We Are The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Mosaic Film Experience partnered with ArtPrize to emphasize the power of storytelling.   On September 21, more than 150 high school students descended upon the ArtPrize STEAM Village for a Mosaic panel discussion: “We Are The Stories We Tell Ourselves.”

The ArtPrize STEAM Village provides students with the opportunity to explore experiential learning stations that combine the power of the arts with technology, science, engineering, and math.

“We Are The Stories We Tell Ourselves” centered on where creative inspiration comes from and explored how art has impacted everyday life.  Mosaic Film Experience program director, Liz Merriman, led the discussion between our guest speakers: Co-owner and Impact Producer of Wrinkle Creative, Mallory Patterson; Creative Director and Founder of Carbon Stories media group, Erik Lauchiè; and Junior at Grand Rapids City High School, Mariah Barrera.

The panelists’ diverse backgrounds provided students with an opportunity to hear from three unique perspectives within the film industry.  While Mallory and Erik both own film production companies, Erik is a creative director and Mallory is a producer.  And while our third panelist, Mariah, is actually still in high school, she has already directed a few videos as a hobby. Mariah’s most recent directing gig was for the Mayor’s greening initiative.

All of our panelists agreed that music inspires their work.  Mariah mentioned how Frank Ocean’s lyrics inspire several of her photographs.  Erik admitted that some of his Instagram videos are formed by first enjoying a beat to a song and then finding a way to incorporate his art into the music.

Mallory mentioned that the majority of her inspiration comes from interactions with her clients but echoed Mariah and Erik on the fact that music is a huge part of her inspiration – and students in the audience agreed.

Mallory went on to mention that inspiration doesn’t always have to come from art, but that it can come from the everyday things in life, like conversations.

The goal of this event was not to persuade every student in attendance pursue a film career but to show everyone how much of a presence art and inspiration have in their everyday lives.  In addition to music and inspiration, the conversation touched on the power of social media, talking about everything from influencers to how social media can be a great vehicle to share one’s creativity.

“We Are The Stories We Tell Ourselves” is another example of how Mosaic programs provide students with access to passionate digital media professionals, media literacy resources and opportunities to tell their unique stories.

We want to thank Artprize for allowing us to be a part of the ArtPrize STEAM Village as well as our panelists and student attendees for providing us with even more perspective on how art is intertwined within our daily lives.

Growing Stories in our Community: Unity in Diversity

On September 10, The Mosaic Film Experience team had the opportunity to partner with Living Arts to host a workshop for students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Living Arts is an interdisciplinary residential community in Bursley Hall on the universities’ North Campus that brings together 80 undergraduates in the arts, architecture, engineering and other fields to explore innovation, creativity, and collaboration.

Each month, Living Arts puts together a workshop led by distinguished faculty or working professionals to encourage the pursuit of creative, new ideas. We were honored to have the opportunity to lead September’s workshop.

Living Arts strives to educate students about the importance of conveying their creative process and creative journey in a clear, concise and coherent manner. Our workshop activity was a group challenge to create a 1- to 2-minute video about unity in diversity. The Mosaic team facilitated discussions about the importance of individual and collective awareness of stories related to diversity on campus and how personal stories can collectively bring unity among students. After the discussion, students broke off into groups to create videos based on their interpretation of the topic.

After a couple hours of collaboration, we regrouped to view the student’s presentations and videos. Each group took a different approach, but all were able to clearly define the topic in their films, which is the beauty of art and filmmaking.

We want to thank our 25 student volunteers for being peer mentors and helping workshop attendees shoot and edit their videos.  We had a wonderful time interacting with more than 100 bright minds at this event and we look forward to the opportunity to partner with Living Arts and the University of Michigan again in the future!

Mobile film contest provides high school and college students with creative platform, essential skill development

The Mosaic Film Experience (MFE) today announced the kick-off to its third annual Mosaic Mobile film contest, a short-film competition for West Michigan high school and college students.  All Mosaic Mobile films must be entirely shot and edited on mobile devices (i.e., mobile phone or tablet).  Entries can be submitted via the MFE website until October 13 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

“By challenging the conventions of storytelling, we are developing creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills, which are essential to prepare students for the future,” said Skot Welch, founder of The Mosaic Film Experience.  “Mosaic Mobile films celebrate creative thinking and discovery while exploring the diverse world in which we live.”

A juried panel of experts will award first, second and third place cash prizes to high school and college winners.  High school and college first place winners will each take home $1,000, second place winners will be awarded $500 and third place winners will each win $250.

In addition to the juried cash prizes, a public vote will determine the high school and college Rick Wilson Student Choice Award.  On October 25, MFE will announce the top 10 high school and college films, as determined by the juried panel.  The films will be posted to the MFE YouTube channel.  Voting will open at noon on October 27 and the public will have 24 hours to vote for the winning high school and college films.  The two Rick Wilson Student Choice Award winners will each receive cash prizes and video production gear.

All contest winners will be announced at the sixth-annual MFE Festival on November 8 and 9 at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“With digital devices in the hands of teens of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, our community’s youth have an opportunity to tell their unique stories,” said Welch.

All Mosaic Mobile films must be two to three minutes in length, including credits, and must meet three requirements.  Entrants must use “tomorrow” as a theme for their film, use letters as a prop and the words “why not” must be spoken or used in the film.  Participants can enter up to two entries.  All competing students must to be registered in an accredited high school, college or university for the 2017-2018 school year.  Complete rules and contest requirements are listed on the MFE website, http://mosaicfilmexperience.com/mosaic-mobile/.

High School Students Create PSA in Support of Mayor’s Greening Initiative

Students from four Grand Rapids high schools have planned, directed, shot and produced “Breathe, a public service announcement (PSA) in support of the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss’ Mayor’s Greening Initiative – launched to help the city reach its goal of a 40 percent tree canopy.  The PSA will premiere at the July 7 Movies in the Park screening of “Mrs. Doubtfire” (7 p.m.) and “Forrest Gump” (9:30 p.m.) at Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

“I had a sneak peek at the PSA and I was truly impressed with what our talented students created,” Mayor Bliss said. “I am encouraged that students are rallying around the Mayor’s  Greening Initiative and that so many of our great community organizations are supporting our youth.”

The Mosaic Film Experience facilitated the collaboration between the students, video production professionals and the City of Grand Rapids.

“This creative community collaboration was a result of an ongoing conversation between The Mosaic Film Experience and Mayor Bliss about how we can activate our city’s young people, engage them with real-world learning opportunities in digital media and engage them in sustainability,” said Skot Welch, founder of The Mosaic Film Experience.

In April, Mayor Bliss met with Gorilla, Carbon Stories and students who are enrolled in the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology’s afterschool program to discuss the greening initiative.  During the meeting, Mayor Bliss challenged the students to create something that encourages others to get involved.

Students represented City High, Grand Rapids Montessori, Innovation Central and CA Frost high schools.

The students met with Gorilla and Carbon Stories multiple times throughout April and May to develop creative and pre-production concepts.  Gorilla provided video equipment and engaged local professionals to volunteer.  Lowing Lighting and Grip provided lights and additional equipment.  Carbon Stories collaborated with students on developing creative ideas and produced a behind-the-scenes video of the process.

“After meeting with Mayor Bliss, the students were very inspired to create the PSA.  Our role was simply to provide technical education about the tools they were using, serve as professional mentors and then get out of their way.” said Eric Johnson, owner of Gorilla.

After the video was filmed, the students engaged with Gorilla on the post-production phase, which included editing the footage and reviewing music and color correction.

“It was an amazing experience to see our vision for the video come to life,” said Mariah Barrera, senior at City High and director Breathe.

In addition to the July 7 premiere, Breathe will be featured at the remaining 2017 Movies in the Park events.

Mosaic Film Experience Visits SXSW

The Mosaic Film Experience team recently attended SXSW in Austin, Texas to discuss some big ideas and meet some amazing people. While in Austin, Derk Baartman and the founder of the Mosaic Film Experience, Skot Welch, and stopped by the Michigan House where they discussed the history of Mosaic Film Experience and the ideas that inspired it.



The Mosaic Film Experience presents Phillip Boutte Jr. and Antoinette Miller


The Mosaic Film Experience presents a conversation with two inspirational industry professionals in the fields of entertainment and media:LA based Costume Concept Artist, Phillip Boutte Jr. and HBO Manager of University Relations and Recruitment, Antoinette Miller.

RSVP Link: www.tinyurl.com/Phillip-Antoinette

Movies in the Park