Sphinx is a national non-profit organization, headquartered in Detroit, MI. It was founded by Dr. Aaron Dworkin and Carrie Chester. The organization was founded when both were students at U of M. Dr. Dworkin, who started playing the violin as a child often noticed that few performers or audience members were people of color.
Seeking to create more diversity in the field of classical music, Sphinx was founded. Sphinx held its inaugural “Sphinx Competition” in 1998. The competition gives opportunities for young musicians of color to compete, receive mentorship and education from nationally acclaimed musicians. Sphinx also provides the Sphinx Overture Program which offers free violin lessons to students in underserved communities. Also offered is the Sphinx Performance Academy a summer chamber music program for Black and Latino musicians ages 12-17. Sphinx is committed to transforming lives through increasing diversity in the arts. The organization has made some impressive inroads in the field of classical music. In its first 10 years, according to the League of American Orchestras, orchestras that were part of their membership that reported an increase in diversity of people of color had some relationship with the Sphinx Organization. Sphinx also reports that their graduates are represented at all of the top 10 music schools in the U.S. Sphinx is constantly working toward fulfilling its mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.
Click on the link below to see a short video about Sphinx: