“The Detroit-based Sphinx Organization has secured the largest gift in its history, a $3 million donation from the Fund II Foundation in Austin,” writes Sherri Welch in Tuesday’s (5/7) Crain’s Detroit Business. “Robert F. Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of San Francisco-based Vista Equity Partners, is the founder of Fund II Foundation. He is also chairman of Carnegie Hall and a past supporter of Sphinx.… The new $3 million gift made through his Fund II Foundation will support leadership, entrepreneurship, career development and professional empowerment programs for classical musicians, arts administrators and cultural entrepreneurs of color through Sphinx programs. President and Artistic Director Afa Dworkin said … the nonprofit’s fastest-growing focus area is arts leadership.… ‘The increasing urgency of Sphinx’s work has led to a tremendous rise in demand surrounding career on-ramping programs for Black and Latinx classical musicians,’ Dworkin said in a release. The gift will support arts leadership programs including SphinxConnect, Sphinx’s annual convening of musicians, arts leaders, educators, funders, diversity advocates and administrators.… It will also support Leaders in Excellence, Arts and Diversity, a program Sphinx launched … to cultivate black and Latinx candidates for leadership positions in orchestras, conservatories and music schools across the country.”

Posted May 7, 2019