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Cornish, Nellie Centennial (09 July 1876–07 April 1956), pianist and arts educator, was born in Greenwood, Nebraska, the daughter of Nathan Cornish, a businessman, and Jeannette Simpson. The U.S. centennial in 1876 was the source of her middle name. She founded the Cornish School of Music, now Cornish College of the Arts, a pioneer institution in the teaching of dance, music, and theater in the Pacific Northwest....

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Flanagan, Hallie Mae Ferguson (27 August 1890–23 July 1969), theater educator, administrator, and director, was born in Redfield, South Dakota, the daughter of Frederic Miller Ferguson, a businessman, and Louisa Fischer. Throughout her childhood, Hallie’s father encouraged her to believe in her uniqueness and individual potential, while her mother instilled in her a selflessness of putting others before herself. These conflicting ideas would haunt Hallie throughout her life as she tried to balance a career and a family. She sometimes believed she had failed as a wife and mother because she had devoted too much of herself to her career....

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Johnston, Ella Bond (19 November 1860–24 April 1951), art administrator and educator, was born near Webster, Indiana, the daughter of Simon H. Bond and Susan Harris, farmers. After attending the Friends School in Webster and then Richmond High School for two years, she became a teacher at Culbertson School, a one-room schoolhouse for pupils in grades one through twelve. Among her students was the future inventor, ...

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Emily Sartain. Engraving by John Sartain. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-112191).

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Sartain, Emily (17 March 1841–17 June 1927), art educator and painter/printmaker, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Sartain, a mezzotint engraver, and Susannah Longmate Swaine. Sartain, one of two daughters and five sons, grew up in a family in which her father trained her brothers as professional artists. Socially prominent Unitarians and Associationists, her parents encouraged her to attend Philadelphia Normal School for Girls. When she began to teach public school upon graduation in 1858, she joined a predominantly female profession....

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Spofford, Grace Harriet (21 September 1887–05 June 1974), music educator and administrator, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the daughter of Harry Hall Spofford, a clothing store clerk, and Sarah G. Hastings. Following her graduation with honors from Haverhill High School in 1905, Spofford attended Mount Holyoke College for a year to study with the renowned organist William Hammond Churchill. Because the college offered no credit for music performance studies and required domestic work of its students, she withdrew and transferred to Smith College, where she studied with the acclaimed composer-organist Henry Dike Sleeper and with pianist Edwin Bruce Story. After graduating from Smith in 1909, Spofford studied for a year in Boston with Richard Platt and gave lecture recitals for New England audiences. From 1910 to 1912 she taught music at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. She then enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where she received teacher’s certificates in both piano and organ. She taught in the Preparatory Division at Peabody from 1913 to 1917 and subsequently became the executive secretary of the conservatory. She also contributed music criticism to the ...