Frank Bluestein


For over forty years, educator and arts leader Frank Bluestein has changed thousands of lives for the better through his pioneering work in arts education in Tennessee.

Until his retirement in 2013, Mr. Bluestein served as chairman of the Germantown High School Fine Arts Department in Germantown, TN. He was the founder and artistic director of the school’s theatre, the Poplar Pike Playhouse, and also served as executive producer for Germantown Community Television (GHS-TV), the school’s three million dollar educational television facility. In 1984 he helped the Germantown High School Department of Fine Arts become one of eight secondary schools in the nation to be chosen to receive the prestigious Rockefeller Brothers Fund Arts in Education Award. Graduates from his program include Saturday Night Live star Chris Parnell; film, television and stage actress Missi Pyle; Emmy winning casting director (Desperate Housewives & NYPD Blue) Scott Genkinger; NPR reporter Debbie Elliott; and Blue Man Group actor Wes Day.

His extensive national recognition includes the 1996-1997 Disney National Performing Arts Teacher of the Year and inclusion as one of USA Today’s 1998 top 40 teachers in the United States. Bluestein is a past winner of the American Theatre Association’s John C. Barner Award, a national award given to one secondary school teacher whose theatre program is judged most exemplary for the year. In 2013, he was inducted into the Educational Theatre Association’s Hall of Fame in Minneapolis. He has served as an arts advisory panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the College Board Arts Advisory Committee, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. He was named Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year in 1994.

Mr. Bluestein is a former president both of the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education and the Germantown Arts Alliance. He currently serves as executive director for Tennessee Shakespeare Company and executive director of the Tennessee Arts Academy, a nationally recognized statewide teacher training institute located in Nashville, TN. The Tennessee Arts Academy is the TN Department of Education’s primary vehicle for arts teacher professional development and has long been a partner with the Tennessee Arts Commission. As Academy Director, Frank Bluestein continues to influence arts educators and arts education across Tennessee.