Peggy Cooper Cafritz, founder of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, dies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Peggy Cooper Cafritz, local activist and founder of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, died Sunday at the age of 70.

“Because of Peggy, we have the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. And because of Peggy, thousands of students have had, and will continue to have, the opportunity to grow and develop in an educational environment that supports their unique talents and aspirations,” said D.C. Mayor Bowser in  statement.

Cafritz created the school in 1974 and continued to serve the school in numerous positions. She served on the Executive Committee of the D.C. Board of Higher Education from 1972-1976. She then chaired the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for eight years. In 1993, President Clinton appointed her to serve as Vice Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Mayor Bowser said that Cafritz’s legacy will be felt by generations to come and that she is praying for Cafritz’s family.