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Mint Artist's Guild Is Painting Detroit With Generosity

Detroit, MI  (CBS Detroit)  -  Mint Artist Guild fills a big hole in the Detroit cultural scene, which has many youth organizations focused on dance, music, theater, stories and poetry. Until "Mint", however, none have concentrated on visual arts or business and career skills to creative young people. With Mint's fresh entrepreneurial focus, they intend to thrive and add to the economic success stories that are gaining momentum in Detroit.

"Mint Artist Guild really serves our Detroit teens," explains Kelly O'Neil, Board of Directors of Mint Artist Guild, "and it helps them experience what it's like to be an entrepreneur as an artist."

"We provide them not only art skills, but also an opportunity to talk to other professional artists where they can be mentored as well as participate in seminars," adds O'Neil. "But most importantly, with Paint Detroit with Generosity, it gives them an opportunity to do some community service."

"It teaches young people skills they can use for their whole life and their whole career," says Vicky Elmer, Co-founder of Mint Artists Guild. "That's the first thing! And among those skills are how do they value themselves and their time.  But we also teach them about the power of community giving, community art, and we donate 25 paintings a year to 25 other non-profit organizations."

"When I started with this particular painting I wanted to do something that would put me out of my comfort zone," explains student Jessica Fligger. "This painting was donated to the Mercy Education Project and it focuses on young women and helping them better educate themselves and earn their GED's."

"I think it's a sense of unity," says marketing student Journey Shamily. "One non-profit giving to another non-profit while also doing something for the youth and we should always have something like that."

"It's a dream, it's like I'm living the dream," says Vicky Elmer. "I've got a great group of young people and volunteers, and it just keeps getting better and better."

  Watch for "Eye on Detroit" segments weekdays during "CBS This Morning" at 7 a.m. featuring unique and positive stories from the Motor City.

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