SphinxConnect Diversity Surgery 2018

The results of the SPHINX CONNECT DIVERSITY SURGERY on Friday 2 February 2018 in Detroit, USA, will be posted on this page by Saturday 3 February 2018, midday EST

The Surgery will be looking at the following questions:

  1. How to help the audience to catch up?

“A question I’ve been battling with a lot recently is how to change audience culture. As we work within our orchestras to create a more open and inclusive environment our audiences still hold onto dated ways of thinking and will often self-police. How can we help our audience members move down this path of inclusion alongside us?”

Proposed by Michael Mossaad, Learning & Engagement Coordinator, Minnesota Orchestra

  1. How to privilege holistic development over conventional music education?

“Our program offers small group lessons on native traditional instruments as repertoire, as well as incorporates classical instruments and repertoire. After seeing a deficiency in the students reading ability both in music and in school, we have launched a successful/funded tutoring program that goes hand in hand with our music lessons and ensemble rehearsals.

While we know the value of providing “holistic and wrap around” services like family advocacy and literacy/academic tutoring for children from immigrant and disenfranchised communities, and this youth development approach appeals to a wider range of funders, it is more complex, and requires more funding and resources to implement versus only music focused and music education programs.

How could our program design Best capture the value of a “holistic”/ “youth development” approach vs a very Music ed targeted approach?”

Proposed by Angie Durell founder of INTake

  1. How to dismantle barriers to opening HBCUs to minority orchestras?

“What if minority students could attend a music conservatory at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)? I want to place a college and pre college conservatory at the local HBCU and have a plan, but am finding a big challenge:

There is a fear of taking both funding and attention away from the already struggling fine arts departments of the HBCU. HBCU’s are all about their band programs (And if the HBCU isn’t willing to host the College Conservatory, should I even bother to try to place the Pre-college Conservatory on the campus?)

What is the best approach to overcome this challenge?”

Proposed by Patrice Floyd, Executive Director, Javacya Arts Conservatory

  1. How to solve the Sales v Community conundrum?

“For the past 5 years, I’ve been working in the field of public relations. For those who may not know the field and the work that we do, our job is to gauge, influence, and address public opinion. Some of this work is done through getting involved in areas of opportunity development for fostering education, community building, and generating strategic partnerships. Most of the time an institution or an organization has these departments for the publicist to tap into resources and neighborhoods/communities of color. However, we are most often faced with the challenge of working with individuals and entities that are using public relations to impact sales vs. impacting the community. This has been constant for me.

How do we, as arts administrators and publicists, alike, ensure that our work is being used for the right reasons despite what our leaders may lead us to think and do? How do we shift a culture of an age-old organization? How do you change leadership when you’re the “new kid”? And how do you communicate these frustrations properly? If we can follow our guiding principles of taking care of our communities of color, then we build a trusted relationship with them to do work that will inevitably diversify audiences by increasing access to the theatre seat.”

Proposed by  Dale Dorlin, Arts Administrator