Celebrating President & CEO Kimberly Hyatt’s 20 Years of Leadership

The Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt was hired in October of 2002 as the first executive director of CAP when it was a small organization serving a few hundred students per year with a budget of $70,000. Now the organization serves more than 1,300 students annually and has grown its operating budget to more than $3.3 million a year. Under her leadership of CAP, tens of thousands of children living in Jacksonville have learned to sing, play, dance, act and create with confidence.

Data collected on students who have participated in CAP programs show that they have better school attendance, fewer behavioral violations and higher grade-level proficiency in school than their peers. Founded in 1993 offering one dance class to 10 children, the organization has now provided over 31,000 students in Duval County with professional arts education in art as therapy, dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts. The impactful work of Rev. Hyatt and the team at CAP has shaped the lives of generations of children.

“Kimberly has been an extraordinary leader over the past 20 years, guiding the expansion of CAP to provide arts education to generations of children who would not otherwise have had access,” said Kristine Cherek, Chair of the CAP Board of Directors. “Her visionary leadership has been transformational — not only for CAP, but for the city of Jacksonville.”

A woman placing a ribbon award on a child

The Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt, CAP President & CEO, giving a visual arts student an award at the 2006 Showcase of the Arts

Rev. Hyatt’s leadership has contributed to national recognition for Northeast Florida’s leadership in the arts. In 2013, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts selected Jacksonville to be the 14th Any Given Child (AGC) community, one of only 27 designations in the nation. Working through a collective impact model with CAP, Duval County Public Schools, local arts organizations, artists and community leaders, AGC Jacksonville ensures all K-8 students in Duval County have equitable access to learning in the arts. Data shows since 2014, there has been a 30% increase in the number of full-time DCPS arts educators. She spearheaded CAP’s launch of the Landscape of Education in the Arts in Duval (LEAD) survey and artlook® map in 2019. The data collected through this initiative helps community stakeholders identify funding and partnership opportunities that lead to greater support and resources for arts education.

During Rev. Hyatt’s tenure, the organization created its Arts for Justice-Involved Youth program, providing visual arts education at the John E. Goode Pre-Trial Detention Facility for young men ages 12-17 who are jailed while awaiting trial. Through immersion in the visual arts, this program provides a creative outlet that builds artistic skills and knowledge of art and art history. In addition to painting techniques, the program emphasizes communication and social skills, nonviolent self-expression and new avenues for coping in difficult environments.

CAP celebrates President & CEO Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt on her 20th anniversary of leading the org. The strategic growth of CAP over the past two decades, both financial and organizational, is due to Rev. Hyatt’s strong leadership. Share on X

The strategic growth of CAP over the past two decades, both financial and organizational, is due to Rev. Hyatt’s strong leadership. In 2005, she established the organization’s signature fundraising gala, Spring for the Arts. It raised nearly $45,000 in its first year and now provides more than $650,000 in funding each year for the organization. Rev. Hyatt secured the financial future of CAP through partnerships and integral endowments with community leaders and philanthropists Susan and Hugh Greene, J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, and the Foley Family Charitable Foundation, which provided the largest charitable contribution ($3.75 million) in the history of CAP. Rev. Hyatt has maintained CAP’s strong national reputation by cultivating partnerships and grants from organizations like the Arts Education Partnership, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Division of Arts & Culture. With her guidance, the nonprofit has earned the highest ratings and recognitions for accountability and transparency from the nation’s leading nonprofit evaluators, Charity Navigator and GuideStar.

In 2015, she drove the move to relocate CAP’s offices to Downtown Jacksonville, providing more visibility for the organization and aligning it with the revitalization efforts of the city by renovating the historic Elks building. Since its inception, the organization has grown from an initial full-time staff of two employees to 18 personnel today, and CAP also has founded a teaching fellowship model that employs working artists to provide educational programming in schools. Rev. Hyatt also created and appointed two new leadership positions, the Vice President of Strategy & Operations and the Vice President of Advocacy & Community Engagement in 2021, as the organization entered a new period of increased growth.

The Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt with CAP student Victoria and teaching artist Michelle Taylor at the 2022 Spring for the Arts

“It has been an honor to serve our community with the Cathedral Arts Project the past two decades,” said Rev. Hyatt. “Our work to provide equitable access to arts education has impacted tens of thousands of students in our community. I am grateful for our team and board’s commitment to provide more children with our life-changing programs.”

Rev. Hyatt was named as an Ultimate CEO in 2017 and a Woman of Influence in 2015, both by the Jacksonville Business Journal. She received the Boundless: 40 Years, 40 Icons Award from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville in 2016. She was chosen for the Inaugural Class of the Jessie Ball duPont Community Building Fund’s Community Coaches. She received the Woman of Vision Award from Girls Inc. in 2011. She is an active member of the Presbytery of St. Augustine, where she has served as President of the Trustees and as a national commissioner to the General Assembly of the PCUSA. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Presbyterian College, where she was voted Outstanding Senior in Political Science, and holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary.