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Two Arizona State University School of Music alumni have been selected to participate in the Sphinx Organization’s national arts leadership and artistic development programs dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.
Tehvon Fowler-Chapman (Bachelor of Music ’15) has been selected to participate in the inaugural SphinxLEAD’s two-year fellowship program aimed at empowering arts administrators and leaders of color to transform the landscape of leadership in the arts.
Chaz Salazar (Bachelor of Music ’15, Master of Music ’17) is the recipient of the Sphinx Organization’s National Alliance for Audition Support, an artistic development initiative to provide audition support for artists of color.
The Sphinx Organization was founded by Aaron Dworkin, an appointed member of the National Council on the Arts who, as a young black violinist, was acutely aware of the lack of diversity both on stage and in the audience in concert halls.
“Now that I have shifted into a more administrative role within music, I am looking more than ever for support that will make me effective as an arts administrator, and more importantly, as a leader,” said Fowler-Chapman. “I have a great deal of respect for the work Sphinx has done promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in classical music, and it felt as though the SphinxLEAD program was made for me. I am looking forward to building on my network, learning new ways to look at the arts and learning from other members of the cohort and some of the finest institutions of music in the country.”
Launched in January 2019, SphinxLEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts and Diversity) is a new initiative of the Sphinx Organization to inspire and cultivate minority arts leaders. It will “empower arts leaders of color” who are looking to advance their personal and professional growth in order to produce impact in their communities and in the arts field.
The Sphinx Organization’s National Alliance for Audition Support, an unprecedented national initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, offers black and Latinx musicians audition support through a customized combination of mentoring, audition preparation and financial support. Aimed at increasing diversity in American orchestras, NAAS partners include the New World Symphony and the League of American Orchestras, representing 700 orchestras.
“These grants assist musicians of color by providing the funding for travel and accommodations to auditions as well as audition training,” said Salazar. “These opportunities are invaluable as we work towards more diversity, inclusion and equity in our orchestras.”
Salazar earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in flute performance. He is presently a flute instructor with the Harmony Project Phoenix, an evidence-based, after-school mentoring program that uses music as a means for positive youth development and social inclusion in low-income communities.
Fowler-Chapman earned his bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education and holds a master’s degree in arts administration from Indiana University. He is currently an arts administrator who works at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia, supporting Wolf Trap’s chamber music programming and Wolf Trap Opera, a leading national residency program for young operatic artists.
“My experience at ASU’s School of Music taught me that there are so many different, amazing ways that people engage in music and art in general, and all of them have a place in our society,” said Fowler-Chapman. “I had so many amazing experiences as a performer, educator and student at ASU, and I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to go to a school that offered so many opportunities both within and outside the School of Music. Those experiences varied greatly while all contributing to the larger picture of who I am now.”