JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – June 12, 2023 – The Cathedral Arts Project (CAP), in partnership with Kids Hope Alliance (KHA), the Florida Theatre, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, announced today the launch of a pilot collaborative field trip program for elementary school students.
On June 20, 2023, approximately 3,400 elementary school students from both public and charter schools are invited to attend a live performance at the historic Florida Theatre. The effort is meant to increase student interest and access to the arts.
“The very first step in improving access to arts education is piquing students’ interest in the arts,” said Kimberly L. Hyatt, CAP president & CEO. “We are excited to implement this research-backed initiative with a group of community partners who share CAP’s vision for Northeast Florida to lead the nation in providing essential and accessible arts education.”
CAP's Landscape of Education in the Arts in Duval (LEAD) survey data shows the main priority in service of improving access to arts education for Jacksonville's children is implementing a field trip initiative for all elementary school students. Through CAP’s work with the University of North Florida’s Data Science for Social Good program, data showed that even one field trip experience to a cultural destination like a museum or theatre drastically improves student grades in literacy, math and science.
The students will attend the show Doug Berky’s Gems: The World’s Wisdom Stories. The performance will introduce attendees to fables from cultures across the globe and will include a literacy component. DCPS summer learning packets will be distributed to students attending the event that will include reading materials to enhance the field trip experience.
“School field trips are not just play-time out of the classroom; they’re an opportunity to take what was learned in the classroom and see it brought to life in the real world,” said Numa Saisselin, president of the Florida Theatre. “That is especially true in a theatre setting. Whether it’s watching an acrobat apply the laws of science or a theatrical adaptation of a story told in a book, the impact on a student’s academic success is profound.”
Funding for this initiative is provided by PNC Foundation and Rice Family Foundation. In addition, KHA and DCPS will provide bus transportation for all participants.
“Exposing youth to the arts encourages creativity, opens pathways to expression and introduces a world beyond limitations," said Kenneth Darity, chief programs officer with the Kids Hope Alliance.
About the Cathedral Arts Project:
The Cathedral Arts Project (CAP) is a nationally recognized nonprofit provider of quality visual and performing arts instruction for school-aged children in Northeast Florida. CAP’s mission is to empower every child’s creative spirit, elevate arts educators in their field and advocate for access and equity in arts education. Learn more at capkids.org.
About the Florida Theatre:
There is something for everyone at the Florida Theatre. From pop, jazz, rock, comedy, country, and blues to ballet, the historic Florida Theatre annually offers over 150 cultural and entertainment events for every taste and age. For tickets or to learn more about our educational performances for schools, rentals, membership, or the nonprofit corporation that manages this majestic place, please visit us at www.floridatheatre.com.
About Kids Hope Alliance:
With the vision that every child and youth will reach their academic, career, and civic potential, Kids Hope Alliance: The Jacksonville Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (KHA), a fiscal agency of the City of Jacksonville, is responsible for overseeing the implementation and management of children and youth programs, services, and activities, accomplished through third-party service providers. For more information, please visit www.kidshopealliance.org.
About PNC Foundation:
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through PNC Grow Up Great®, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.