Mission And History

Our Mission

The mission of FOCUS is to increase appreciation and global understanding of the arts and of the professionals engaged in them. By supporting our high school we support the community. A community rich in appreciation for the arts. FOCUS has been the inspiration for lifelong interests in the arts, as well as careers, for many people in Highland Park and beyond. It is our goal to continue this tradition of creating the artists and art audiences of the future.

Our History

In 1964, Highland Park High School through the visionary efforts of Dr. John W. Price, Shirley M. Hartz, and Ruth Esserman developed a program that would expose students and the community to quality visual and performing arts.

The goal was to build an appreciation and understanding of the arts and art professionals by the students and the community of Highland Park. Thanks to the twenty years of leadership by retired coordinator & HPHS visual art teacher, Ann Slavick, FOCUS has grown to include communication arts and more cutting edge artists. By showcasing the talents of our own high school students, FOCUS has created the opportunity for students to work side by side with professionals in their field of expertise.

FOCUS is clearly a collaboration of the city, school, students, staff, and community members. It is our hope that your discoveries at FOCUS will ignite a spark in you that will fuel your lifelong journey in the arts – whether it be as an artist or arts supporter!

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