Arts academy honors Mustari at inaugural bash

Jul 05, 2024 113

Serving as the first principal of The Chicago Academy for The Arts was never the plan for Frank Mustari. A guidance counselor at Niles West High School in suburban Skokie, Mustari asked to take a leave of absence in 1981 to help establish the academy, the first of its kind in the city.

“I thought the concept was a great idea. I was working at a high school that had virtually everything — an art department, a theater department, a music department. Chicago Public Schools didn’t have any of those things,” the 86-year-old says. “When I saw in the paper who was involved (in the initiative), I realized I knew some of them, and I volunteered to help with curriculum development.”

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