The Cathedral Arts Project was launched in 1993 by a small group of individuals from St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral who had a heart for both children and the arts. They wanted to provide the children in the immediate neighborhood an opportunity for a meaningful education in the arts. They began with one dance class that was attended by 10 students from a transitional housing facility.
Word spread quickly about the program, and soon principals from public schools throughout the city began calling to see if the Cathedral Arts Project could come to their schools in the afternoon. Within three years, the Cathedral Arts Project had partnered with 15 elementary schools to provide free dance classes to deserving children, and by 1999, programming had expanded to include instruction in the visual arts and violin.
Though the original intent had never been to form an independent nonprofit, the Cathedral Arts Project decided to seek incorporation and was designated as a 501(c)(3) charity in 2000. What began as one dance class for 10 students now serves more than 1,000 children each year through more than 25 twice-weekly afternoon classes and summer program partnerships. Children are learning the arts of ballet, jazz, violin, drumming, chorus, theatre, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and more each year. More than that, they are learning the skills they need to succeed in all areas of life – skills such as self-discipline, perseverance, teamwork and imagination.
We are committed to serving the youth of Northeast Florida and believe participation in the arts can be the catalyst for extraordinary change. To that end, we will continue to grow our programming until we reach our vision for tomorrow, and every child has equal access to an arts-rich education.