spFounder Aaron P. Dworkin announces that The Sphinx Organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, will host the third annual SphinxCon, one of the nation’s leading arts diversity conferences, from January 30 through February 1, 2015 at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 1114 Washington Blvd, in Detroit, Mich. SphinxCon will bring more than 40 distinguished arts leaders together, including National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu. These visionaries will address challenges surrounding diversity in the performing arts and discuss innovative solutions to engage audiences and artists. Hundreds of arts professionals, educators, arts administrators, musicians, performers, philanthropists, and artists will gather to discuss best practices in areas including dance, theatre, LGBTQ outreach, arts and healing, philanthropy and grant making, research and policy, and innovation.

According to Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, Executive and Artistic Director of The Sphinx Organization, “Our first two conferences have been huge successes and, in partnership with Detroit Public Television, we are eager to reach an even wider audience who share our passion of engaging minorities and underserved communities.” “We are thrilled to bring together many of the world’s predominant arts professionals who support our mission of transforming lives through the power of the arts,” says Dworkin.

SphinxCon’s interactive structure includes 10-minute presentations by top international arts professionals, followed by a 15-minute facilitated discussion with corresponding session respondents, and closing with 20-minute audience question and answer portion.

The exciting roster of speakers includes Jane Chu (NEA Chairman), Maysoon Zayid (Comedian, Writer, Actress), Sunil Iyengar (Director of Research and Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts), Faye Nelson (Vice President of Public Affairs, DTE Energy Foundation), Christina Pato (Musician, Silk Road Ensemble), Jesse Rosen (President and CEO, League of American Dramatists), Holly Sidford (President, Helicon Collaborative), Jamie Bennett (Executive Director, ArtPlace America), Maria Rosario Jackson (Senior Advisor, Arts and Cultural Program, Kresge Foundation), Rachel S. Moore (CEO, American Ballet Theatre), Tim Dang (Producing Artistic Director, East West Players), Francisco Nuñez (Artistic Director and Founder, Young People’s Chorus of New York City) and Aaron P. Dworkin (Founder and President of The Sphinx Organization).SphinxCon also includes over 20 remarkable arts leaders, serving as respondents. Others who will join us are George Galster (Professor of Urban Affairs, Wayne State University) as Moderator and Eric Booth (Arts Learning Consultant) as Facilitator.

Since The Sphinx Organization was founded in 1996, the top tier orchestras in America have increased their number of African American members by 100%. In all instances, the member was a Sphinx Alumni, the member was a Sphinx Symphony Orchestra member, or the orchestra is a Sphinx partner. In addition, Solo performances by musicians of color have increased to 20-30 per year. The Sphinx Virtuosi, one of the only professional Black & Latino orchestras in existence, recently completed its seventh annual national tour. With Yo-Yo Ma serving as Special Artistic Advisor, The Sphinx Virtuosi has earned rave reviews nationwide and was described as producing “a more beautiful, precise and carefully shaped sound than some fully professional orchestras that come through Carnegie Hall in the course of the year” by The New York Times.

SphinxCon is made possible through generous support by Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation with additional support by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Masco Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, Google, Detroit Public Television, and Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. 

SphinxCon takes place on Friday, January 30 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.,Saturday, January 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Early bird tickets are now available (through December 12) and begin at $35 for students, $50 for the day pass and $70 for the full pass. Regular tickets begin at $35 for students, $50 for the day pass and $100 for the full pass from December 13-January 23. On-site registration is $35 for students, $50 for the day pass and $150 for the full pass. The entire conference will also be broadcast live on Detroit Public Television. For more details and to register, please visit