Rev. Kimberly Hyatt, CEO of Cathedral Arts Project

March 12, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Rev. Kimberly Hyatt increased the budget of the Cathedral Arts Project from $70k to $2 million. She has woven CAP into the fabric of the community. In this guest column Hyatt discusses the organizations move to the urban core and provides an overview of CAP's impact.

The Cathedral Arts Project is proud to call downtown home once again.  Originally birthed at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral on East Church Street, we relocated to the Southpoint area a decade ago.  We have recently moved into the third floor of the historic Elks Building at 207 North Laura Street in Downtown Jacksonville. The lease covers 7,809 square feet of space, as well as a balcony that overlooks Laura Street.

The Cathedral Arts Project (CAP) is the leading provider of comprehensive and ongoing instruction in the visual and performing arts for elementary and middle school students in Duval County, Florida. Our mission is to enrich the quality of life in Northeast Florida through unleashing the creative spirit of young people. By providing access to free, standards-based instruction in the visual and performing arts, we empower underserved, school-aged children to succeed in all areas of their lives. Our vision is for every child in Northeast Florida to have access to a well-rounded, arts-rich education that endows his or her spirit with the imagination, self-confidence and strength of character that inspires great leadership and a will to succeed not just in the classroom, but also in life.

New Offices of Cathedral Arts Project

Since 1993, we have used quality, standards-based arts education to help more than 20,000 K-8 students and garnered praise at both the local and national level. In 2013, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities awarded CAP a certificate of excellence as “one of the very top programs of its kind in the country,” and our application to make Jacksonville the 14th site for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ prestigious Any Given Child (AGC) initiative was accepted. AGC Jacksonville is led locally by the Cathedral Arts Project in partnership with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and the City of Jacksonville (COJ) to ensure more equitable access to quality arts education for all K-8 students in Duval County.

In addition to our advocacy efforts, CAP employs educators to provide free, standards-based, multidisciplinary afterschool and summer instruction in dance, media arts, music, theatre and the visual arts at elementary and middle schools, as well as at community-based organizations. In our rigorous and stimulating programs, students learn the various elements of an artistic form, participate in character-building exercises, and learn effective means of communication – transforming not only their academic and social performance, but also their overall lives. At CAP, we believe art transforms lives.

It is a pivotal time in CAP’s history. Coinciding with our move to the urban core, we are entering a new era of unprecedented expansion of arts education – one in which CAP will play a leading role in the community. We stand poised to make great strides toward the accomplishment of our vision for every child in Northeast Florida to have access to a well-rounded, arts-rich education that endows his or her spirit with the imagination, self-confidence and strength of character that inspires great leadership and a will to succeed.

In addition to allocating space for administrative offices and faculty meetings, our new headquarters include a large conference room and two art galleries. One gallery will feature student artwork, and one will display artwork from Jacksonville-based artists on a rotating basis.

Our new office space will lend itself beautifully to community events. We anticipate our gallery spaces will become a venue for events such as the monthly Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk, and the balcony will be a perfect backdrop for performances. By showcasing art in all its forms, both from our students as well as the arts community, we hope our offices will become an extension of Downtown’s existing network of cultural venues.

Benefit for Cathedral Arts Project: Black Tie and Blue Jeans Gala. May 2, 2015

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The Reverend Kimberly Hyatt currently serves as President & CEO of the Cathedral Arts Project.  Since taking the helm in 2002, the budget has increased from $70,000 to $2 million, and now serves close to 2,200 students each year with high-quality visual or performing arts education.
Kimberly brings a diverse background to this position, including work in government relations and pastoral ministry.  She moved to Jacksonville in 1996, following divinity studies at Princeton Seminary, and served two pastorates.  During this time she was also served on the Boards for Hubbard House and Community Connections.  In 2000, she was elected as a national commissioner to the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.Prior to divinity school, Kimberly was a business lobbyist in Washington, D.C.  She represented the interests of the nation’s food retailers and wholesalers before Congress and ran the political action committee FoodPAC.
During a short stint after college as a local reporter, Kimberly won the South Carolina Press Association’s award for her coverage of ongoing Ku Klux Klan activities. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987 from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, where she was voted Outstanding Senior.  She earned her Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. She serves on the Board of Governors for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trustees for the Cathedral School, the Board of Trustees for the Presbytery of St. Augustine.