In sorting through my mail last evening, I came across the Sphinx spring newsletter, with a lovely photo of Sphinx founder Aaron Dworkin and his wife Afi Sadykhly Dworkin. I noticed with interest that Sphinx has honored Stanford Thompson, among others, with a Medal of Excellence. Stan was a graduate of the first class of Abreu Fellows from NEC, and is currently the Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s El Sistema-inspired program, Tune Up Philly. I also read a short description of the inaugural SphinxCon, a conference on diversity in the performing arts, held in February in Detroit.
Reading all their news reminded me of an article we published in 2009 – a shortened version of a speech that Aaron gave at the Chautauqua Foundation where he described his own upbringing and the path that brought him to found Sphinx 16 years ago. This quote from his speech sums it up and hopefully will intrigue you enough to read the entire article:
People sometimes ask me why I care so much about diversity and why I have dedicated my life to pursuits that further that end. I have the easiest response to that question: ‘I am a black, white, Jewish, Irish Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness who plays the violin. I am the definition of diversity. I don’t have a choice but to do what I do.’
Please take a look at Aaron’s incredible story, and join me in congratulating him and Afi on the wonderful success Sphinx is experiencing.