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Tea and friendship

Guests at our first Mint Tea, held in a home in Ann Arbor.


Friendships start in many places.  Ours are starting in homes and offices, in galleries and studios, over tea and cookies or tea and granola bars.

We have started a new “friend-raiser” called Mint Teas, most of which will take place in individuals’ homes.  They bring together a group of creative or entrepreneurial people who are interested in the work Mint Artists Guild does, or intrigued by our mix of business and entrepreneurship training and creative projects.

The first one took place this summer in Ann Arbor, hosted by a creative entrepreneur who has purchased Mint art and donated to us before. She invited a handful of friends:  artists, a teacher, a financial type and a former museum leader.  Mint brought along cool iced tea, one of our emerging artists and some stories on our early successes.

Now that colder weather is here, we look forward to serving hot tea and sharing stories about some of our alumni, such as Damon FirstBorn Chamblis, who was honored as our Featured Alumni at Mint Masterpieces. 

 Anyone may host a Mint Tea in a business, a home, a community center or someplace else. So please, get in touch. Select a date; set a goal for your fundraising and let’s drink to our creativity and growth!

Host a Mint tea – it’s easy and fun. (Photo: MorgueFile)



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Creativity, serendipity and Live in the D

Mint Artists Guild’s Vickie Elmer and Alexis Bagley are interviewed by WDIV’s Kim DeGuilio.

Mint Artists Guild is featured on WDIV’s Uniquely Detroit, and on Live in the D, thanks to a visit by journalist Alex Atwell.

Atwell, who is known as Camera Guy Al, strolled into the Mint tent at the Palmer Park Art Fair, and he spotted a story: Mint.

So he asked us for interviews, and of course, we agreed.  It wasn’t clear at first who he worked for, or how the interviews would play out. He looked a little scruffy, yet he was low key and easy-going so away we went.

It turns out Atwell is also an Emmy-award winning journalist who has worked in Tampa, Flint and Cadillac before moving to Detroit. He has produced stories on sled dogs, hurricanes, the Final Four and a lot more.

The result of his visit to the Mint tent is this Uniquely Detroit story, which opened the door to a Live in the D interview on WDIV Channel 4, which aired July 16.

We teach entrepreneurial skills and Mint lives and grows with an entrepreneurial mindset, which seizes opportunities.  Yet we also grow through individual donations, which allow us to develop youth and creative youth jobs in Detroit. Nine jobs this summer, plus plans for a paid marketing internship launching in the fall.

So if you appreciate our story and our efforts to develop entrepreneurial and generous artists, please make a donation today.

Or buy a ticket to our Oct. 19 gala Mint Masterpieces and really help us grow and seize even more opportunities for Alexis, Lia, Michael and others in the year ahead.

We are grateful to Alex Atwell, to WDIV, and to all the individuals who donate to Mint, or volunteer with us!  Join us as we grow; make a gift today.


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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!

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Meet Tulani Pryor, the first artist hired for the first-ever Mint summer creative jobs program. And read about Mint’s upcoming events – including the Belle Isle Art Fair Aug. 6 & 7 and the Art of Resilience the next weekend – and strategic planning in our monthly e-letter.

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We are highlighting some reactions to Mint Artists Guild by our young artists, by our funders and by our board and advisory board. Here’s the words of artist Maisha Rahman, who went from very shy to live painting and lively in six months. We plan to serve more young artists like Maisha, with your support