University Recognition

MLK Jr. Community Spirit Award

Laura and Ashley

Following the first annual MPOW event, Laura Reed and Ashley Park, founders of MPOW, won the “MLK Jr. Community Spirit Award” for North Campus students.  This award recognizes University of Michigan students who have served their community in a positive way through artistic and/or educational medium.  We are very excited and grateful to have received this award, and we hope this raises awareness of MPOW’s cause!

The article is below:

“Thanks to the launch of Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop (MPOW), hundreds of Detroit Public School (DPS) children enjoyed a day of immersion in the performing arts on U-M’s campus this year. The entirely student-run initiative was founded by junior Ashley Park and senior Laura Reed (who graduated in December 2011), both musical theatre majors. Their goal was to share the positive powers of the performing arts with the urban youth of Detroit whose arts programs have been eliminated due to budget cuts.

The dream was realized, with the help of dozens of student volunteers from all parts of the U-M campus, when two all-day events were held at the Michigan League in November and March. The DPS students were entertained and motivated by SMTD student performances, which were followed by workshops in dance, theatre, music and film.

For Park and Reed, the endeavor was a labor of love, driven solely by their passion. But it was also a crash course in running a non-profit organization and producing a major event. Through trial by fire, they and their team learned how to liaise with DPS; secure volunteers, donors and sponsors; negotiate contracts and licensing fees; arrange for transportation and insurance; create marketing and publicity plans; and delegate responsibility.

Both events were enormously successful and Park and Reed received a Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Spirit Award, an honor bestowed on North Campus students who have “served their community in a positive way through artistic and/or educational mediums.” MPOW will continue in 2012–13 when Park will share leadership responsibilities with co-president and musical theatre junior Erika Henningsen.” – Michigan Muse Spring 2012

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