Mint’s Generosity Tea

Tea for all

Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 3, Giving Tuesday, for tea and conversation around generosity in Detroit.

Mint will start with some examples and quotes – and a few good questions.

We believe in the power of generosity and will host this Generosity Tea at the Fisher Bakery, amid our Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit. We will buy cups of tea for the first 12 people who show up and encourage everyone to bring ideas for a more connected and generous city.

Photo: Sabri Tuzcu and Unsplash

Posted on

Three ways Mint practices generosity in Detroit

 

Children really enjoy Mint’s free arts and crafts in Palmer Park in the summer. (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

 

“Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style,” said Rebecca Solnit, writer and activist and author of The Mother of All Questions and many other books.

 

Mint Artists Guild is striving to make the world a little more generous and kind. We want generosity to shine, beautifully, in Detroit and we want generosity to be part of our DNA.

It’s not always easy to do this, with a tiny budget and staff of one (plus teen artists and various interns). Yet we practice generosity often, with each other and in our community.

Here’s three big generosity moves by Mint:

Arts and crafts for all.  Through the summer, children and families flock to our free arts and crafts activities, held outside our studio in Palmer Park. They show up in swimming suits or leave picnics to get creative with our emerging artists. This year, we ran seven of them, and next year with your support, we will stage many more. (Hint: We’d love to develop the funds and buy a van so we could take these arts and crafts to more Detroit parks. Yes, we will use it to visit art spaces around the state too.)

Paint Detroit with Generosity.  For each of four years, Mint has donated 20 or more original paintings  to a wide variety of local nonprofits from Art Roads to Mosaic Youth Theatre to YMCA of Metro Detroit.  These paintings hang in nonprofit offices, homeless shelters, classrooms and more and are our gift to honor the work and missions of local nonprofits.

Community projects.  Mint volunteers at community projects several times a year, such as the big build of a playground in Palmer Park or free coloring pages and rafts for children and youth at Eastern Market during our pop ups. Next year, we plan to lead children in homeless shelters in creating cards and gifts for moms and grandmas.

And all our programs to develop business, entrepreneurship and career skills in talented teen artists are offered free of charge or on a modest sliding scale. We cover the application fees for events and we provide snacks to our artists, and sometimes meals too. 

If you believe in generosity, we invite you to give to Mint, whether you donate $1 a week all next year or give a $1,000 yearend gift or somewhere in between. We rely on generous individuals for some 55 percent of our budget and we know that individual giving and connections create opportunities for youth, beautiful paintings and so much more.

Or we invite you to host a Mint Tea  and invite a half dozen generous friends to learn more about us and support us.

For Giving Tuesday, we are hosting a Generosity Tea at the Fisher Bakery, and we will buy tea for the first 12 people who show up from 2 to 5 pm. Maybe that counts as another generous act by Mint, unless some very kind individual underwrites the tea!  Please join us and join the conversation about generosity in Detroit.

If you need more generosity or inspiration, we offer these 20 generosity quotes, gathered by writer Toni Bernhard for Psychology Today. Now please give generously to help Mint grow and be more generous in 2020.

 

Give generously, whether it’s art supplies, time or money. (Photo: Amaury Salas, Unsplash)

Posted on

Children are our future, our beautiful inspiration for 2020

Girl with a heart painting by Alexis Bagley

 

Children flock to Mint’s free arts and crafts, led by Mint Summer Workers. (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

 

Mint Artists Guild sees the future and it is our children.

Mint just announced that its 2020 Paint Detroit with Generosity  initiative will give paintings to nonprofits that serve children and youth, and families in need in Detroit. For the fifth year of this program, Mint will focus all our generosity on youth, instead of donating to a wider variety of nonprofits.

“Children create joy by living in the moment;  yet they face real hardships in Detroit. They deserve our love and support,” said Vickie Elmer, Mint co-founder and executive director.

Mint already has honored the work of a variety of youth-serving nonprofits through the Paint Detroit with Generosity initiative, including Brilliant Detroit,  Crescendo Detroit, Downtown Boxing Gym and Ruth Ellis Center  among others.  (Please visit our exhibit at the Fisher Bakery, in the Fisher Building through Dec. 30 to see these beautiful images)

Mint chose children as the theme for the fifth Paint Detroit with Generosity  because most of our work focuses on youth and children, from the free arts and crafts to the youth-created art on our greeting cards to the entrepreneurial training for high school age artists.  And we know children and youth today face many challenges and deserve inspiration and support.  

Almost one in six children in the United States live in poverty, according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. That means 7.5 million families living in poverty, with one-fourth of them led by a mother or grandmother or other female relative. The numbers are far higher in Detroit.

More than half of U.S. parents worry that their children will be victims of violence, of bullying, of depression or anxiety, according to Pew research.  Seven in 10 teens say anxiety and depression is a major issue for youth, and a more serious one than bullying, drug addiction or poverty.

In Detroit, more babies are born prematurely than in any other area.  Children go to sub-standard schools and struggle with learning to read. Only 10 percent of third grade students read at their grade level.

Yet all is not bleak. Community groups, individuals, foundations and nonprofits are developing after school programs, summer jobs, sports and other services to lift up Detroit’s children. Youth themselves create opportunities to learn and grow.

Nonprofits serving children and youth in or near Detroit may request to be considered for Mint’s 2020 Paint Detroit with Generosity initiative. Please contact Mint  by Feb. 15, 2020 and include details on the number of youth served each year (and where they live).  Nonprofits will be asked to sign a standard memorandum of understanding, or MOU, and share some details about their programs.

Mint welcomes individuals and businesses to support Detroit youth and this initiative, so we may hire more youth in 2020 and donate more paintings. So please give today.

We will paint our children’s future, beautifully.

Girl with a heart painting by Alexis Bagley

This Paint Detroit with Generosity painting was created in 2019 by Mint worker Alexis Bagley. © Mint Artists Guild, 2019

Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit opening

We invite you to the fourth annual Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit opening at the magnificent Fisher Building / Fisher Bakery on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Meet some of the artists in the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program who were paid to create these beautiful pieces and learn more about the wide variety of charities in and near Detroit.

Guests may nominate a nonprofit organization to receive one of the three paintings that were not specifically painted for a charity. The Fisher Bakery will sell baked goods and light meals, and Mint will have greeting cards available for purchase.

Sponsors and partners are welcome to support this initiative. We are grateful to our current sponsors: Blossoms florists, Collected Detroit, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Eric’s I’ve Been Framed Shop and Sherwood Forest Gallery. And we are very thankful to The Platform and The Fisher Building.

Posted on

Creative, beautiful art at Mint Masterpieces, Part 2

A beautiful mixed media painting by Anthony R. Brass

 

Mint Artists Guild long has depended on artists to support our youth, our programs and our growth. They lead workshops, donate art supplies, give advice and mentoring. And they give their inventive, creative masterpieces for our Mint Masterpieces silent auction.

This year, we are fortunate to have work from artists who have supported us for several years, and some who are new to our creative circle of generosity and growth.

Jewelry maker Jody Mitchell is donating an original necklace made from Tibetan agate and brass. The brass Ashanti stool pendant was purchased at from the MBAD African Bead Gallery in Detroit; the golden stool is the divine throne of the Ashanti people and the ultimate symbol of power in Asante, now central Ghana.  Believed to house the spirit of the Asante nation, living, dead and yet to be born, a royal stool may belong to any chief or any person of consequence.  Mitchell slowly “evolved” an intuitive process for making her one-of-a kind jewelry for more than 20 years. She has a strong affinity for rare and ancient beads because they tell a story

 

 

A metal painting by artist Mike Willenborg.

Mike Willenborg, a machine repair expert and artist, has supported Mint before, by making us one of the beneficiaries of the Scrap Fest, held at the Lexus Velodrome.  He bought tickets to Mint Masterpieces, then donated two pieces of his copper and metal paintings to our silent auction.  Willenborg used to discard old parts and metal pieces, but now he allows them to speak, with “whimsey and weirdness.” Gears, bearings, chains and copper plates all have long lives and many stories to tell. How they become tarantulas and moons and elephants with spider webs for ears, Willenborg says, no one will ever tell.

 

Henry Heading has donated this beautiful heart painting.

Henry Heading‘s beautiful work combine his talent as an artist and as a carpenter. He creates his own frames, and they are works of art that flow from the intricately painted piece. He donated this beautiful heart piece to our silent auction. Heading is new to supporting Mint Artists Guild, and a regular working with Mint co-founder Hubert Massey on large murals and mosaic projects. He also is one of the favorite artists of Mint Masterpieces’ hosts Judge Deborah Bledsoe Ford and attorney Jerome Watson.

Anthony Brass, whose orange hand-tree piece came to us after the Palmer Park Art Fair, is a new supporter of Mint. He learned about our nonprofit from his partner, artist Espacia Fotiu, who is a Mint alumni whose career started in the Mint tent. Brass considers himself a “contemporary surrealist artist” whose work is sold at fine juried art fairs and events. His beautiful orange hand-tree piece is eye catching and will certainly be a beautiful part of the evening of Oct. 19.

The silent auction also is featuring work from collectors. We will offer a wild zebras piece by California artist YESNIK / Dave Kinsey donated by 1XRun co-owner Jesse Corey; one by Detroit artist Ron Scarbough, donated by collectors David and Linda Whitaker, and by photographer Bill Sanders, donated by Mint cofounders Vickie Elmer and Mark Loeb. Also look for many pieces by Mint Artists and alumni featured in an earlier post.

If you want one of these pieces, or you want to be part of the creative future of Detroit, buy your tickets today to our art-filled party on Oct. 19.

Posted on

Big dreams, jump in right now: Our story in The Creative Armory

Mint co-founder Vickie Elmer shares our creative reuse of an Italian ice lid, turned palate, turned art chain. (Photo © The Creative Armory)

 

Mint Artists Guild has long believed in the “start small, dream big” approach to creating an organization. We see power in moving forward, with our emerging artists as our colleagues and our inspiration.

 Jess, the founder of The Creative Armory blog, captured that in an interview with our co-founder and executive director Vickie Elmer. It came out just in time for the Funky Ferndale Art Fair this weekend and as we have an array of events queued up through the fall.

Elmer talked about the impact training young artists in entrepreneurship and community and community service.

“If we start them on the path now and stress community service, generosity, and mutual support, we are going to create a powerful ecosystem of artists and creative entrepreneurs that are going to spread beauty and success around Detroit and the world. I’m going to bask in the reflected glory of all that they do,” Elmer told The Creative Armory.

Mint is basking in the glory of our story being told by a creative entrepreneur who hustles and cares. Read the entire piece here and if you feel your creativity or energy stir, please share it with your creative community.

A Mint Mantra and some of the many pieces of youth art in the Mint Studios in Palmer Park. (Photo: © The Creative Armory)

Posted on

Summertime wish list: Give us mosaics and gift cards and more!

We wish for art supplies. Photo: MorgueFile

Mint is getting ready for a busy summer of art making – and free arts and crafts in Palmer Park.
And as they say it takes a village, so we are asking our village to give us some supplies.  These all will be used by our teen artists for creative community art projects.

Here’s our summertime wish list:

Art supplies:

  • Artist sketch pads
  • Canvases 8 x 10 or 18 x 24, or other sizes
  • Mosaic materials – high quality hot-fired smaller tiles in blues, purple, white, yellow, green, orange. (We have plenty of reds)
  • child-friendly, washable markers for arts and crafts
  • Acrylic paint mediums and gels
  • Paint brushes, variety of sizes, new or gently used
  • A glue gun

Other needs: 

  • Rolls of paper towels and tissues, for our studio / summer workers and apprentices
  • Digital camera, prefer one with video capabilities
  • A coat rack
  • Sturdy, heavy duty table (for artists to create on)
  • Gift cards to Meijer, Kroger, Costco, Blick, BJs – to buy snacks, art supplies, cleaning supplies, miscellany
  • Gently used socks – for creating sock puppets
  • Two or three old dictionaries  – for community art projects

You may drop any of these off at the Mint tent at the Jazzin at the Vanity on June 29-30.  Or arrange a time to deliver this to our studio in Palmer Park by contacting us.

If it’s easier to donate money, please give us some today!  And look for details on our Wednesday afternoon free arts and crafts in Palmer Park, starting in July. Open to all!

Posted on

Sounds sweet, looks beautiful: Mint at the DSO

Mint Artists Guild has reached another milestone:  A piece of our art now belongs in a major arts institution’s collection.

Success sounds sweet after we donated a Paint Detroit with Generosity painting to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The painting, created last year in the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program by worker Charles, will hang in the DSO’s new education wing.

Mint’s Paint Detroit with Generosity  initiative in 2018 was underwritten by a Michigan Council for the Arts grant, with Culture Source and the National Endowment for the Arts, and supported by Blossoms, a full service florist, and many individual donors.

We give original paintings to more than 25 local nonprofits, from Mercy Education Projects to Ronald McDonald House to the Greening of Detroit. Several others beyond the Detroit Symphony Orchestra celebrate music, performance and culture:

  • Crescendo Detroit
  • Heritage Works
  • Mosaic Youth Theatre
  • YMCA Y-Arts.

And the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit hosted our exhibit last year where thousands of people saw the paintings created by Mint workers.

To support this year’s summer jobs program, where these lovely paintings are created, please give to our spring fundraiser today.  Give $250 or more and you may choose a small Mint painting as your reward.

 Paint Detroit with Generosity is worth a standing ovation and a big donation!

Painting © Mint Artists Guild, 2018

Posted on

Mint Artists: Success data 2016

image

Mint experienced a lot of growth and considerable success in 2016. Here’s our by the numbers look at our first full year as a nonprofit in Detroit:

   4   Young people paid for creative summer jobs

   5   Creative business and careers workshops staged by Mint Artists

   9   Young creatives who landed and/or worked gigs through Mint

 10   Pop ups, events and venues where Mint Artists work appeared

19   Paint Detroit with Generosity and other paintings donated to local nonprofits

25   Paintings, prints and photographs on display at the GM Tech Center, and one mural dubbed a “pixel paper painting” created (pictured above)

37   Volunteers who contributed time to Mint, its events or workshops

115  People who signed up to receive Mint e-letters

425   Artists and students who learned about creative careers through Mint

2,271  Dollars raised in spring crowdfunding campaign

4,400  Dollars earned by Mint Artists for summer jobs, gigs or projects

And we’re just getting started. We expect to keep growing in 2017, with your help and support as a donor, a volunteer or a patron who buys art or creative services from Mint and its artists.

Posted on

Mint Artists Guild board member Erika Davis looks a bit like Santa Claus in her red suit. And she is giving these Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings to two of our nonprofit partners: Junior Achievement and Legal Aid and Defenders.  Altogether, Mint is giving 20 paintings to 20 Detroit charities this year.