MacArthur Fellow and Sphinx Organization Founder Aaron Dworkin Is Conservatory's Musical Bridges Francis Family Foundation Fellow


The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to announce that artist and performer Aaron Dworkin, 2005 MacArthur Fellow, former National Arts Policy Committee member, and founder of the Sphinx Organization, is the Conservatory's inaugural Musical Bridges Francis Family Foundation Fellow. Aaron is a nationally recognized voice for music education and diversity in the performing arts. He is on campus April 4–5, 2014 to work with our Conservatory and Musical Bridges students, and to engage with Kansas City's arts leaders and educators.

Dean Peter Witte notes, "UMKC is an urban institution with a mission of excellence in the arts. Thanks to the Francis Family Foundation and a truly supportive community, UMKC's Musical Bridges program provides music lessons, instruments, scholarships and mentorship to more than 50 students of color in the Kansas City region. For a decade, MacArthur Fellow Aaron Dworkin and Sphinx have opened eyes and ears to the breadth of excellence in American classical music. Sphinx pierces through cliches to show that classical musicians of color are thriving at the highest levels as soloists, chamber musicians, and orchestral musicians. Sphinx is a story worth sharing and emulating.

UMKC believes we must do more to recruit and sustain diverse musicians in our communities. In his role as our first Musical Bridges Francis Family Foundation Fellow, Mr. Dworkin will work with Bridges students, schools, Conservatory faculty and civic leaders to demonstrate the power of diversity in the arts."

Mara Gibson, director of the Conservatory's Academy notes, "Having nationally recognized artist Aaron Dworkin in Kansas City will inspire and magnify the prominence of urban music education and arts advocacy in our region, particularly for our Musical Bridges teachers and students. The Academy is thrilled to host Aaron at the UMKC Conservatory and at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art during his residency April 4-5, 2014. Thank you to the Francis Family Foundation for its continued support to help make this visit happen."

The events include working with 50+ area Musical Bridges students, UMKC students, and area arts, education, and civic leaders. Friday April 4, 11:30 a.m., in UMKC's Pierson Auditorium, we host a benefit luncheon with Aaron to raise money for Musical Bridges students.  At noon he gives a public address on arts, diversity and engaging underserved communities, also in Pierson Auditorium.  To make reservations for the luncheon, please call our reservation line, 816-235-2963.  Tickets are $75 per person.

At 4:30 p.m., in Pierson Auditorium, Aaron gives a free master class, working with Musical Bridges students and teachers.

Please join us.






For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949