Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, founded by Rick Sperling in 1992, was born out of a need to fill the gaps in arts education in metro Detroit schools while providing an artistic home for young actors, singers, and stage technicians. Serving only 25 young artists without any budget or home in its inaugural year, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is now recognized as a highly regarded cultural treasure for the city of Detroit and southeast Michigan. Mosaic's national and international touring performances bring recognition to Detroit as a center for arts and culture and promote a positive image of metro Detroit area youth.
As Mosaic has grown, Sperling and his staff have observed that participation in the program was yielding significant youth development outcomes. In particular, Mosaic staff saw that their insistence on high expectations, active participation and total acceptance of each individual had led to an extraordinary percentage of Mosaic alumni not only graduating from high school, but attending college. Even though Mosaic students are disproportionately minority and from low-income families, 95% of Mosaic's Youth Ensemble members graduate from high school and go on to college, which is dramatically above the national average for young people of similar backgrounds. This is a shining testament to the success of the Mosaic Model. Mosaic is not only creating Detroit's future artists, but future doctors, lawyers, teachers and community activists.
Each year more than 165 youth from over 50 different schools benefit from involvement in Mosaic's Youth Ensemble and Intermediate Training Programs. An additional 1000 youth participate in Mosaic's First Stage programs within schools and community centers throughout metro Detroit. Through these training programs, Mosaic is developing talented young artists and new, diverse audiences for the performing arts.
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