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CAP Awarded $150,000 to Expand Field Trip Initiative

The Cathedral Arts Project has been approved by the Kids Hope Alliance (KHA) for a $100,000 grant, as well as a $50,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These grants will support the expansion of the Arts Integrated Field Trip Initiative providing elementary-aged students with free, high-quality arts integration field trips in the summer of 2024.

“There is nothing like experiencing the arts in person to spark inquiry and inspiration,” said CAP President & CEO Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt. “We are grateful to KHA and the NEA for their support of this important program, as well as to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for their partnership in the expansion of the Arts Integrated Field Trip Initiative.”

a child in a theatre wearing a mask

Children throughout Duval County attended a free performance at the Florida Theatre during the field trip initiative pilot program in the summer of 2023. 

The NEA grant will fund a feasibility study to explore how to expand the Arts Integrated Field Trip Initiative further, as well as how to structure it to eventually become a national model. The KHA grant will go toward supporting the logistics of transporting an estimated 4,500 children to their field trip destinations. The newly expanded initiative will provide students in Duval County enriching arts-integrated field trips from June 11 through July 12, 2024, at a number of cultural institutions across the city including the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Florida Theatre, Jacksonville Symphony, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and Ritz Theatre & Museum.

The initiative also includes a culturally inclusive professional development opportunity for teachers employed in Duval County. The professional development sessions will take place on March 15, 2024, at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and will be led by national education experts from the Kennedy Center. The program will focus on teaching strategies aligned with students’ summer field trip learning objectives, which encompass improving literacy skills and gaining insights into Jacksonville’s arts and culture, fostering hope and connection to Jacksonville.

a close-up of smiling children

Children lined up outside the Florida Theatre at last year’s field trip initiative pilot program.

“CAP has done an extraordinary job providing data on how the arts support strengthened academic learning,” said Dr. Saralyn Grass, Chief Executive Officer of KHA. “The expansion of the Arts Integrated Field Trip Initiative puts this data into action by allowing students access to experience the arts in person. For many students in Duval County, this will be the first time they are presented with such a vibrant opportunity that is sure to make a lasting impact.”

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 Florida Data Science for Social Good at the University of North Florida, 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. This data drove the conception of the Arts Integrated Field Trip Initiative pilot on June 20, 2023. Last summer, 3,300 elementary school students were presented with the opportunity to enjoy a live performance at the Florida Theatre as well as summer learning packets featuring reading materials that aligned with the performance.

smiling children sit in a full theatre

Children and adults enjoyed a free performance at the Florida Theatre during the field trip initiative pilot program.

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to CAP, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.”

Opportunities to partner with CAP on this important program are available. For more information about how to support the Arts Integrated Field Trip Initiative or to register for the educator professional development program, please email Dr. Lucy Chen at lucy@capkids.org.