$50,000 grant for Leaders Amongst Leaders helps artist inspire children on Detroit's east side

Program aims to show kids the sky is the limit

DETROIT – A group of artists born and raised on Detroit's east side are giving back to their community by working to inspire the next generation.

Leaders Amongst Leaders is a creative program that teaches kids the sky is the limit.

“We take our wins like we take our losses,” said Tony “Whlgn” Robinson, with the program.

Right now Robinson said the program is winning. They were recently selected as one of six organizations of color to win a $50,000 prize at the MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge.

“It was 650 applicants that applied for the program. Twenty-one made it to the semifinalists including ourselves and six end up winning the $50,000 grant,” said Robinson.

“I always taken good pictures. It all started when I started utilizing the camera for photography, just uproar.   My support system, people who are around me and see my photography, they love it,” said Allante Steele. 

“We’re literally coming up with things out of our heads, out of our minds,” said Rowan Minor.

Minor is also a photographer and wants to share his gift with others and the grant will help them to do that.

“We feel like it’s our duty to let the youth under us, let them know that it’s possible and with the $50,000, I mean we have already been doing it, but being able to have that money to expand it and do bigger and better things with more kids, that’s our ultimate goal,” said Minor.

The four of them say although they are from Detroit’s Eastside, creative arts goes way beyond a neighborhood, “I’m able to experience so much different cultures and bring it back and inspire to go out,” said Breann White with Leaders Amongst Leaders.

An experience White said is taking her to places she has never imagined.

“Art changed me in a way like I’m able to see the world. I been to Africa, Australia, Southern France, I been to 30 states within the last nine years,“said White.

About the Authors:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.