Department ofAfrican American Studies

Sphinx Virtuosi visited Dr.Woodruff’s AFAM 100 Living While Black In America (Fall, 2016) before their evening performance in the Schwab Chamber Music Series. The Sphinx Organization is the Detroit-based national organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.

The organization’s founding and mission were informed by the life experiences of Aaron Dworkin, who, as a young Black violinist, was acutely aware of the lack of diversity both on stage and in the audience in concert halls. He founded Sphinx while an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, to address the stark under-representation of people of color in classical music. President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Aaron P. Dworkin currently serves as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.Sphinx programs reach over 100,000 students, as well as live and broadcast audiences of over two million annually. The violinist featured in these pictures is 16 year old Hannah White who won the competition at Carnegie Hall in 2015.

Nan Elizabeth Woodruff
Professor of African American Studies and Modern US History
Pennsylvania State University