Dorothy Kittaka

Fort Wayne, IN | Years Taught: 1961 – Present

Dorothy’s education began in a nursery school in an American Concentration Camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming, where she lived with 120,000 other Japanese Americans, who also were sent to various other such camps in the U.S. Her earliest memory of music was a melancholy trumpet melody repeatedly played in the camp by a strange man she called, “Poo-Pah-Poo Man.” She was a founding member of FAME, Foundation for Art and Music in Elementary Education, which has become one of the most influential arts organizations in the state. Each year, FAME selects a different cultural focus in an effort to promote better understanding of our country’s richly diverse cultural heritage. FAME facilitates teacher workshops, a visiting artists program, cultural kit lesson plans, a week-long summer residence camp, and a composition project, a collaboration between FAME and the Philharmonic.

Additional Recognition

  • 1998 • Finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year
  • 1997 • Parents Magazine As They Grow Award
  • 1997 • Indiana Governor’s Arts Award
  • 1997 • Southwest Allen County School Teacher of the Year
  • 1997 • Esther Ritz Collyer Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Arts United
  • 1991 • Indiana Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Indiana Music Educators Association
  • 1989 • First National Professional Best by Learning Magazine
  • 1989 • Margaret Ann Keegan Award for Arts in Education, Arts United
  • 1984 • Runner-up Indiana State Teacher of the Year
  • 1984 • Excellence in Education Award, Instant Copy
  • 1984 • John F. Kennedy Fellowship for Teachers in the Arts
  • 1984 • Southwest Allen County School Teacher of the Year