Jeffrey Seller's Foundation Grants Mosaic Youth Theatre $1M
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit announced today that it has received a $1 million grant that will fund two of their key programs - the Summer Camp and the Mosaic Experience Empowerment Program (MEEP). The grant, which will be distributed over five (5) years is from the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation (SLFF). Mosaic was founded 27 years ago by Rick Sperling, its founding artistic director, and is now lead by Stefanie Worth, its Executive Director and DeLashea Strawder, its Artistic Director. Mosaic provides summer camp, in-school mentoring, and a variety of artistic opportunities for children in Detroit. Mosaic is an unusually accomplished non-profit program, its alumni having garnered Tony, Emmy, and Grammy nominations, performed for two U.S. presidents, toured three continents and sent 95 percent of their student participants to college.
The Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation (SLFF) was founded by Broadway Producer and Detroit native, Jeffrey Seller and his partner Josh Lehrer, a prominent photographer and documentarist. The SLFF mission is to fund dynamic educational, cultural, and environmental organizations and initiatives.
"This incredibly generous grant comes at an important inflection point in Mosaic's long history," said Rick Sperling. "We have demonstrated success in exposing the exciting world of theatre and music to Detroit's youth. As we move onto an exciting future with new leadership in 2019, this grant ensures a smooth transition and our continued ability to fully fund our summer camp and the Mosaic Experience Empowerment Program in Detroit's middle schools," added Sperling.
"I have admired Rick Sperling since the 1980's when he directed shows at Performance Network in Ann Arbor. He daily demonstrates that theatre changes lives. His work with Mosaic has lifted and enriched the lives of thousands of young people and we are honored to help support a strong future for this extraordinary institution," said Jeffrey Seller, the producer of the Tony Award-winning musicals Hamilton, Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights, and this season's The Cher Show. "Rick's leadership and the team that Mosaic has put in place - Stefanie Worth and DeLashea Strawder - will ensure that this great organization continues to provide artistic and educational opportunity for Detroit students for another 27 years," added Seller.
The $1 million grant, which will be distributed over five years includes funds that will be set aside to establish an endowment to support future programs. The annual funding will support up to 200 camp scholarships.
About Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit
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.
About the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation
Predicated on the concept that first you learn, then you earn and then you return, the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation endeavors to re-invest the support from Broadway patrons into organizations that pursue innovative and worthwhile cultural and environmental initiatives. Specifically, the Foundation makes grants to public charities with educational, theatrical, artistic, Jewish community, and environmental purposes. The Foundation is particularly interested in proposals that pursue innovative and non-traditional solutions and initiatives carried out on behalf of such organizations.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos