Rick Sperling has been a dynamic force for youth and arts in Detroit for more than twenty years. As founder of the internationally-acclaimed Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Sperling was named Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News for “inspiring self-discipline, a sense of teamwork and high personal standards in thousands of Metro Detroit children.” As a result of his work with Mosaic, Sperling has received the Detroit Free Press Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre and under Sperling’s leadership, Mosaic has been named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business. Recently Sperling was appointed by Detroit City Council to the Detroit Entertainment Commission.

Mosaic’s all-teen performances have toured Africa, Asia, Europe and 25 states throughout the U.S., including performances at the White House and the Kennedy Center. Mosaic has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, NPR’s All Things Considered, and in American Theatre magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Mosaic has been recognized as one of the top youth arts programs in the nation by the National Endowment for the Arts and The President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.

Founded by Sperling in 1992, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is a youth development organization whose mission is to empower young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of first-rate theatrical and musical art. Inspiring young people to achieve excellence on stage and in life, Mosaic is proud to report that 95% of its Youth Ensemble members graduate from high school and go to college. The results of a three-year University of Michigan study about Mosaic’s youth development outcomes have been documented in the publication Excellence on Stage and in Life: the Mosaic Model for Youth Development through the Arts which can be downloaded at