Sphinx Organization off note with racism

Re: Sphinx Organization discriminates against white children

I appreciate Margaret A. Cassetto, Manager of Corporate Partnerships, for promptly responding to my legitimate concerns about the racist nature of the Sphinx Organization – the only one to do so out of the many who I contacted:

Subject: “Diversity” music program is off color and off key
Date: Oct 6, 2008
I would like to clarify your misconception that the Sphinx Organization’s programs are exclusively for Blacks and Latinos. The only program for which Black or Latino heritage is REQUISITE is the Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players. This represents only a small portion of the people served by the organization. (The competiiton awards 18 semi-finalists annually.) The hundreds upon hundreds of young people who benefit from free and low-cost music education and exposure to classical music are of all races and ethnicities. Young people from all backgrounds participate in Sphinx’s full-scholarship summer music academy and weekend music institute. Likewise, when Sphinx artists visit schools across the country, it is a diverse audience of students who benefit from educational residencies and workshops. [emphasis mine]

Requisite? Prerequisite, prejudice, profiling… “Only” a little discrimination is acceptable???****

How I wish to God it was merely a misconception on my part that children of [White] color are being discriminated against by the Sphinx Organization’s exclusive programs for Black and Latinos! Why do I remain unconvinced? Consider the following, review the evidence, and come to your own conclusions and act accordingly:

Straight from the mouth of the Sphinx:

Sphinx Competition
The Sphinx Competition presented by Chase is held every year in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan. The competition is open to all Junior High, High School, and College age Black and Latino string players residing in the U.S. The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the Black and Latino communities.

Sphinx Symphony
The Sphinx Symphony is the unique all Black and Latino orchestra comprised of top professionals from around the country.

Music Assistance Fund
In 2001, the Sphinx Organization joined forces with the League of American Orchestras to execute and oversee its Music Assistance Fund for minority classical musicians.

Recital Series
Sphinx, with the support of Borders, initiated this program to increase exposure and provide recognition of young minority talent nationwide.

School Dayz
Harlem Quartet School Dayz constitutes a series of educational residencies throughout elementary schools within the city of New York…. This in-school program involves extended exposure of students to works by minority composers…


Assorted Media Reviews:

NEA Spotlight:
Sphinx Organization (Detroit, MI)

The Sphinx Organization of Detroit, Michigan is dedicated to building diversity in classical music by developing the classical music talent in African American and Latino youth. Sphinx also holds the annual Sphinx Competition, in which young African American and Latino string players compete, mentored by members of the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, a unique all African American and Latino orchestra comprised of top professionals from around the country. [Unique? Imagine the hue and cry about an orchestra purposely “all Caucasian” supported by taxpayers!]

In FY 2004, the Sphinx Organization received an NEA Creativity grant of $60,000 to support the artistic development of the Sphinx Symphony and the 2004 Sphinx Competition. .. [Isn’t this illegal since the Sphinx Organization discriminates against children of [White] color?]
(From the 2004 NEA Annual Report)

The Kresge Foundation
The Sphinx Organization Develops the Musical Talent of Underserved Youth [underserved by who? Their parents? Their ethnic community? Isn’t this another classic example of imposing “white guilt” to shake down greater contributions?]
Detroit-based national nonprofit is changing the face of classical music. [Black face? Brown face?]
Troy, Michigan, March 17, 2008

Sphinx Organization aims to showcase African-American and Latin musicians
…The specific goal is to build black and Latino musicians…[quote from Aaron P. Dworkin – the Founder and President of the Sphinx Organization].
The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Unless more convincing proof is offered, it’s time for men and women of goodwill, of every color and creed, to write the major sponsors of the Sphinx Organization, to contact the big donors, to register complaint they support blatant discrimination and racism against White children.


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