other talents, pushing them to respect themselves and others, and maintain educational excellence, this company gives each member a sense of acceptance, belonging, family, and lifelong relationships.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was recently introduced to this group and I could not be more inspired my their mission. To see young artists come together and grow in their craft and with their community is truly beautiful. MOSAIC gives hope and opportunity to kids inspired by the arts. Sadly art programs usually are the first to fall victim to budget cuts in the majority of school. MOSAIC is truly and amazing organization. I look forward to seeing what organization has in its future.

Lisa Garcia

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this organization! I am a mother of three young children, and I have been taking them to Mosaic's productions since they could sit still, or at least try to contain themselves in the midst of the excitement! Mosaic provides me with a way to give my kids positive and dynamic role models. It gives me a way to inspire my children to achieve all they desire by seeing other young people doing it! I am so happy to have access to this group's efforts and hope it is around when my kids are old enough to participate as members. Until then, we'll gladly be part of the audience!

Review from Guidestar

Charles S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mosaic is more than an organization. It is by definition an "experience" composed of a combination of diverse elements (youth). The Mosaic “experience,” unlike any other cultivates the attributes and talents of its members and fuels their passion for the arts. Unlike most of our secondary educational institutions where funding has been eliminated or seriously decreased, Mosaic remains a bastion for the arts.

I continue to remain in awe of the commitment by Mr. Sperling and Mosaic staff to maintain this excellent program. I encourage everyone to dig deep to ensure that this wonderful program continues to provide the invaluable service to the youth, our community, and our world.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit has worked with the Head Start program with which I am employed for three years. The staff and youth participants of Mosaic have planned and implemented a series of interactive workshops for the older siblings of Head Start children and their parents.

Mosaic was sensitive and responsive to our needs in developing the workshops for an ethnically and linguistically diverse group of parents and youth.

I was very impressed by Mosaic staff's efforts to understand the HighScope approach to early childhood education. Significant teaching strategies relevant to HighScope were embedded in the workshop activities that were utilized with Head Start families.

Staff were flexible in modifying and individualizing their approach to workshop facilitation to make the experience relevant to youth and parents. They were respectful of Head Start participants who were limited in their verbal English language skills. I witnessed parents who began the series interacting only through smiles and conclude the series by verbally expressing their personal feelings and perspectives with confidence to the total group of participants.

Mosaic conducted workshops that "brought out" youth. Parents reported that they witnessed their son or daughter grow and mature as a result of their experience with Mosaic. Youth who began the series very hesitant to speak up in a group went on to participate in leading roles in their school plays and stage productions. For many of our Head Start youth, the Mosaic experience was life changing.

Mosaic's youthful singing and acting troupe members that participated in the workshop series acted as positive role models for Head Start youth. Several of the Head Start youth pursued involvement in Mosaic following the conclusion of the workshop series.

It is apparent that Mosaic is committed to its mission to empower young people to maximize their potential. I witnessed their tireless pursuit to maximize the development of Head Start youth.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Detroit teacher for 20 years, my experiences with Mosaic were both academic, and personal. Whenever Mosaic visited my school, the connection and admiration of the students was palpable - they were not only galvanized by the entertainment level of the group but by the modeled discipline and comraderie that were impliciat and explicit. This organization is free to its participants so many at risk students were able to audition, join and learn professionlism through theater. Mosaic's rate of participants who complete high school is astonishing given the statistics for Detroit. On a personal level, my own daughters became part of Mosaic and I can truthfully say, the organization changed and shaped thier lives.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Like many in metro-Detroit, I was first exposed to Mosaic through its shows. The production quality and talent of the youth is inspiring. That experience led me to research more about the organization and it seems well run both in its programs and its finances.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

These kids performed at a Diversity Conference held for High
School students in the Farmington Hills area. I can't express enough how good they were. The audience was completely engaged in the performance and it set the tone for the rest of the conference. It allowed the attendees to be open, honest, and accepting in the dialogues that followed.

Review from Guidestar

Sarah H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Offering great opportunity and enriching experiences for local Detroit youth.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mosaic Youth Theater and it's programs for young performers is amazing and is creating excellence though it's work with children and young adults.
My 9yr old daughter attended Mosiac's summer program. I had high expections going in, having seen Mosaic's outstanding teen performers at 2 other venues; yet the summer program still exceeded my expectations.
During the program, my daughter was excited every day to learn the beginnings of ensemble performance and eargerly shared her experience daily. In only 3 weeks she and her camp mates put on a wonderful play to exhibit what they had learned. The staff was patient, concerned, interactive, engaging, supportive and well-trained on the needs of their youngest level participants.

Review from Guidestar

Bobbie W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Young lady I know has blossomed through participation in MOSAIC. She has come out of her shell and has learned her value as an individual in society. MOSAIC teaches young artists the importance of giving back to the community through performances at nursing homes, youth lock ups, etc. All of the shows are full of energy, fun, precision, and competence. The kids must have an academic standing of 3.2 GPA or above and regular attendance in rehearsals. These things teach responsibility. At least one young person take Detroit public transportation to and from which displays a great degree of desire to be a part of something larger than himself. Great all around organization for youth to teach them about life through the arts.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mosaic is a great program for teenagers in the Detroit area. They are exposed to the arts and grounded in work ethic. I have been to their performances and they are phenomenal. It is a program that works. It needs to be duplicated throughout the country. It also needs to be duplicated in other fields of the arts in the Detroit area since there are so many talented youths here with little to do. I gave to this organization because I am a resident of Detroit and I am very much vested in these future leaders.

Review from Guidestar