Aaron Dworkin, founder of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Council on the Arts. Dworkin is President Obama's first appointment to the Council.
The National Council on the Arts advises the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, currently Rocco Landsman, about policies and programs.
Dworkin founded the Sphinx Organization in 1996 with the goal of "building diversity in classical music."
The Detroit Free Press has a nice write-up on the history of the Detroit non-profit:
"Sphinx is best known for its annual competition in Detroit for black and Latino string players. But beyond the competition, which has awarded more than $1 million in prizes and scholarships since 1998 and performance opportunities with top orchestras, Sphinx also oversees and empire of education residency programs, camps, an instrument fund, commissioning program and touring ensembles including a chamber orchestra and string quartets.
Minorities comprise less than 5% of musicians in American orchestras, but Sphinx is having an impact as six competition alums have won jobs with major orchestras. Scores of others have been nurtured by partnerships with top music schools."